October 30, 2012
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS PUBLIC OPINION POLL FINDS
PRESIDENTIAL RACE TOO CLOSE TO CALL

ROMNEY LEADS BY ONE POINT NATIONALLY, OBAMA AHEAD IN KEY SWING STATES

POLL OF LIKELY VOTERS HIGHLIGHTS 12 BATTLEGROUND STATES

With one week until Election Day and a ferocious storm disrupting both campaigns, an NPR News bipartisan public opinion poll has President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in a virtual tie among likely voters nationwide with Romney inching ahead by one percentage point. The tide shifts slightly in 12 key battleground states, with the President leading by 4 points. This is the third and final NPR News poll of Election 2012; the last survey, out the morning of the first Presidential debate on October 3, had Obama leading Romney 51-44.

Full results are available now at the It's All Politics blog and are being reported on Morning Edition by National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson and Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving.

For the NPR Poll, Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Whit Ayres surveyed 1,000 likely voters nationwide with an over-sampling in 12 battleground states considered crucial to the outcome of this election: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday (October 23-25). The margin of error is 3 percentage points for the national sample, and 4.5 percentage points for the smaller subsample (462 respondents) in the battleground.

Among the findings:
  • Impact of the debates: 33% of likely voters said the debates made them more likely than they had been to vote for Romney. Just 28% said the debates made them more likely to vote for the President.

  • Shifting preferences of independents: Ayers says most of the gains for Romney have come from independents, who went from favoring Romney by a few points before the debates to favoring him 51% to 39% after the debates.


  • Approval for both candidates in the battleground: Attitudes for Obama are better there (favorable 54% to unfavorable 44%), than for Romney (46% favorable to 49% unfavorable).
  • NPR News Election 2012 reporting to date is aggregated at the "Election 2012" hub. Coverage plans for Election Night will be announced tomorrow.