As he today addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference and as he prepares to embark on his weeklong overseas trip, Mitt Romney continues to trail President Obama when it comes to national security and being a good commander-in-chief, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

But the former Massachusetts governor leads on the question that has so far dominated this presidential contest -- the economy.

In the poll, Obama enjoys a 10-point advantage (45 to 35 percent) on who would be a better commander-in-chief, which is essentially unchanged from April.

And he leads by 16 points (48 to 32 percent) on being knowledgeable and experienced enough to handle the presidency, which also is virtually unchanged.

Foreign policy, which is never a Democratic strength, has been a real strength for Obama, says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

Romney has the challenge of passing that commander-in-chief threshold, Hart adds.

Yet on the question of who has good ideas for how to improve the economy, Romney holds a seven-point edge (43 to 36 percent). In April, Romney led here by six points (40 to 34 percent).

But the president leads Romney by 16 points (49 to 33 percent) on who better looks out for the middle class.

Obama and Romney are essentially tied on two other candidate qualities -- being consistent and standing up for his beliefs (37 percent say Obama is better, while 35 percent pick Romney) and changing business as usual in Washington (33 percent say Romney is better, versus 32 percent for Obama).

The full NBC/WSJ poll -- which was conducted of 1,000 registered voters from July 18-22 and which has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points -- will be released at 3:30 pm PT.

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