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. NYVeteran

    It is no wonder that the President has pulled ahead with Romney'$ bone headed last few weeks. LIke George Bush he will not admit to a mistake, will not fire his team ("I like to fire people"), and he blames leaks to the media rather than the facts of the content. The release of the 1998 remarks by Obama is so painfullly transparent. If the standard by which we measure them now is 1998, why isnt Faux News discussiing Romney'$ pro choice stance in 1998? He shipped jobs overseas in 1998 at the helm of Bain. If you watched Faux last night they didnt discussed his latest gaffe at all. You would think it didnt happen.

    September 19, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  2. Anonymous

    we are all dependent on govt. at least a tiny bit, ask mitt romney if drives on the interstate, or uses the internet among many other things. The government is'nt the answer to our unemployment problems because jobs are created by the private sector but the government can stimulate growth in key areas that other wise would not see growth. Its good just as long as we arent taking on debt to do it.

    September 19, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  3. Demonfeed

    Sorry Romney, you're going back to selling golden plates.

    September 19, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  4. simpleguy73

    Funny another poll shows Romney winning. Polls are full crap and anyone that thinks they are a "sign of the times" are also full of crap.

    September 19, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  5. bess moore

    Romney cooked his own goose! What a duffus. Is he related to Palin. OMG!

    September 19, 2012 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  6. Brenda Morrisey

    I'd love to know where they get the polling audience. I have never once been polled and no one I know has either. And I know a lot of people. Considering media is predominately Liberal/Democrat run, it's no wonder people think there is media bias towards Liberals/Democrats. I'm looking forward to a Mitt presidency and a ha-ha-ha to media.

    September 19, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  7. Justaguy

    Anytime NBC is involved the poll is as accurate as Saddam's poll where he got 100%. Give me a break. Look at Rasmussen and you shall get the truth. They were found to be the most accurate of them all recently. In a list of 20, NBC wasn't even included.

    September 19, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  8. kevin lanigan


    September 19, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  9. Truth Teller

    No doubt the Right will decry this poll as coming from that "Left Wing Bastion" the Wall Street Journal. 🙂

    September 19, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  10. JPX

    Omaba got Bin Laden, that's all people need to know about his ability to deal with foreign policy. All polls suggest that Obama will beat the vile Romney in November.

    September 19, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Sliding into defeat

    September 19, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  12. liberal disease

    I live in Manhattan and most people I know are tired of Barry's BS! ...the polls are false, the libs want to discourage you and not have a fair debate...The economy is a mess, thanks to Barry and sinking fast and they know it

    September 19, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. Mike

    If Obama is up 5%, and the sampling error is also 5%, that doesn't mean it is statistically a tie. If that were true it could also be true that Obama was up 10%.

    September 19, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  14. Lean6

    50-45...it's not really even that close. Most people voting for President Obama are sane and in disbelief to find out how irrational their neighbors and co-workers are. We'll let the conservatives foam at the mouth day in and day out. See you at the polls.

    September 19, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  15. zaggs

    So Obama is up 5 in a poll that has a D+5 sample. That means turnout has to be close to 2008 and not 2010 for the poll to be considered accurate.

    September 19, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  16. Joan

    Gallup Obama 47% Romney 46%... CNN is the most bias BS on the net.

    September 19, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  17. Joe The Plumber

    The GOP has gone soooo far right and lives soooo much in the "bubble", they fail to recognize that their message needs to appeal to more than themselves. Remember Goldwater?

    September 19, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  18. Guest

    If it is within the margin of error, Romney has a pretty good shot at this, since conservatives historically have a better voter turnout percentage. This will all come down to turnout

    September 19, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  19. Rob - NYC

    The lead will continue to increase especially after the first debate.

    September 19, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. CraigM

    If Obama gets reelected then the people of this country deserve what they get and it won't be pretty. Loss of our history; loss of our culture; loss of religious freedoms; loss of everything we hold dear!! The ones who will benefit are the ones who won't take responsibility for themselves!!

    September 19, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  21. Meh.

    FOUR Americans were killed, not three.

    September 19, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  22. Al

    WOW....lets listen to another NBC poll. RIGHT!!!!!! As bad as the CNN Polls....New this morning is also the poll showing Romney at 48% and Obama at 46%. Why aren't you liberals reporting the truth now ???????????????

    September 19, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  23. Zoey

    Polls are meaningless. For example: if the majority of pollers were republicans or democrats that would skew the numbers and the vast majority of people don't vote in polls so ..... I just read a "poll" that said Obama has a 91% chance of being re-elected so....
    Any candidate who has to spend his time covering his a s s over what he said in the past is not winning material. Get used to it republicans. Obama will have another four years. Thank God!

    September 19, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  24. David

    Gallop pole is unbiased. Its tied at 50-50 now.

    September 19, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. Dar

    And another poll shows: New Gallup survey results out Tuesday show Obama leading Mitt Romney by a single percentage point.

    The 47-46 point lead represents a much tighter race than just a week ago. Poll results last week showed Obama leading by 7 points, on the heels of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C

    It just depends on what you want to believe and who prints this garbage.

    September 19, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
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