A late surge in support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has put him in a dead heat with President Barack Obama with just over two weeks to go before the election, according to a new nationwide Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday.
Among likely voters, the candidates are now tied, 47% to 47%, in a race that appears on track to be one of the closest in U.S. history.
Mr. Romney has pulled abreast of the president for the first time all year in the Journal poll, erasing a three-point lead among likely voters that Mr. Obama had in late September and a five-point lead earlier that month. Mr. Romney's surge followed his strong debate performance in Denver early this month and a contentious second debate with Mr. Obama last week.
With the contest deadlocked and just 5% of voters undecided, the campaigns will now turn heavily to state-by-state efforts to rouse their base and get out the vote.From Public Policy Polling:
PPP's newest Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 49-48, down from a 51-46 advantage a week ago. Romney's closing the gap thanks to a lead among independents (49/42) and because the Republican base is continuing to become more unified around him with 90% of GOP partisans now saying they'll support him compared to 85% a week ago. Ohio voters think Obama won the debate this week 48-39, but that doesn't seem to extend to more people voting for him.
Obama does have one big advantage in Ohio though- he's already winning the election there. 21% of voters in the state say they've already voted, and they report having supported Obama 66/34. Romney has the 52/44 advantage among those yet to cast their ballots but obviously it's easier to count on votes that are already in the bank.
There are some troubling signs for Obama in the poll though. Ohioans trust Romney more on the economy by a 51/47 margin and trust him more on Libya 49/47. Obama had the advantage on each of those issues in our poll last weekend. Voters do trust Obama over Romney by a 52/44 margin on women's issues, and Obama leads 55/41 with female voters in the poll.
Romney's growing momentum in Ohio is built on strong support from men (57/41) and white voters (55/42). Obama continues to have the small overall advantage based on his strength with women, African Americans (91/9), and young voters (52/39).