National Journal Poll: Obama, Romney Tied Heading into Debate

The last National Journal poll two weeks ago showed Obama leading by seven points, so this dead-heat seems to mark a significant shift:

Obama and Romney each pulled in 47 percent support in the poll among likely voters. It is among the narrowest margins of several presidential surveys published ahead of the debate this week. Other polls have shown the president with a slim lead. In this survey, while the race is tied among likely voters, Obama has a 5-point lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, among registered voters.

Is a trend in the works? It may be too early to say, but the WSJ/NBC News poll also shows slightly improved numbers for Romney (he’s down three points, as opposed to five points mid-September), and Gallup has encouraging news for the Romney campaign’s economic message in its latest poll:

Romney also fares better than Obama when Americans are asked to say whether the economy will be better or worse in four years if each is elected. Overall, 50% say the economy will be better if Romney is elected and 35% worse, for a net score of +15. Obama’s net score on the same question is +8, with 48% predicting the economy would be better in four years if he is re-elected and 40% saying it will be worse.

Despite snap-predictions from so-called expert pundits, this race certainly didn’t end in September. Obama’s post-convention bounce is flattening out, and his alarming response to the terrorist attack in Libya appears to be eroding his lead on foreign policy. The WSJ/NBC News poll shows Obama leading Romney by six points on that issue (46 percent to 40 percent), as opposed to the 15-point advantage he had in July (47 percent to 32 percent).