The latest poll conducted jointly by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal shows President Obama maintaining his lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Obama leads Romney by three points among likely voters, 49% to 46%.
"Forty-nine puts you in 'the reelect zone,' as our pollster put it," NBC political director Chuck Todd said Tuesday night on Hardball. What's more, among registered voters, the president is ahead of Romney by seven points, 51% to 44%.
"The president obviously has consolidated his base very well," said Howard Feinman, msnbc political analyst.
Obama is benefiting from the perception that the economy is improving. Forty-four percent expect the economy to improve in the next year. That’s an increase of two points from the last NBC/WSJ survey, released two weeks ago. In fact, the percentage of Americans believing the economy will get better is up eight points since August and 17 points since July.
Not all the news is good for Obama, however. The poll's numbers are slightly worse for him than a similar poll conducted by NBC/WSJ two weeks ago, which showed that Obama’s lead was five points, 50% to 45%.
The poll also showed that "the Republican vote is more enthusiastic," said Todd.
The margin of error is three points, enough to cover the spread among likely voters.