: Back in May, we noticed in our national and state polls that President Obama was at or near 48% in these surveys, which represented a sort of tipping point for an incumbent president. You're very close to that all-important 50%, but still not there. Well, our latest round of national and state polls conducted after the conventions now shows Obama at or near 50%. For instance, our brand-new national NBC/WSJ poll
finds him leading Romney 50%-45% among likely voters and his approval rating sitting right at 50% among registered voters (the first time he's reached that point since March). In addition, last week's NBC/WSJ/Marist polls of Florida (49%-44%), Ohio (50%-43%), and Virginia (49%-44%) had him at or near that 50% threshold. There are exceptions, however: A national AP/GfK poll
has Obama at 47% among likely voters and Romney at 46%, and USA Today/Gallup
has Obama at 48% in the swing states versus Romney at 46%. But there also are other polls showing Obama at or above 50% -- new NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac surveys have him at 51% in Wisconsin, 50% in Virginia, but 48% in Colorado. So Obama's prospects are looking stronger than a month ago. The question is: Can he hold on to this 50% support? If the election were held today, it would probably look a lot like Obama’s job rating in our new poll -- 50% to 48%. ...What’s more, 42% of voters believe the economy will improve in the next 12 months, which is a six-point jump from August and 15-point rise from July. And now get this: Obama is tied with Romney (43% to 43%) on which candidate would be better on the economy. (The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent
points out that this is the sixth recent national poll to show Obama and Romney tied on the economy.) In July, Romney held a six-point edge on this question. As NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter Hart (D) says, “Simply put, it Romney doesn’t win on dealing with the economy, he doesn’t win.” The jump in economic optimism isn’t just being fueled by more Democrats, but also by high single-digit and double-digits shift among self-described indies.