President Obama clings to a small lead nationally in a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, leading Republican Mitt Romney 47 percent to 44 percent. The president’s advantage widens in the states typically considered up for grabs — Obama leads by 8 points (50 percent to 42 percent) in a combined sample of voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
“Also in these swing states, Romney’s favorability numbers have dropped, possibly reflecting the toll the negative Obama TV advertisements are having on the former Massachusetts governor in these battlegrounds,” MSNBC’s FirstRead blog wrote. Those attacks include a sustained critique of Romney’s time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm that he co-founded.
Obama’s rating on the economy remains largely unchanged from previous NBC/WSJ polls: 42 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the economy, while 53 percent disapprove — a trend that has held throughout 2012. The numbers also show that Obama’s rebuttal against Romney’s business experience seems to be working.
“A month ago, Romney’s favorable/unfavorable score stood at 34-38 percent nationally and 36-36 percent in the 12 swing states,” FirstRead wrote. “But in this latest survey, his national fav/unfav score is 33-39 percent and 30-41 percent in the swing states. In addition, the poll shows that attitudes about Romney’s business background - a frequent target in Obama ads — also are more unfavorable in these battlegrounds.”
The PollTracker Average of the national race shows a dead heat — the candidates are locked at 45.8 percent.
The NBC/WSJ poll used 819 live telephone interviews with registered voters conducted June 20-24. It has a sampling error of 3.4 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.