Poll: Race for White House all tied up
October 21st, 2012
02:51 PM ET
1 year ago

Poll: Race for White House all tied up

(CNN) - With just over two weeks to go until Election Day, and Monday's presidential debate fast approaching, a new national poll taken after the second debate shows the race for the White House in a dead heat.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday shows both President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney with 47% support among likely voters. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.43 percentage points for that group.

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Among the larger pool of registered voters surveyed in the NBC/WSJ poll, Obama holds a five-point advantage, 49% to Romney's 44%. The margin of error for that larger group is 3.1 percentage points.

The last NBC/WSJ survey - taken before any of October's presidential debates - showed the president with a slight advantage over his Republican challenger by three points, 49% to Romney's 46%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. The difference in the surveys suggests Obama's advantage is slipping and that Romney's debate performances may have had an effect.

Romney was overwhelmingly considered the winner of the first presidential showdown, while Obama appeared to narrowly best the GOP nominee in the second debate. The candidates will square off for the final time Monday night at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

And with the debate to be squarely focused on foreign policy, the new survey shows Obama ahead of Romney by three points on the question of which candidate would be better as commander in chief. In last month's poll, Obama had an eight point margin over Romney for the same question.

The GOP nominee also fares better, 46% to 40%, in the poll when voters are asked which candidate would best handle the economy. Romney further polls ahead of Obama on jobs and unemployment, as well as the federal budget deficit.

Obama, however, has more support on likability and appeal to women and middle class voters. Sunday's survey found Obama leading among likely women voters by eight points, 51% to Romney's 43%, while Romney leads among likely male voters by ten points, 53% to Obama's 43%.

Asked which candidate would be better at dealing with issues of concern to women, 53% chose Obama, while 25% chose Romney. Asked a similar question about the middle class, Obama again falls ahead, 52% to 35%.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted from October 17-20 among 1,000 registered voters and 816 likely voters.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. ted

    The more people hear Romney, the less they are likely to vote for him.

    October 21, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Mohammed

    I dont't understand why CNN is trying to influence the vote against Obama. Poll is not tied . Even in this CNN report it mentioned that margin among registered voter is as wide as before any Debate.

    October 21, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Truth1111

    If a CEO of a company promises change and fixing the economy then fails in 4 years (LET ALONE ONE) he would be FIRED.. PERIOD.. Why dont we hold this measure to our presidents!!?? If Romney is voted in and he fails, he is FIRED period! We need to treat our presidents like company CEO's!!!

    Facts:

    President Obama promised us our premiums would go down $2,500 per family per year if we passed Obamacare, but family premiums increased 9 percent last year

    The president promised us he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle class families making less than $250,000 a year, but Obamacare raises taxes on health plans, medical devices, prescription drugs and employers, and 75 percent of the individual mandate tax will fall on the middle class

    The president promised he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, but because of his out-of-control spending, he has created record trillion dollar deficits every year in office, and he’s increased the deficit by $5 trillion since he took office.

    President Obama promised that if he didn’t have the economy fixed in “three years” then his presidency was “going to be a one-term proposition,” but since he took office, the national unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for a record 41 straight months

    The president promised that his stimulus package would keep unemployment below 8 percent, but the U.S. has lost nearly half a million jobs since he took office, the unemployment rate is still above 8 percent and 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have simply stopped looking for work.

    By any measure, the president’s approach has failed. He is the most liberal and incompetent president we have had since Jimmy Carter. Before becoming president, he had never run anything. Nothing. Not a business, not a state, not a law firm and not even a lemonade stand. The results of his presidency show that. That’s why we simply cannot afford another four years of President Obama. We have to pursue another path

    October 21, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Ohio woman

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    October 21, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Name Keyon

    Obama will win this thing again! Y'all just wait and see!

    October 21, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Truth1111

    These posts are commical. Your brains are pickled by the name Obama... If he was a CEO of a company he would have been fired 3 years ago.. Why dont we hold our presidents to the same levels as CEO's???????????????

    October 21, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Mohammed

    Among the larger pool of registered voters surveyed in the NBC/WSJ poll, Obama holds a five-point advantage, 49% to Romney's 44%. The margin of error for that larger group is 3.1 percentage points.

    The last NBC/WSJ survey – taken before any of October's presidential debates – showed the president with a slight advantage over his Republican challenger by three points, 49% to Romney's 46%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

    October 21, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. horbie

    Reading the lefts logic on this set of comments confirms my belief that Obama has no argument for a second term.

    October 21, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. rones

    Wow! If the NBC/WSJ poll shows a tie between the candidates, then Romney must be farther ahead than most think.

    October 21, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Anthony

    Romney victory is a done deal.

    October 21, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Bob

    Who cares that the polls for the entire nation show a tie. If the 2000 election proved anything, it's that a tie nationwide doesn't matter at all. The only thing that matters is the Electoral College. If either candidate wins both Ohio and Florida, they will win this election. If President Obama wins either one he is very likely to win. If Romney only wins one, it will be exceptionally difficult, but not impossible, for him to win. In other words, for Romney to win he really must capture both Florida and Ohio. Personally, I would like to see Romney win the popular vote and for Obama to win the electoral college. That way both sides will have been burned by that decrepit, out-of-date, wrong-headed method of conducting elections, and we can revise the Constitution and go to a popular vote for president. That is as it should be. Election night is going to be exciting.

    October 21, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. GreenBeret

    Romney was a draft dodger. Veterans should not vote for Romney. Also, tax the Rich and feed the middle and poor classes!

    Independent

    October 21, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Brenden

    Why should I vote for a man who gave tax breaks to the middle class, but then dumped those into Obamacare? I won't vote for a man who trades one tax for another useless tax. Besides, I don't believe mainstream polls and mainstream media. They're liberal-friendly anyway. Romney/Ryan 2012

    October 21, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. RR

    I live in Texas where early voting starts tomorrow, 10/22. There were 3 people who I have spoken to that say they are Republicans but will not vote for Romney and they do not like Obama. All this means is that they will not vote period. So are far as I am concern, the polls are meant for news companies trying to make a case where there is none. I know 3 people do not constitute and majority, but there are Republicans who do not like nor will vote for Romney.

    October 21, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  15. Jo Ann

    @David – Romney's plan does NOT cover preexisting conditions. In the first debate, he said it would, but hs campaign office corrected his statement the following day; the only protections for preexisting conditions which he supports are the old HIPPA ones, which only cover people who have been continuosly insured, and which do not limit the premiums (I know one person who ended up being offered a policy at $2000/month, for just himself). He favors repealing nearly all of the ACA, including the protections for people with preexisting conditions.

    October 21, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. John Q.Public

    my comment probably wont get posted but the only way romney will win is by voting machine fraud and i'm afraid these fake polls are setting us up for it.

    October 21, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Deepen

    up 48-42 in IBD/TIPP polling.. OBAMA 2012!

    October 21, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Deepen

    and in this same poll.. Obama is up 49-44 with RVs! if we turnout we GOT THIS!!

    October 21, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. Chad

    seems like america wants to back to losing 800,000 jobs a month again eh?

    October 21, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. CA

    If CNN is saying tied, then Romney will win by a few % pts.

    October 21, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Keep This In Mind

    The polls over sample Democrats. I think Obama's in trouble this election.

    October 21, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  22. jane

    The President is safely ahead in the E.C., including the majority of the swing states, and he's ahead in early voting (even ore than 2008 in fact). The media just needs to convince people it's a horse race to bump up their ratings. Thus it ever was......

    October 21, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Charles Bowen

    CNN should stand for Certainly Not Neutral, Bought And Paid for by The Republican Party......Republican Propaganda....This Ain't my first Rodeo..... Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 21, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Name mike

    Obama is a millionaire and a rich elitist. What's the difference when your rich your rich does it really matter how rich you are. Also can someone please define the Middle class

    October 21, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. Johnny Cash

    Romney's Debate record :

    a) 1st debate – ONE LIE every 95 seconds.
    b) 2nd debate – ONE LIE every 79 seconds.

    Third debate – CAN ROMNEY BREAK THE ONE MINUTE LIE BARRIER?

    October 21, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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