Poll: Race for White House all tied up
October 21st, 2012
02:51 PM ET
2 years 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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. I have a uterus and a brain

    Early Childhood education, medicare, social security, Earned Income Tax Credits, Mortgage Interest deductions, Child Tax credits, access to contraceptives, preventative health exams and health insurance, Pell Grants, federal student loans, charitable deductions, health care deductions, protected federal and tribal lands, renewable resources, equal pay for women, marriage equality, scientific research, public broadcasting, accountability on Wall Street, human rights assistance, and religious freedom. These are all items that Romney, Ryan and Bain want to cut, but will not even come close to paying for the $5 trillion tax cut and increase in military spending they propose. As a young professional with student loan debt worth more than a mortgage, as a wife of a man entering the medical field, as a daughter and granddaughter of women relying on social security and medicare, as an aunt to nephews who will soon be attending college, as a sister to brothers with big dreams abut small businesses, as a future mother, and as a woman, I will not vote for an administration that would jeopardize the progress of America in the 21st century and the future of all those I love.

    October 21, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. check it out

    @Hello
    please take this wit ha grain of salt there are several lies on this comment board

    October 21, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  3. Robert from Ohio

    This final debate will seal the deal for Obama's second term. Romney doesnt stand a chance.

    October 21, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. Jude

    OBAMA 2012! the only one out there for the average american family, student, senior, community, soldier, vet, etc...mittens is a menace, a user and folks, especially the geezers are falling for his "yeah i'm a rich white guy and you can be too" carnival antics. fools mr. mittens could care less about....blind and deaf.

    October 21, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. don knott

    Obama has done nothing in four years except capaign. Obama.... is elitist as well as a socialist and a marxist. Anyone that wants to fundmentallly transform our country needs to be deported. And anyone that doesn't believe in our Constitution can self-deport as well.

    I can't wailt to get rid of this guy.

    October 21, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  6. Bayousara

    STOP PUBLISHING POLLS! STOP TAKING POLLS! You discourage people from voting, MEDIA! And we all know polls and so-called "debates" are media driven for media benefit. I have already voted here in Oregon as have millions of people who took advantage of early voting. And it will be about two and a half years when we start this horrific campaign process again.

    October 21, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. Bayousara

    Romney himself said the White House doesn't create jobs. Yet the GOP is constantly harrassing the prez at campaign stops saying he hasn't created any jobs. Which is it, Mitt?????

    October 21, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Can't believe half this country would vote for such a lying duo, like Romney/Ryan. Outrageous and embarrassing at the same time. Romney represents all that is wrong with America. Women, how can you be so stupid and blind to their agenda?

    October 21, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  9. AnAmericanWHocares

    How would Romney do better on the economy when he left his state of Mas with only a 34 percent approval rate and now those people refuse to vote for him. Don't believe it go look it up last checked he was down 20 pts

    October 21, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  10. thuga

    I like mitt romney becouse he WILL create jobs and get this country out of debt before it can even start to make money, thats what we need. We dont need to owe china anything!

    October 21, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. Kabby

    Surprise eh? Every election since 2000 has been 50/50. Timing with 24 hour news networks money making machines coming to life, if no one listens they don't make money. If they keep spitting out poll numbers Americans eat it up like fat food. If it 65/35 no one votes and no one watches the news. They need eyes to get money from the advertising man. Sorry I'm not fooled by any poll numbers. Here's Kabby's poll, Obama 54% Romney 46%. My poll numbers (by just closing my eyes and picking numbers out of the sky) are probably more accurate than the thousands that are being referenced daily in the news. Let's just vote and get this crapola over!

    October 21, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  12. marg

    For all who criticize Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, you all need to face reality and see the fact that President Barack Obama had his chance at gearing America out of this economic crisis. The good Mr Obama has already done to somewhat stabilize this economy was suppose to be done by him as an incoming President when he was sworn in to LEAD AND GOVERN MY GREAT COUNTRY THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA. Unfortunately, most of what Mr Obama wants to implement Congress WILL NOT ALLOW TO GO THREW because it WILL NOT be for the greater good of all AMERICANS. As an AMERICAN speaking Mr Mitt Romney PLANS for improving this economy can be for the greater good. STOP being BLIND and you all WOULD realize that beneath all the BASHING THAT IS TAKING PLACE DURING THIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, Mr Mitt Romney is the one who REALLY speaks the FACTS OF HOW AND WHATARE THE STRONG POSSIBILITIES IT WOULD TAKE TO BUILD BACK UP THIS ECONOMY. Mr Obama can no longer do it with his IDEAS, many of them has FAILED. THANK GOD FOR A STRONG MINDED LEGISLATIVE CONGRESS.

    October 21, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. no

    I won't vote for a draft-dodging flipper flopping empty-eyed liar.

    Rmoney has no soul, and Rlyan has a shrivelled nasty soul.

    Much as I disagree with some of President Obama's decisions, the man has a real and generous soul. He gets my vote, again.

    October 21, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  14. Z

    Mitt Romney is a Corporate Raider, now called Venture "Vulture" Capitalist who made his money buying small/mid sized businesses with little money down, then borrowed millions on those businesses assets, then sucked all the money out and when those businesses couldn't pay back those massive loans they had to file bankruptcy, lay off or fire employees and most likely go out of business. If not for the Tax incentives created by those in congress, these Vulture capitalist couldn't have gotten away with such questionable financing, funny accounting, and huge leveraging. How anyone can think Romney is qualified to be President because he knows how to manipulate the system, is beyond me.

    Willard M.Romney is a destroyer, he bought companies to destroy them and the employees along with and that makes him good for our economy? Good Grief, how low can we go, to even think Romney, who has No Character, No Soul, with questionable accounting abilities, along with questionable monies kept offshore, in questionable accounts, could be elected to the highest office this country has to offer, NO WAY!
    Lets hope more than half of the American People in this Nation have the common sense they were born with, still connected to their brains, when it comes to who's more qualified to be President.
    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 21, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  15. Frankly Speaking

    All tied up?

    Not a chance with all the voter suppression tactic that Republicans are employing.

    Remember the motto of the GOP: If you can't win legally, CHEAT!

    October 21, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  16. AmThi Lich

    Obama has his chance already, unable to make it.
    It's time for a new try.

    October 21, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  17. OHsix

    I am a soldier with a fairly broad experience base, catholic and work within multiple communities around the world, I would ask all to look at facts listen to what the candidates have consistently said and then let the data tell you...not the candidates or the advocates from MSNBC or FOX News. These two news agencies have fueled the greatest division in this Nation since Lincoln's reelection. As a result, we the servants in elected positions aren't focused on issues they have to focus on fighting perception and each other their entire term. Note the great laws that were passed in massachusetts were the product of an 87% Democratic team of which Romney got credit...the ideas nor laws were his. Similarly the balance budget of the 1990s wasn't Clinton's it was a Newt Gingrich led Congress who set the table for that budget. Let's start getting smarter and hating less. To put my opening statement in context. Anyone who talks about a strong military without some constraint aren't patriots...and need to read Eisenhower. Separation of Church and state is a two way street, my faith is mine I don't want legislation to restrict me or oppress others liberties...protect my right to practice my faith–not the businesses endorsed by my faith. Lastly, for those of us who profess faith in Jesus, he preached tolerance and truth. Be balanced and vote your conscience.

    October 21, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  18. Nick

    Gallup poll, which is the right one. Says 52 percent of likely voters are going romney. Wow cnn

    October 21, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  19. Name

    Whatever – let's take another pole with a statistically insignificant same size and write an article about it.

    October 22, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  20. Bryan

    David S. As someone who lives in Massachusetts and knows what Romney's plan would look like. Unless it's changed since he was Governor here, it won't cover pre-existing conditions.

    October 22, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  21. Eric

    Mr. Romney really connected with me in the last debate when he said regulation on small business has quadrupled in the last four years. I know many of you who support Obama (and I respect your opinions) think he is great but quietly his administration has regulated many businesses (such as mine) to the verge of collapse. Mr. Obama simply doesn't understand the role of small business cause he has never owned his own. Instead he simply sees businesses as a source of revenue for a big government. This mindset will hurt small businesses and ultimately hurt our abilities to create new jobs. Think about it...

    October 22, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Total garbage – as NBC/WSJ polls generally are. The gap between them among women is much closer but NBC wants to create the illusion that Obama's "firewall" among women is intact. Yet, a dozen other polls don't lie: Obama is in trouble. That's why the CNN/ media bias will get more pronounced as Election Day nears. Crowley was only the tip of the iceberg. As corrupt Chicago Dems have corrupted the democratic process, the media will work with the current cabal until its desired Leftism wins. America needs to wake up and realize it continues to be manipulated by polls and anything else the media can find.

    October 22, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  23. Alan

    Sad to read the comments of the naive young people on this board. In twenty years they will be beating their heads against the wall when they think back of their "Hope and Change" vote for Obama.

    October 22, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  24. Yo

    Obama had his chance and blew it.

    October 22, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  25. Purevil

    Can't wait to come on here and listen to the crying when Romney wins. You clueless libs are hilarious!!

    October 22, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10