Although last week’s poll numbers were close, President Obama has maintained a slight advantage over his opponent, Governor Romney overall – but the biggest election news is in a single NBC poll.
Election 2012: State of the Polls
Going into the GOP convention, Romney is behind in major polls by an average of 1.4 percent, according to RealClearPolitics. Of the eight polls conducted last week, Obama held a small edge in all but two, and his lead ranged from one to four points in the polls.
The polls that had Obama in the lead were conducted by Rasmussen, CNN, Associated Press, NBC News, Monmouth and L.A. Times. A Gallup poll indicted Obama and Romney were tied, and a Fox News poll had Romney leading Obama by one point.
August Polls: Big News Among Black Voters Polled
The poll that made headlines last week, however, was conducted August 16-20 by NBC News/Wall St. Journal. Results indicated 0 percent support for Governor Romney among black registered voters, and 94 percent support for President Obama in the same demographic. Six percent of black voters had no opinion regarding these candidates, or were undecided. The NBC News poll also had the highest overall lead for Obama among polls released last week: Obama led Romney by four points.
The “0 percent support” figure does not suggest there isn’t a single black voter in the U.S. who will vote for Romney, but it does indicate that support for Romney amongst blacks may be lower than the poll’s 3.1 margin of error.
The poll was conducted via live interviews of 1000 registered voters. Twelve percent of the sample surveyed, 120 voters, were black.
The poll followed standard polling practices regarding question wording, randomization of questions, and polling a random sample through landline and cell phone contacts.
Romney vs. Obama: Poll is Bad News for Which Side?
Although the poll sounds like bad news for Romney, it actually may suggest a slight uptick in support for Republicans among this demographic. Obama won 2008 with 96 percent of the black vote. If the results of the NBC poll are reflected in the 2012 presidential election, Obama will have a 2 percent loss among blacks. Some of these voters may switch support to Romney or may stay home on election day, either of which hurts Obama – even if Romney does not gain a significantly strong following among African Americans.
RealClearPolitics. General Election: Obama Vs. Romney. (2012). Accessed August 26, 2012.
NBC News: NBC News/Wall St. Journal Survey. (2012). Accessed August 26, 2012.