Voters are nearly evenly split between President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Tuesday evening, which also shows that voters approve more highly of Obama's handling of foreign policy than of the economy.
In the 2012 race, voters favor Obama 47% to 43%, though the results are within the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The survey is in line with other polls of the presidential field, such as an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday morning, which showed Obama at 49% and Romney at 46%.
Voters are inclined against Obama's handling of the economy - 52% disapprove, while 43% approve. The numbers are nearly reversed for his handling of foreign policy. Both numbers are similar to the results of other surveys by the same outlet this year.
Polls have shown the economy as the issue of most concern to voters, and the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows nearly half of voters say they expect the economy to stay stagnant over the next year. One-third expect it to improve, and 19% foresee the economy worsening.
Those surveyed were split when asked whether "Obama has mostly brought about the right kind of change to the country." Thirty-six percent answered affirmatively; 33% percent said he has "brought about the wrong kind of change"; and 29% were skeptical that the president has brought change in either direction.
Twenty-seven percent said they or a family member would be uncomfortable with a president who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which Romney belongs. Forty-one percent said a gay person would cause them or their family discomfort, and 12% said an African-American president would concern themselves or a family member.
The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted from May 16 to 20.