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NBC/WSJ poll: Presidential contest now tied

NBC's David Gregory makes sense of new polls showing conflicting leads in the 2012 presidential race.

 

Heading into Monday's final debate and with just over two weeks until Election Day, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are now tied nationally, according the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Obama and Romney both get 47 percent among likely voters in the latest edition of the poll, conducted entirely in the aftermath of the second presidential debate last Monday. In the last national NBC/WSJ poll, which was conducted before debate season began, the president held a narrow, three-point lead over his GOP challenger, 49 percent to 46 percent.

But among the wider pool of all registered voters in this new survey, Obama is ahead of Romney by five points, 49 percent to 44 percent.

Looking at some of the most important demographic groups, Romney leads among men (53 percent to 43 percent), Obama is up with women (51 percent to 43 percent) and they are essentially tied among voters in the Midwest.

The full poll — which was conducted Oct. 17-20 among 1,000 registered voters and 816 likely voters — will be released at 6:30 pm ET tonight.

The margin of error is plus-minus 3.1 percentage points for the sample of registered voters and plus-minus 3.43 percentage points for the sample of likely voters.