The latest NBC-WSJ poll, conducted September 12-16, finds a competitive Presidential race with Mitt Romney trailing Barack Obama by six points (44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Romney – 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Obama) among registered voters and by five among likely voters (45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} – 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).

Among those “high interest” 2012 voters (i.e. those rating their interest in the election as a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) Mitt Romney leads Obama by three (49{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Romney – 46{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Obama).

Age and Party ID gaps in “high interest” voters continue to suggest a Republican intensity edge. This month, just 49{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of 18-34 year olds are “high interest” while 88{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of seniors (age 65+) are. That is a 39 point gap. In September 2008, that gap was just 9 points (72{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of 18-34 and 81{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of 65+ voters).

Today 71{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Democrats and 80{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Republicans are “high interest” voters a nine point advantage for Republicans. In September 2008, 83{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Democrats and 79{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Republicans were “high interest”, a four point advantage for Democrats.

Amid the protests and breaches of American embassies in Libya elsewhere in the Middle East and across the globe, less than half of voters (49{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) approve of Obama’s job approval on foreign policy and 46{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} disapprove. This represents a drop since August, when 54{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of voters approved and 40{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} disapproved of Obama’s job dealing with foreign policy.

But some of the most important trends in this poll focus on the economy. The poll finds 51{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} disapprove of the job President Obama is doing. This is down from 54{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} disapproval in August.

For two straight surveys the poll has measured more voters saying the economy will get better over the next 12 months. Today, 42{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} say the economy will get better, compared to 36{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} in August and just 27{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} in July. Most of the movement from month to month is being driven by core Democrat-leaning groups.

NBC News / Wall Street Journal — September 12-16, 2012 (PDF Format)

Public Opinion Strategies