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. Erick

    Romney is NOT going to get the independent voters, NOT going to get Democrat voters and NOT going to get Paul supporters.

    January 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Cedar Rapids

    "rand – Considering how many Democrats are being investigated for voter fraud from the last election"

    lol, and how many is that then?
    already trying to claim the next election as a fraud huh? too funny.

    January 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. lps

    I seriously doubt CNN is trying to put Romney in the White House

    January 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Jason

    Paul is looney. The Nader of the new decade. Romney represents big business. When the ACTUAL election ramps up (not this circus GOP thing) Obama will run away with this election. People will look at the economy which is actually stabilized and starting to improve, the fact that we are done with both Bush wars, and the fact that he has been near perfect on terrorism and foreign policy and they will vote for 4 more years along with more support for his policies. Polls showed McCain and Obama very close up til election day last time and McCain was trounced. Popularity polls do not equal electoral votes. Remember, popular vote last time was only 6.5% different but the results were 365 to 173. CNN is just trying to appear fair in their reporting but even they know the winner is already living in the white house.

    January 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. CurtX

    Oh sheesh. We have to keep seeing and hearing about these daily "polls" for another 10 months. I don't think I can survive this election. And the political telemarketers are going to be more fierce than ever this year, along with the TV ads.

    January 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. lpman

    No matter who you decide to vote for, Obama is admired by most Nations around the world, He will be re-elected based off of popularity. He fulfilled his promises, Ended the War in Iraq, Made Health Care affordable, and blah blah blah...We are not in a situation to change Presidents, I am no supporter of Obama but putting these other chumps just because of economy issues your asking for trouble. Economic issues are caused by Inflation, Natural Disasters, Political issues and so forth not the President. 10 People want the same thing there are only 8 of that thing available prices sky rocket..and that is the Presidents fault? Or Gas prices...President does not make the prices, and He cannot make them cheaper..so ask yourself what bad has Obama really done? He is much better than most Presidents of the past. So put some republican in office and you'll regret you made that choice..please note I am for the republicans just not any of these. So the Office shouldn't change based on what some of you simply "think"

    January 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    I'm a Registered Democrat currently living in a Republican State for the last 6 yrs. As a 'transplant' from the northeast, I guess it will take me about 30 seconds in that Voting booth, since I plan on Voting a Straight Ticket. But, IF Ron Paul's Name is on the Ticket in November, believe me, I will vote for him. I think America should think about it, and think where this country will be, in 4 more yrs, it doesn't really matter whether our nxt prez is Romney / or if Obama gets re-elected, with a 15 Trillion debt, we're Sunk !! In the nxt 3 or 4 yrs, we will be in 'hawk' for around 18 Trillion. Otherwise this country needs to get behind Ron Paul. If Romney is on the Ticket in November, I guess I will have to Vote for Obama, because a Vote for a Democrat, is a vote for the People of this country. It really doesn't matter to me, because I've already paid my dues, since I am semi-retired now, worked at a factory for 28 yrs, and now drawing a pension, plus have a part time business. But I'm telling you folks, you better get behind somebody that is for the 'regular working class' people, otherwise, we're Sunk ! IF Ron Paul gets IN, then we can actually "save" our Dollar. Otherwise, I don't hear Obama or Romney or any of the others talking about trying to reduce or deficit or debt. They all want to "reduce" a Trillion , in 10 or 12 or 15 years. ( that's not going to cut it) Otherwise, we better be thinking about 2 or 3 dollars for a loaf of bread. ( this means our money will eventually be worthless) Or they need to come up with another monetary system, in this country.

    Larry in Houston

    January 16, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. jesse

    Romney= pathetic robot and if he wins i would short every stock in the market and then move to norway! Obama is the brightest and best of them by far (though I do like Paul a whole lot) however he needs to stop this compromise crap. you shouldn't have to compromise with a pack of intellectually handicapped (republicans) people. You just tell them what to do and let them complain to each other at the local grocery store.

    January 16, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. oceanblue1

    Sorry, but Obama is still the only one I'll vote for. And why? Because he understands that this recession is deeper then previously thought and that radical measures need to be taken to dig us out of it. The Republicans are only looking to line their own pockets with dollar bills before things turn even more sour. All we have heard from the Republicans about how to create jobs and improve this nations economy is a roar of thundering excuses about what the president is doing wrong. They have offered nothing in terms of their own ideas about how to improve things. And why do they do this? Because they don't have the first clue on how to make things right and put it back together. While the President, on the other hand, is showing that he knows what to do. Sure it's not going to happen over night, but with a Republican behind the wheel I guarantee that it will not happen at all. The only thing that will happen if the Republican take back the White House is the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. Chose wisely America.

    January 16, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Spam Eater

    If 47% of the voters would actually consider voting for Obama again, this country is a lost cause. he's the absolute worst president in at least the past 100 years. I never thought I'd live to see one who is actually worse that the Jimmy Carter.

    January 16, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. jay

    Well. all republican say they will keep the economy moving. president bush said the same thing but he made it even worse. President obama working hard every day bring the economy back in good track. Wow. What a republican.

    January 16, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Nathan

    Hoping these polls convinces RP to go 3rd party

    January 16, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. middledocmom

    Romney just said that the grievances of the middle class are "envy" of the upper class. Kind of out of touch?

    January 16, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Hair bear

    I think it's time to call on the Donald!

    January 16, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Liberalareliars

    At this point in the game Obama should be way ahead. This is not good for Obama.

    January 16, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Liberalareliars

    Obama needs to go. He said he had the answers and his answers have failed the American worker and the middleclass.

    January 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. RealChange

    just look at the top contributor of money for these candidates and you will know who are endorcing them and whose intrests these men will serve if they get elected.
    Obama: Goldman Sachs
    Mitt romney: Goldman Sachs
    Ron Paul: Active Military personel

    Ron paul received more money from defence forces than ALL the other republican candidates COMBINED. Doesn't that say something??

    January 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Rationalist

    Further evidence that regardless of what the status quo lovers like to believe, Paul can win this thing. He has picked up incredible momentum.

    January 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Marjee123

    Since CNN couldn't post a poll with Romney and Paul ahead because people would know straight off it was false, they did the next thing the made it tied. They think that people in this country that lived thru Bush's mess, have seen what the republicans have done to this country with the crappy majority in the House and the obstructionist republicans in the senate holding every thing up would actually vote for a republican. I guess they are like all republicans they think we are dumb.

    January 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. G H

    The ONLY one who could beat Obama is Ron Paul. Romney is just too similar, while Paul is just very honest and has a huge honest track record of predicting our problems and suggestions that would absolutely have avoided many of these problems. Santorum and Gingrich have so many targets, there's no way they have a shot in the world. Obama is now sending troops into Australia!! Wow, Obama would lose to Paul for several reasons.

    January 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Liberalareliars

    Obama has failed the black community failed America.

    January 16, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Scott

    Unbelievably biased journalism CNN, unbelievable. Why do you refuse to acknowledge Ron Paul? What are you so afraid of, or are you being paid by some other interests? Shame on you, seriously. Shameful. Please, for the sake of democracy, fairness, and humanity report the news accordingly. If Ron Paul is the way the nation votes, then so be it. We've been a country 235 years, and that won't stop if Ron Paul is elected. Please add some integrity to your journalism and recognize this man.

    Ron Paul 2012, you have my vote!

    January 16, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Ted

    This is a meaningless statistic at this point. Only Republicans have been actively campaigning. The Democratic party has not yet begun a public campaign. Even if nothing else changes, once there is an active campaign on both sides, the numbers will shift.

    January 16, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Ted Ryder

    That's just because most democrats still don't know who Ron Paul is. When they find out the tea party only used his ideas to bolster their movement and he's not a religious zealot, they'll come around.

    If Ron Paul doesn't get the nomination, I'll vote for Obama. Mitt Romney is only a liar and politician. He doesn't want to help anyone. He just wants to look good.

    January 16, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Why

    funny they dont post the results on what people think about the economic policies of the only elected offical in washington and said "there is a housing bubble and it will destroy the economy when it burts".

    Now he is trying desperatly to sound the alarm of the next bubble, but this time its the money you hold in your wallet! and when that bubble burts it will take a wheelbarrel of benjermins just to buy a loaf of bread!

    We the people (our elected officals) ignored Paul about the housing market, can we afford to ignore him again?

    January 16, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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