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Paul Ryan Pick No 'Game Change,' New Poll Says

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Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan arrives for a campaign rally at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center on Aug. 21, 2012, in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan arrives for a campaign rally at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center on Aug. 21, 2012, in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WASHINGTON -- With the first of the nominating conventions less than a week away, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll adds more evidence that the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate has not been a "game changer" in the 2012 race for the White House.

The latest poll of 1,000 registered voters nationwide, surveyed from Aug. 16 to 20, found President Barack Obama with a narrow 4 percentage point lead (48 to 44 percent) over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. That's slightly narrower than the previous NBC/WSJ poll in July, which showed Obama leading by 6 points (49 to 43 percent). Support for each candidate in the newest survey fell within the margin of sampling error.

That new result squares with the HuffPost Pollster chart, based on all available public polls, which shows no significant change in the Obama-Romney race since the spring.

Separately, a polling tracking model created by political scientist Simon Jackman exclusively for The Huffington Post finds that as of Monday, national-level vote preferences were "virtually unchanged" since Ryan's selection and remain "all but indistinguishable from where they have been for months."

Beyond vote preferences, the NBC/WSJ poll also found that Romney's selection of Paul Ryan "had less of an impact on voters than previous running mates have had." Roughly the same number said Ryan's selection made them more likely to support the Republican ticket (22 percent) as said they were less likely (23 percent), with more than half (54 percent) saying it made no difference. According to NBC, "that margin (-1) is compared with Joe Biden's in 2008 (+8), Sarah Palin's in 2008 (+9 percent), John Edwards' in 2004 (+21), and Joe Lieberman's in 2000 (+13)."

The poll also asked about the Ryan proposal to "change how Medicare would work so seniors being enrolled in the program ten years from now would be given a guaranteed payment some call a voucher from the federal government." Given descriptions of the positions of both Romney and Obama, 54 percent said they agreed more with Obama and only 34 percent said they agreed more with Romney.

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