CNN Poll: Obama tied with Romney & Paul in November showdowns
January 16th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama tied with Romney & Paul in November showdowns

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney is all tied up with President Barack Obama in a likely general election matchup, with the president showing signs of weakness on the economy and Romney seen as out of touch with ordinary Americans, according to a new national survey.

And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday also indicates that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is also even with Obama in another possible showdown this November. The survey also suggests the Republican advantage on voter enthusiasm is eroding, which could be crucial in a close contest.

See full results (pdf)

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According to the survey, if the November election were held today and Romney were the Republican presidential nominee, 48% say they'd vote for the former Massachusetts governor, with 47% supporting the president. Romney's one point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.

The poll also indicates Paul statistically tied with Obama, with the president at 48% and the longtime congressman at 46%. But according to the poll, the president is doing better against two other Republican presidential candidates. If Rick Santorum were the GOP nominee, Obama would hold a 51%-45% advantage over the former senator from Pennsylvania. And if Newt Gingrich faced off against the president, Obama would lead the former House speaker 52%-43%.

Enthusiasm in voting in the presidential election this November now stands at 54% among registered Republicans, down ten points from last October. Meanwhile, enthusiasm among registered Democrats has risen six points, and now stands at 49%.

"In a race that tight, turnout is likely to determine the outcome, and the Democrats have begun to close the 'enthusiasm gap' that damaged their prospects so badly in the 2010 midterms," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

While the Obama re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have all of the GOP White House hopefuls in their sights, they are directing most of their firepower towards Romney, and the poll indicates why that is the case.

According to the survey, both men are seen as strong leaders, and both are viewed as having the personal qualities that a president should have. Forty-eight percent of Americans say that Obama agrees with them on the issues they care about - not great, but better than the 43% who feel that way about Romney.

"But on the economy - issue number one to most Americans - Romney has a clear advantage. 53% say the former Massachusetts governor can get the economy moving; only 40% say that about President Barack Obama," says Holland. "But the numbers are reversed when voters are asked whether the candidates are in touch with ordinary Americans. Fifty-three percent say that Obama is in touch; only four in ten feel that way about Romney."

Obama and Romney are virtually tied on whether they are seen as strong and decisive leaders. The survey indicates that by a 61%-34% margin, Americans say Romney changes his position on the issues for political reasons. By a 56%-42% margin, the public feels the same way about the president.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from January 11-12, with 1,021 adult Americans, including 928 registered voters, conducted by telephone on January 11-12, 2012. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Also see:

Paul scores sought after endorsement in South Carolina

DeMint: I will not endorse

Romney nabs Florida endorsement

FIRST ON CNN: Huntsman to drop out


Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Polls
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Just A Commonguy

    Obama = spineless idiot...America really needs some change in 2012. Let Obama follow Billary into the talk show circuit!

    January 16, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. c'monppl

    I feel like the republicans who aren't voting for Paul really don't understand the fundamental economic problem or they just right him and his supporters off because they listen to the news stations and don't do their homework. Just read a little bit people, and look at what the alternatives are if real change doesn't come.

    January 16, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Spiffy

    So why does the breaking news only say Romney when it is him and Paul who are tied with Obama?

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Josh

    So the article is about how Obama, Romney, and Paul are statiscally tied and then the entire body of the article talks about Romney and ignores Paul.... strong reporting... /SMH

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. ghost of truth

    Top campaign contributors:

    Obama: Goldman Sachs
    Romney: Goldman Sachs
    Paul: Active duty military personell

    It's your choice, just saying...

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Harry Baxter

    ..and in 2008, Obama was way behing John McCain. What's your point? When the truth about Romney is exposed, President Obaba will crush this pretender.

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. mikejones

    hey lets keep asking Paul if he is going to run 3rd party or if he is electable

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. kimo

    A Moron, a Mor(m)on, and a Revolutionary.....hmmmm
    They are all stooges!

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. John R

    Why is 90% of this post (and the headline) about Romney, when Dr. Paul is also tied with Obama in the poll? If two Republicans are tied with the President in a poll, you should cover both men.

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Lindsey

    Ron Paul will work over Obama in a head to head match-up. The people of this country know we are in a bind and we need Paul's principles and integrity to clean up the mess. Obama has failed to unite this country because of his class warfare politics. I was afraid that would be the case when he was elected but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because I thought he might actually be different. He wasn't!!!!!!!!! Ron Paul 2012!!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Adam

    Ron Paul is the only president I will recognize. If Mitt Romney wins, it will be a tragedy.

    January 16, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Wes Monroe

    Obama may be a nice guy and for sure he's a smooth talker.............but one thing is still fact – The Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 23% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove. 2012 will be about jobs and the President doesn't have a clue how to bring jobs to this country. I would be happy if he could just get unemployment back down to the 7.6% it was when he took office.

    January 16, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Gale

    I guess all that hope and change fell through!!

    January 16, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Laura

    That Paul has tied with Obama despite being ignored, ridiculed and marginalized by CNN, FoxNews and the rest of the mainstream media, is very telling. Imagine what he would do if the media actually covered the news instead of engaging in the unprofessional, juvenile behavior we have seen thus far. The media has left quite a bad taste in my mouth.

    January 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. ghost of truth

    Top campaign contributors to them:

    Obama: Goldman Sachs
    Romney: Goldman Sachs
    Paul: Active duty military personell

    It's your choice, just saying... ;)

    January 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Jean Dubois

    This means nothing. Obama will kick both of these jokes' butts.

    January 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. steven

    This is not a good poll! 1,021 voters, that is not a reflection on the United states as a whole.

    January 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    "The survey also suggests the Republican advantage on voter enthusiasm is eroding....."
    ----------------
    After the series of debates that played out in Sept, Oct., and Nov., is it surprising that they are less enthused.

    January 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Andrew

    I voted for Obama in the last election, but will probably vote for Paul in the upcoming election, mostly i just believe the govenment needs to stop needlessly spending money in the middle east and take care of ourselves instead of countries GW Bush decided we need to invade. I care more about the Amercans who are struggling than the Middle Easterners.

    January 16, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Greg

    hahahaha, "In the latest CNN/ORC International Poll, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are tied in a general election matchup. "

    Story "CNN Poll: Obama tied with Romney & Paul in November showdowns"

    What happend to Ron Paul on the front page CNN?

    January 16, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. JasonD

    Finally a mainstream article on CNN mentioning the fact that Ron Paul is statistically tied with Obama......way to go, maybe your not as biased as I thought. To bad they failed to mention it in the headline for the article and only mentioned Rommney ensuring less people will read it.

    January 16, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. BobL

    Romney has said he supports the current GOP congress. Ultimately the question is do you want to balance the budget on social security and medicare cuts or a combination of tax increases and cuts. You simply can't take the amount of money out of medicare and social security they are discussing without massive cuts to the benefit level.

    January 16, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. Joe Shmoe

    Oh, but I thought Dr. Paul was “unelectable”.

    January 16, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. macthek9

    This means that, Obama will win.... And the Ravens are gonna win the SuperBowl!!!! CAW CAW CAW!!!

    January 16, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Muhammad Anwar

    Was is this a breaking news? This is all hypothetical ...

    January 16, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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