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POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll: The Presidential Race is in a Dead Heat :

Obama 48 Percent to Romney 48 Percent

November 04, 2012

202-994-3087; [email protected]
Jill Sankey
202-994-6466; [email protected]

WASHINGTON – If the election were held today, the presidential candidates would be tied 48 to 48 percent, according to a new POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll released today. A few days before Election Day, only three percent of voters remain undecided.

"This Battleground Tracking Poll documents an incredibly tight race nationally," said Christopher Arterton, founding dean of George Washington’s Graduate School of Political Management. "Unless the few remaining undecided voters break decisively for one candidate in the next few days, we can expect a 50/50 outcome on Tuesday.  That raises the prospects of recounts in very close states, or even a split between the popular vote and a victory in the Electoral College."

Both candidates have a positive image with the majority of voters. President Obama has a 51 to 46 percent favorable to unfavorable rating. Governor Romney has a 50 to 44 percent favorable to unfavorable rating. Obama leads with women, African American and Latino voters and voters under age 30. Romney leads with men, white voters, seniors and those who say they are “extremely likely” to vote.

“This is a deadlocked race that will be won by the candidate who is most effective in both connecting with the voters on their deeply held concerns about the direction of the country and at getting their supporters to the polls,” said Ed Goeas, Republican pollster and president/CEO of The Tarrance Group.  “In a political environment where voters are unhappy with the status quo, focused on pocketbooks issues, dissatisfied with the performance of the president on fiscal issues and facing an unemployment rate higher than when Barack Obama took office, Mitt Romney has a much easier task at motivating his supporters to the ballot box.”

When voters are asked which candidate they think will better handle key issues, Mitt Romney leads on the economy (50 to 46 percent), jobs (50 to 46 percent), federal budget and spending (52 to 43 percent) and the ability to get things done (49 to 43 percent). Barack Obama leads on foreign policy (52 to 42 percent), Medicare (51 to 43 percent), standing up for the middle class (55 to 41 percent) and sharing your values (49 to 44 percent). With a 3.1 percent margin of error, the candidates are statistically tied on taxes (49 percent for Obama and 47 percent for Romney) and being a strong leader (49 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney).

Twenty-six percent of Americans have already voted. Among this group President Obama holds a two-point lead 50 to 48 percent. Despite whom they personally plan to vote for, 53 percent of Americans predict that Obama will win re-election.

“The president enters the final push of the campaign with a critical advantage in the early vote, renewed support among Independents and enthusiasm from Democratic partisans,” said Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster and president of Lake Research Partners. “These early advantages coupled with a majority of voters forecasting an Obama victory can help convert these early leads into electoral success Tuesday night. Democratic turnout must remain strong in the final days of the campaign to help the president realize his perceived victory.”

With only two days until Election Day the POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll is a valuable tool in anticipating the outcome and gauging voter attitudes and concerns. Results from the next tracking poll will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 6. For full results and analysis go to or

About the POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll
The Battleground Tracking Polls focus exclusively on voters’ attitudes towards the presidential election, the Congressional election and pressing issues. The tracking polls complement the more extensive polls traditionally released by POLITICO and GW.

The POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll is a nationally recognized, series of surveys conducted by Republican pollster Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. The George Washington University Global Media Institute, affiliated with the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA), serves as the university’s home for the partnership. George Washington’s Gelman Library houses the data archive of the survey results dating back more than two decades. The poll, which is distinguished from other surveys by its presentation of separate analyses from these top pollsters representing both sides of the aisle, surveyed 1,000 registered likely voters nationwide Oct. 29 through Nov. 1, 2012 including a protocol for reaching mobile phone users, and yields a margin of error of + 3.1 percent.        
Interview Opportunities
Christopher Arterton, founding dean of GW’s Graduate School of Political Management; Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners; and Ed Goeas, President/CEO of The Tarrance Group; are all available for comment.  For Mr. Arterton, contact Angela Olson at 202-994-3087.  For Ms. Lake, contact Anderson Gardner at Lake Research Partners, 202-776-9066.  For Mr. Goeas, contact Brian Nienaber at The Tarrance Group, 703-684-6688.

For full results from the latest poll go to and