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. joeknockz

    Dead heat my Rumpney. Mitt would have to almost win every state that they're within 3 points of in the polls. Even the states that Obama is up by a few points. Mitt would have to somehow win all of those states and then he could maybe pull out a miracle if he gets every other state they're predicting. Obama is up by 60 Electoral votes.... I'm sorry but mark my words there is NO realistic way Romney can win. All you Romney lovers don't even waste your time voting.

    October 21, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. yvette

    Vote for Romney and when cant find a job you can self deport yourself to China. America is in for a rude awakening. Good luck!

    October 21, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. canada

    Am not from America. Am a canadian. I bet u politics will turn America to a third world country

    October 21, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. NameDavid Ravalier

    I am of the view if the people of the US vote the conversetive party they will plunge the world into more wars and harder times please people give peace a chance don't vote mitt rommeny

    October 21, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. real. ja.

    On, sunday nov. 4 the whole world will know who will win the election. It's called the Redskins factor (nfl football)

    October 21, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. charles oreilly

    We are voting for president barack obama .florida and ohio we need those electorial votes for both states.we believe president barack obama will win the final debate.we have over 1 million people out talking with voters.we have set up 1 hour discussion groups for the final two weeks of the campaign every night .we are very concerned about this years election and we believe in the end america will through intelligence of the voters elect the best candidate for the united states president

    October 21, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. eleanor

    I was a small child when the political pundits declared GOP candidate Dewey a sure thing in the 1940s. The newspapers had even printed their front pages declaring his victory. Surprise – Harry Truman won! My father was ecstatic! There is no such thing as a "sure thing" in politics!. BUT, as far as I am concerned, the "Citizen's United" Supreme Court decision declaring big corporations are people and that their massive donations to politicians is "free speech", This is the single most dangerous and important issue of our times. Soon we are likely to b stuck with the best government that money can buy! And neither candidate is mentioning it. And major media is ignoring too because they are also the beneficiaries! How long before we have an election, but nobody came?

    October 21, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. Bronaugh

    A Willard Romney Administration would be as empty and deceptive as is the non-specific campaign he has waged. The things said at a 30k a head dinner reflect what lives in his heart, and has been exercised in the working American livelihoods Bain Capital has managed to wholesale and ship to foreign sweat shops and call centers.

    October 21, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  9. frank thomas

    I live in California where Obama is ahead by at least 20 points so we see no political ads for president, I worked at the local county fair and we registered 100,s of new Democrats. I just hope all the registered democrats vote Nov. 6th if they have not already, everyone in my household has already voted, thank you very much

    October 21, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. Ivywoods

    @David S...Mitt has no healthcare plan, so no his doesn't cover pre-existing conditions. Vote for this man at your own risk, because if he gets elected the policy which covers pre-existing conditions for your little baby will be eliminated...Romney say he will get rid of ObamaCare on day one...and on day two children like your son and others will cease to have healthcare coverage. Blessings to you and your baby son...I pray you make the right decision.

    October 21, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. TAX CHEAT CONSULTANT

    I am embarrassed to say that I worked for one of the world's largest tax consultancies after graduating from an Ivy League school in 2010. I got to see first hand how corporations and billionaires evade taxes, so that the middle class gets stuck paying more than their fair share.

    First of all, I just want everyone to know that the wealthy DO NOT PAY TAXES in this country, anymore. Those charities you hear about? They are owned by friends and family of the donor. So, if A donates to B's charity, and B donates to A's charity, they have both essentially just helped each other evade taxes completely on all of that money.

    It is not fair, but it is legal, because the rich people are paying the politicians, and the politicians are writing anything the rich people want into law – and into tax law.

    We need to take back our country. Romney is one of them. He doesn't care HOW he and his rich friends make money – even if it means hurting the American poor and middle class people.

    Take back our country!

    October 21, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Robert

    This shows the mentality of Obama, no wonder he cannot work with congress. We teach our children not to make fun of people or joke about their names and what does Obama teach the world? He teaches the children that it is perfectly ok to make fun of someones name. If Obama is elected I hope the Senate will not pass to extend his spending spree and lets see where that will take Obama. He has no clue how to get along with congress so we will have another 4 years of him fighting with the Senate. This country is in trouble if Obama is re elected.
    I do not need Obama telling me what Romney said all the time, I want Obama to tell me what he is going to do any different the next 4 years than he has done the last 4 years. All he continues to do is distort what Romney said and tells us in a distorted fashion what Romney said. I can tell you one thing Obama said on the 2nd debate was that he was not interested in all the little jobs coming back from China. All he was concerned with was the scientists and engineers. Wonder what his first job was? Oh thats right he has never had one.

    October 21, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Johnny DC

    There are two kinds of people – those who actually understand how the economy works, how to read through smokescreens and lies spread by the media and focus on the real issues, and aren't swayed by attempts to be cool or popular.... and blind Obama supporters.

    October 21, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  14. DuWayne

    Does anybody see an irony here. In one poll show both candidates tied at 47%. Is that the 47% of Americans that Romney was referring to? Sure seems odd that 47% is the number this year.

    October 21, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. 2012 political discourse is rediculous

    People going on rediculous rants that are radically partisian only appeal to those who share their beliefs and don't change any minds.... why do it? Stop being so influenced by alarmists, if Romney wins or Obama wins, your life will not significantly change. Romney is not going to ruin America, neither is Obama. Stop making your political affiliation a moral issue, it really doesn't matter that much. Instead, just go vote for the ideology that best resemmbles yours and don't criticize other people's.... we all want the same thing in the end anyway.

    Honestly, neither candidate is a terrible choice. In the end, they are two guys who want to be president who have been painted out to be a bad people by eachother and good people by themselves. They both are acting the exact same way you would act if you were in their shoes.

    October 21, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Short Attention Span

    Poll: It's all tided up, except Romney is in the lead. Obama showed his true Marxist colors and independents won't vote for a known Marxist.

    October 21, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. Vazquez

    You poor saps who think Obama is your savior to a better life!!!! He's got you all fooled that he cares about you!!! Lets be honest with ourselves if we really think our lives are going to change that much no matter who's in office because they are just puppets for wall st and bankers in Europe .... Obama is trying to convince us all that a new world order is good for us and I'm sure Romney will say the same!!! We should all be worrying how to stop this from happening

    October 21, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. augustghost

    Just shows how stupid half this country is... forgot how things got so bad ??? Bush and his right wing pirates...thats how

    October 21, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. Mike Davis

    I feel so sorry for the middle class and lower middle class worker who in an act of desperation will take their vote and cast it for a man who made his fortune by outsourcing their jobs to China and India. And this person says he is going to get tough with China? Get real.

    October 21, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. Clayton W Davis

    If Mittens wins this election, then America is DEAD. The Republicans will have WON their pledge to utterly DESTROY Obama, while they helped destroy our nation in the process. I predict that the USA will very soon sink into anarchy and another Civil War. The racists and the evangelicals CARE NOT for our country. They care ONLY to establish a christian, theocratic state, with Franklin Graham as our new SECRETARY OF RELIGION. God help us.

    October 21, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. EJ

    Lets assume Mitt Romney is suceeds at misleading the voters or is sucessful with voter suppression and becomes president. If the senate act as obstructionist as GOP house members has and blocks everything that he attempts to, will those of you who are his supporters label him a failure as you are with Obama or will you complain that he has been hindered.....

    October 21, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  22. reid

    The media wants it to be close. They make ads for whoever is losing.

    October 21, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. Namesake

    The polls are bias toward Obama- Romney by a landslide.

    October 21, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. Scat398

    So many americans are willing to believe the mass media portrait of romney. There is no war against women, atleast not from the republican side. Just wait liberals if nationalized health care becomes a reality youll be waiting months for basic women health needs. The true war on women and all americans is the war on your personal liberties. Beware the man that says he is here to free you, and all you need to do is let him have have complete control.

    October 21, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  25. Ktravel

    We own three small businesses and added 30 new employees but will fire them with Obama win since small business won't survive his taxes and WE DON'T OWN THEM OBAMA DID ALL THE WORK

    October 21, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
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