Obama 50%-Romney 45% in new poll
September 18th, 2012
10:21 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama 50%-Romney 45% in new poll

(CNN) - A new national poll released Tuesday indicates President Barack Obama with a slight edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with the candidates' numbers virtually unchanged compared to their positions before the two parties' conventions.

The NBC News/ Wall Street Journal survey found Obama at 50% and Romney at 45% among likely voters. The president's five point edge is up slightly from a four point 48%-44% margin over Romney in an NBC/WSJ survey conducted in mid August, just before the Republican and Democratic conventions. Obama's five point advantage in the new poll is within the survey's sampling error, meaning the race can be seen as a tie.

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The new poll was conducted entirely before Monday afternoon's release of secret recordings of remarks that Romney made at a private fund-raiser in May, where he described supporters of President Barack Obama as dependent on government. Fallout from the controversial clips has dominated coverage of the race for the White House for the past 24 hours.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is the eighth national non-partisan live operator survey to be conducted entirely after the end of both political conventions earlier this month. A CNN Poll of Polls which averages all eight surveys indicates the president at 49% and Romney at 46% among likely voters. The CNN Poll of Polls was compiled Tuesday evening, after the release of the NBC/WSJ survey. Obama's three-point advantage over Romney in the CNN Poll of Polls is approximately where the two candidates stood a month ago, before the party conventions.

Among a wider sample of registered voters, the NBC/WSJ poll indicates the president holding a 50%-44% advantage. This stands in contrast to Gallup's latest daily tracking poll of registered voters, which was also released Tuesday. According to the Gallup numbers, the president is at 47% and Romney at 46%, basically all knotted up. Obama held a seven point lead over Romney one week ago in Gallup's daily tracking poll.

According to the NBC/WSJ poll, Obama saw his high foreign policy approval ratings drop dramatically in the month since the survey was last taken. In mid-August, 54% of registered voters surveyed approved of his handling of foreign policy, while 40% disapproved. But the Tuesday ratings indicated an approval rating only 3% higher than his disapproval rating on the matter, 49% to 46%. Since the August survey was conducted, three Americans, including the ambassador to Libya, were killed in an attack on the consulate in that country, while elsewhere in the Middle East protesters have clashed with police around U.S. diplomatic posts. Romney was quick to criticize the president's handling of the situation in the Middle East.

Overall, however, Obama saw his approval rating reach 50% among registered voters for the first time since March of this year.

And registered voters also rate Obama's handling of the economy slightly better than they did last month. It now stands at 47%, up three percentage points since the August survey. .

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey included 900 interviews, 736 of whom were considered to be likely voters. The overall sampling error was 3.27%, and the poll was conducted by telephone between September 12 and 16.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Sonny

    Why doesn't the press report some of Obozo's remarks made in private. Our totally biased liberal press is helping to kill our democracy through their yellow journalism reporting.

    September 19, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    Hubble bubble, toil and trouble who on earth believes any of this polling rubble and garbage. I am amazed at gallup a 7% change is extraordinary without saying why it ocurred I'll have to lokk up the cpmparative polls before I think thats not a misprint or misstype.
    Its interesting I have been occasionally contacted in the past by pollsters but am no longer. I guess the reason was too often I answered undecided because I thought the question(s) too intrusive. if you have large numbers of undecideds in polls the margin of error grows so you exclude them.
    I want polls to say contacted say 1500 repondents 1000, and of those 1000 registered dems X repubs Y ot its just likely voters. This latter is not really helpful as it introduces another statistica data point that cannot be averaged or a median more correctly determined as in theory you know not who is registered or not or to which party in likely voters. QED the numbers areless statisticaly viable and automatically have large margins of error.
    Also CNN if you show say 52 for obama and 45 Romney with 3% margin of error Obama wins as best case is + 3% to Romney = 48% and -3% to Obama = 49% Obama is winning even allowing for margins of error. you sometimes ignore this simple math.
    PS fed up of seeing McCain Obama stats by state top left of the magic wall. irrelevant this time around.

    September 19, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  3. Mike

    Just a bump, when Americans realize just how badly Obama bungle the Libyan fiasco those who truly care about America will not vote for Obama. His foreign policy is a shambles, why isn't the news media telling the real story if not the fact they are too busy cheer leading for Obama. If not before, the liberal leaning news media is definitely irrelevant.

    September 19, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  4. TeenBo

    NBC polls registered voters and is worthless. Rasmussen polls likely voters and offers a far more accurate picture of how the race really stands. I check here every morning ~ 8:45am: http://tinyurl.com/9kjgr55

    September 19, 2012 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  5. hoosier1234

    "The NBC News/ Wall Street Journal survey found Obama at 50% and Romney at 45% among likely voters."

    Odd. Two other national polls have Romney either ahead (Rasmussen) or one point behind (Gallup).

    September 19, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  6. honest mari

    Coward ever America. Obama Biden 2012
    God bless America.

    September 19, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  7. Lurking247

    NBC polls registered voters and is worthless. Rasmussen polls likely voters and offers a far more accurate picture of how the race really stands. I check here every morning ~ 8:45am: http://tinyurl.com/9kjgr55

    September 19, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  8. Questions401

    As some one who works very hard at jobs they are legally allowed to pay less then minimum wage I am insulted by Romney's remarks about the 47% yes I get food stamps that does not mean I'm lazy... I do the jobs no one wants, washing dishes waiting tables and flipping burgers! If I don't do them who will huh?

    September 19, 2012 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  9. Richard

    How long you you ridiculous leftists think you can live by borrowing off China, by printing money that has no base value (welcome back inflation after 25 blissfully inflationless years) and by pretending you can maintain a lifestyle you no longer have the economic production to sustain? You last gasp will be looting the rich so they can keep your fantasy going, for a very short time anyway.

    September 19, 2012 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  10. scott

    NBC, why everyone knows it has left leaning views, so it is going to skew the polls, Polls like Gallup and the Ramussen polls are more middle of the road.

    September 19, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  11. Willard Romney

    I am a loser

    September 19, 2012 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  12. Jeff

    What CNN doesn't say is the poll is sampled 10% more towards the DEMs so its not a fair poll. The same with CNN's poll. CNN is pretty much campaigning for obama.

    September 19, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  13. sohappy

    sheeple vote. sad

    September 19, 2012 05:17 am at 5:17 am |
  14. n

    Constant polling by the I have nothing else to do media, have virtually ruined the credibility of political polling. Too many, too often with less than steady results, are a waste and shows a fickle and bi-polar electorate. So I say to the self appointed Poll gods, "Go stick a poll in it"!

    September 19, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  15. David Jones

    50% Obama to 45% Romney is well above the 3.27% sampling error. Also, if Romney is consistently below Obama in the Poll of Polls then the sampling error must be weighted in favour of Obama which means Obama's number in the latest poll is most certainly above 50%. So the race is not a tie and Obama has a significant lead.

    September 19, 2012 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  16. DENNA

    I'm starting to think that Mittens is in the tank for President Obama. His many and varied gaffes are becoming almost more than can be overcome and we still haven't heard about this economic plan for America yet. I'm guessing that's going to be a real doozy and will further screw up his campaign. Mitt Romney – Most entertaining candidate for all times. Not a great choice for the GOP, but funny as heck.

    September 19, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  17. johnmenacherjr

    Dont give a crap I have never been called for a poll as no land line. As a 47% person here I am sick of Romney and the friggen media making excuses for his boorish and aloof behavior. It is like watching someone enable a drunk. He is slime nothing better.

    September 19, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  18. disgustedvet

    A "real " poll taken by Gallup shows O@47 % &R@46% . NBC poll ? Get outta here ,is this a joke article ?

    September 19, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  19. Get Real

    Why do they keep showing these lame and meaningless polls. Here is a thought, how about you do not show any polls and then use all your effort to examine and breakdown the polls the day after election night where they will actually be relevant. All these useless polls do is try to sway undecided voters.

    September 19, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  20. clocker1

    really. Gallup's poll came out yesterday showing Obama with a one point lead. Rasmussen shows them tied and you quote an NBC poll. Propaganda equal only to the old Soviet Union.

    September 19, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  21. Starquelius

    I will continue to ignore polls such as these that use 2008 demographic voting rates which over samples democrats by 5-8% after how much the Republican base has been fired up since 2010 to get this guy out of office. Additionally, giving 12%-13% turn out to African Americans who aren't going to show up because they're either offended by gay marriage support or Obama didn't pay their electric bill like they thought he would distorts these polls point by point since they almost unanimously vote democrat. These polls are nothing but propaganda by the Liberal media to discourage voter turn out of Republicans by attempting to make them think the race is already over.

    September 19, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  22. Mr P

    HAHAHAH the Communist News Networks comes out again with another big left leaning communist poll. Your the olnly one reporting these numbers fools.

    September 19, 2012 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  23. Seven gartner

    This country is high on meth if they vote for that "Joseph Smith the Prophet" Believin fool!

    September 19, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  24. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    if obama wins 100% destruction of America, fema camps, ss troopers, no ownership, no jobs, lots of welfare and a dictator. the useless and godless people have caused this.

    September 19, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    September 19, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
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