It’s beginning to look a lot like 2004, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.
President Obama leads presumptive former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 4 points, 47 percent to 43 percent, in the new national survey, in line with most national polls on the presidential race over the last two weeks.
“Obama’s chances for re-election … are no better than 50-50,” Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff, told MSNBC’s First Read. Hart said Obama still faces considerable hurdles — most notably that the economy is still perceived as stagnant.
Here’s how NBC broke down the poll’s demographic groups:
In the newest poll, Obama leads Romney among African Americans (88 percent to 2 percent), 18 to 34 year olds (55 percent to 35 percent), women (53 percent to 38 percent), independents (44 percent to 36 percent), and seniors (46 percent to 44 percent).
Romney, meanwhile, holds the advantage with whites (52 percent to 39 percent), men (49 percent to 40 percent), suburban residents (47 percent to 41 percent), Midwest residents (48 percent to 43 percent), and high-interest voters (47 percent to 44 percent).
The TPM Poll Average of the overall race shows President Obama with a small 1.4 percent lead, while the trend chart below shows that Americans are still skeptical of his handling of the economy: Only 43.2 percent say they approve of Obama’s handling of the economy in the average, while 53.1 percent say they disapprove. The NBC/WSJ poll said much the same — 43 percent approved while 52 percent disapproved.
NBC’s Mark Murray also pointed out striking similarities to the contest between then-President Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). “According to the May 2004 NBC/WSJ poll, Bush’s approval rating was 47 percent (Obama’s is 48 percent); just 33 percent thought the nation was headed in the right direction (33 percent say that now); and approval of Bush’s handling of the economy was at 41 percent (Obama’s is 43 percent),” he wrote.
The new NBC/WSJ poll used 840 interviews with registered voters conducted May 16-20, and has a sampling error of 3.38 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.