Poll: Obama edges Romney nationally

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Obama takes 49 percent support over Romney at 46. The poll has a 3 percent margin of error.

Obama’s advantage in the Times-CBS poll is in line with the RealClearPolitics average of polls, where he leads by 3.5 percent nationally, after a volatile week in which the candidates reacted to violence in the Middle East as well as to each other’s responses to the unfolding events.

Obama seems to have weathered last Friday’s weak job report, which showed employers added only 96,000 jobs. Economists had expected upward of 150,000 new jobs last month.

The polls had been static for months, but the trend since last week’s Democratic National Convention has been firmly in Obama’s favor, suggesting he is enjoying a bounce from his convention. Republicans suggest it will be short-lived. 

A Reuters-Ipsos poll of likely voters released late Thursday shows Obama with a 7-point advantage; the president leads by 6, according to Gallup’s daily tracking poll; and he has 5-point leads in Fox News and Democracy Corps polls released this week.

The only poll since Labor Day to show Romney in the lead is the daily tracking survey from conservative-leaning Rasmussen, which shows Romney with a 1-point lead.

This is the first time in the cycle the Times-CBS poll has sampled likely voters, rather than registered voters. In the larger sample of registered voters, Obama’s lead widens to 51 to 43.

The gender gap persists in the Times-CBS poll, with Obama leading Romney by 12 among women, and Romney leading Obama by 8 among men.

The poll of 1,170 registered voters and 1,162 likely voters was conducted between Sept. 8 and Sept. 12.