President Obama has a 1-percentage-point lead over Mitt Romney nationally, according to a hurricane-shortened New York Times/CBS News poll released late Tuesday.
Obama takes 48 percent support over Romney, at 47 percent, according to the poll. That’s in line with the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, which shows Romney holding a slim 47.9 to 47.1 lead over Obama.
Romney’s rise in the polls, following his overwhelming victory in the first presidential debate, has been buoyed by independents, and he holds a wide lead over Obama among this group in the NYT/CBS poll.
The gender gap in the poll is essentially a wash, with Obama leading Romney 52 to 44 percent among women, and Romney leading Obama 51 to 44 percent among men.
In addition, the poll found Republican attacks against the president over the administration’s preparedness and response to the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya could be swaying voters. Only 38 percent said they approved of Obama’s handling of the attacks, against 51 percent who said they disapproved.
Over the last week, the national numbers between Romney and Obama have stabilized, with the candidates consistently polling within 1 point of each other. The race is equally close in the handful of battleground states that will determine the winner of the Electoral College.
The Romney campaign is betting that its slim lead in the national polls is an opening to go on the offensive in states like Pennsylvania and Minnesota. The polls have tightened in those states, although most believe them to be firmly in Obama's column.
The NYT/CBS poll was conducted from last Thursday through Sunday, and was supposed to continue on Monday and Tuesday but was cut short because of Hurricane Sandy. The survey has a 4 percent margin of error.