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. westward

    Obama hasn't even started campaigning yet. I'm not believing that Romney can pull the support of half the nation. I'm just not buying it at all. He can't even get above 25% in his own party.

    January 16, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Benvincible

    I guess they forgot to ask the sample group how Dr. Paul would fair against Obama and the economy... curious.

    January 16, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Dan

    The American people have a choice. It is either Mitt Romney (backed by Goldman Sachs), Barack Obama (backed by Goldman Sachs) or Ron Paul (backed by We the People). Paul IS electable and IS the true conservative in the race who can and WILL defeat Barack Obama. Only Paul can call out Obama on the wars and continuation of Bush's foreign policy without looking like a hypocrite. If Obama and Romney are the ones debating in the general election, there will be no true change. If Paul and Obama debate, the debates will be lively, and there will be a true national discussion of the fundamental issues that are impacting all of us. Go, Ron, go!!! We are all behind you!

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

    How is this a breaking news??? Its a poll not an election result.

    January 16, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. LEROY

    Establishment Tied IN THE POLLS AGAIN!! NO WAY!!

    January 16, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. John

    International Poll??? Does this include non US citizens who cant vote?

    January 16, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Dave

    Right now the best chance Obama has of being re-elected is if Ron Paul runs as third party candidate. Cases in point: CNN's showing Ron Paul's photo along with Obama's and Romney's, and all the pro-Ron Paul comments from Democrats on liberal media sites pretending to be Ron Paul supporters.

    January 16, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. javier

    In a race that close; independents voters, young voters and first time voters will make the difference... and we all know who gets the majority of these votes... Ron Paul

    January 16, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Brett

    It looks like the media has been lying to us. Ron Paul is doing exceptionally well here against Obama, interesting.

    January 16, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. bribarian

    Media still failing to stop Ron Paul

    January 16, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Rawad

    CNN is DISGUSTING!! They're all tied.. why .. why.. wouldn't you put Ron Paul's name on the front page? Why only Romney and Obama? You guys are pathetic. It's SO CLEAR, just knock it off, seriously.. you're becoming nothing but a joke in America.

    January 16, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Larry

    This poll only show just how screwed up the voters in this country is or at least how screwed up the people polled are.

    January 16, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. obamamama

    may the best man win with the interest of the nation first! where's palin? she should run for governor first and after her term is over, join the debates so we'll know if she had learn something.

    January 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. RobertBC

    USA isn't a business, It's a philosophy of ideas to free us of tyranny. The only political philosopher running for President in 2012 is Dr. Ron Paul, all others are just front-men for the mega Corporations. If we are wise enough we may be much freer four years from now.

    Peace to all . . .

    January 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. jason

    All Paul needs to do is run Independent and Obama will win easy.
    Come on Paul we need ya.

    January 16, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Nate

    CNN! Seriously? What in the hell? Are you THAT scared of Ron Paul that you flat REFUSE to put his name in the "Breaking News" notification, even though in your OWN STORY you admit that it would be a statistical THREE WAY TIE?!?!?!
    "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. "

    January 16, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Obama wins.

    January 16, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Joe

    It's about time you posted something positive for Ron Paul. For some reason, the media is not taking him seriously. Thank you CNN, this is the beginning of a media jolt for the next President, Ron Paul.

    January 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. davec

    Romney is leading this poll. If Obama were winning, the CNN headline would be "Obama leads Romney in national poll".

    Biased much?

    January 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. webster

    Ron Paul is the vote for change. Votes for Romney or Obama means more war, more lies

    January 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. willie floyd

    IMO Dems. and Dem. leaning Indeps. learned a very valuable lesson that mid-term elections are very important. They see now what can happen when Rep. obstructionists are voted into congress. They have fought our pres. in every way possible. They continue to tack on totally irrelevant additions to bills, knowing full well the pres. (nor the voters) will accept them. Maybe McConnell has finally realized that we the voters choose our pres.–he doesn't! We'll decide if he has 1 or 2 terms, not him.

    It isn't surprising that enthusiasm among Reps. has lessened-with what they have to choose from–unbelievable!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012/WARREN ANYTIME

    January 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Duane - St. Pete FLA

    we need the economy fixed......good bye Obama!!!!!!!! Romney has loads of successful business experience....Obama...not so much. :o)

    January 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Bill O

    What a bunch og BS. They attack Romney ? All the establishment and the MSM media ( just look att the exemple above ) are attacking and ignoring Ron Paul , yet he manages to get this result in this poll. Imagin what RP,s. number would be if the media gave him just a tiny benefit of the doubt...God Dam this is crazy !!!

    January 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. netnut

    OLD REPUBLICAN PARTY BYE BYE!!!! in with the Old Ways- True Ways , to be New Again/ ;-))
    GO RON PAUL 2012!

    I was a warmonger,voted straight Republican party ticket for 41 yrs! Eyes opened Now!!!!
    Please folk read up on DR. Paul
    Opened my old eyes. Them SOB's have been lying to us for years!!!
    Now i'm MAD!!!!

    January 16, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Justin

    Poll means nothing. Once Obama knows who he's going against it will be like beating up a baby. Romney and Paul are horrible candidates. Economy is only going to get stronger between now and election day.

    January 16, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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