President Obama has a 5-point national lead in a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. Obama leads Mitt Romney 50 percent to 45 percent among likely voters.
The president has been trending up after a successful Democratic convention and hisresponse to the attacks on American embassies in the Middle East.
Optimism on the economy, according to the pollsters, is the driving force behind Obama's strong polling. The number of Americans who think the country is on the right track improved by 7 points, to 39 percent.
"Forty-two percent of voters also believe the economy will improve in the next 12 months, which is a 6-point jump from August, and a 15-point rise from July," according to NBC's FirstRead blog. "What's more, 47 percent of registered voters approve of the president's handling of the economy -- up 3 points from last month. Obama's overall job-approval rating stands at 50 percent for the first time since March."
Obama leads Romney by 4.1 percent in the PollTracker Average.
Other polls have also shown Obama's rating on the economy ticking up slightly. "Simply put, if Romney doesn't win on dealing with the economy, he doesn't win," Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who helped conducted the poll, told FirstRead.
Romney has suffered a brutal few weeks on the campaign trail, and his personal rating in the NBC/WSJ poll reflects that somewhat. In August, 38 percent of voters had a favorable view of him, and 44 percent had an unfavorable view. In the latest poll, 38 percent favorable view him favorably, compared with 43 percent who view him unfavorably.
The NBC/WSJ poll used 900 live telephone interviews with likely voters, 630 by landline and 270 via cell phone. It was conducted Sept. 12-16. That sample was whittled down to a likely voters sample of 736, which has a sampling error of 3.6 percent.