CNN Poll: Obama tied with Romney & Paul in November showdowns
January 16th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
3 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. Franky

    I'm thoroughly confused abut this whole economy thing.

    In january, 2009, the economy was in a recession, the recession ended June 2009 by definition, our economy has grown every quarter since June 2009

    in january , 2009 we were losing nearly 750,000 jobs a month, we have added jobs 22 of the last 26 months, I mean we are adding not losing jobs do people not realize this?

    in january, 2009, the dow was below 6000, today it's above 12,000

    I'm perplexed by this whole economy issue, is the economy back to where it was in 2000, nope, but it's not going to be anytime soon, but it is several order of magnitude better than where it was when Obama took over? So, while it isn't to everyones liking the economy, is growing, is adding jobs, and people are making money, so what is the issue? Obama had done a good job on the economy, he needs to start emphasizing these points.

    January 16, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. GOP Hate America

    and that poll means what today when Obama wins a landslide in Nov? McCain was 'tied" also until election day.

    January 16, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. mms55

    there is no contest,obama wins no matter who the gop picks .these guys will lose every debate.

    January 16, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Joe

    Oh CNN, you consistently do your best to keep Ron Paul off of your channel and web site. Ron Paul is the only clear choice!

    Ron Paul 2012!!

    January 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Change

    Tied for what? Picks on the NFL playoffs? Please give me a break!

    January 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Mike Brooks

    Obama's lemmings are living in a fantasy land. Read the news! Europe's economy has collapsed, due in no small part to Obama's money men, and by November the US economy is going to be flat on it's back. Obama will lose, even your silly Obama-Clinton ticket, will go down in flames. The next President of the United States is being selected in those primaries. The choice is between Romney, offering up the same failed ideas and policies as Obama or Ron Paul, who will stop the free trade insanity and grow our domestic economy, while saving the lives of our young men and women by putting an end to the neocon's games of "project American power" by using them as canon fodder.

    January 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Joe citizen abroad

    The one thing that's encouraging, all of these candidates seem to want to talk about the issues (Romney to a lesser degree)...and get presidential politics out of Jerry Springer land and back to civilized debate. Unless of course Romney or Paul chooses one of the partisan lightning rods as their running mate (Gingrich, Santorum, Perry), we just might have some real political dialogue this election.

    January 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. 4 More Years!!!

    Obama/Biden for re-election in 2012!!!

    January 16, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Just Me

    Ridiculous. This poll means absolutely nothing. We all know that the American public have short attention spans. They are not tuned into the November election just yet. When the republican nominee finally is selected, and the debates begin topic by topic, then we can begin taking note of the polls as people will be paying more attention then. Even so, the only poll that matters is on electoin day. I predict President Oboma will win re-election handedly when it's all said and done. Meanwhile, I discount all the noise between now and this summer. Nice try CNN trying to crown Romney and put him in the White House.

    January 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. media

    THIS JUST IN......the lastest GOO/POO Poll has Obama ahead 20 points vs. Romney in November.

    January 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. glyder

    voter enthusiasm.only a fool would be excited over obama or romney.

    January 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. HC21

    I wasn't called for this poll! It must be invalid! (being like one of those dorks who seriously believes this)

    At this point, polls show little about who will go on to win. It just shows what direction any candidate should try to steer things to improve their chances at winning.

    January 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Wise1Speak

    LET US PUT THINGS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE
    – – – –
    The first week after Labor Day in September 2008, (just months until Presidential elections) Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin led then Senator Barack Obama and Senator Joe Biden by 3-points. So why is CNN hyping a story that is guaranteed to change where Obama will lead Romney by 8-points come November 2012?

    January 16, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Paul

    But we have been told over and over again that Paul cannot gain broad support and is unelectable?

    January 16, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Paul is kind of irrelevant unless he runs as an independent candidate. That would guarantee Obama wins though.

    January 16, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. Wise1Speak

    LET US PUT THINGS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE
    – – – –
    The first week after Labor Day in September 2008 (just two months until Presidential elections), Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin led then Senator Barack Obama and Senator Joe Biden by 3-points. So why is CNN hyping a story that is guaranteed to change where Obama will lead Romney by 8-points come November 2012?

    January 16, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. VeryDave

    These polls at this point are meaningless. There's quite a bit of time between now and November...all sorts of scenarios can happen that can change the direction of the election. Unemployment could continue to trend downward (Reagan's unemployment spiked near 10% at the beginning of his first term, and was at 8.3% at about this same time going into his reelection), uncontrollable world events could alter the landscape of the US and the world, and don't forget a major verbal gaffe or two from either candidate or their VP picks during the debates...those issues could change the course of the election...and if history is any indication, most people don't make their decision until a few weeks, or even days, before they go into the voting booth. These polls should be taken with a grain of salt...they only exist to fuel people tuning in to the various news and cable channels...nothing more.

    January 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Independent Thought

    Can we stop with the "Ron Paul is unelectable" meme now?

    January 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Tom

    Paul has won the Independent vote over and over against Romney. His youth support and first time voter support is also unmatched. Time and time again these things have proven to be essential in elections (It will especially be against Obama) and yet no one in the GOP Establishment wants to admit Paul has the best chance because it means they will have to actually reform their party back to actually BEING CONSERVATIVE!

    Bring conservatism back to the republican party, nominate Ron Paul! You'll not only win the White House, you'll win years and years and years of Republican support from all the 20 somethings that would win the election for Paul and save this country. Those people would never leave the new Republican party.

    And those people will also never forget the way you shunned Ron Paul or his supporters if you choose the politics as usual alternative!

    January 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. cashmere mafia

    They supported McCain too, so it's not always black & white. Just sayin'

    January 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Paul supporters ahd better be careful what they wish for. Once the press starts to take a close look at him, he will be gutted like a fish.

    January 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Chris

    They have been relentlessly bashing Obama for over a year, and this is the best they can do? Shows you what a pathetic field this is.

    January 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. G H

    There are a lot of Republicans who would rather have Obama than that war-monger Santorum. What an awful choice that would be.

    January 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Mark

    I cant wait until Paul loses, so all the Paultards can stop spamming message boards all day and start looking for a job. Between tokes, of course.

    January 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. adam

    There tied with Obama despite CNN,NBC,CBS and ABC trying to dig up dirt on the Republicans but never on Obama. Will the Liberal media continue to destroy our country?

    January 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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