Latest Iowa poll shows close contest
September 29th, 2012
09:26 PM ET
2 years ago

Latest Iowa poll shows close contest

(CNN) - A new poll of likely voters in Iowa shows the presidential race is locked up between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

The poll follows two others released in the last two weeks, one showing Obama with a slight advantage within the survey's sampling error, and another that put his advantage just outside of the sampling error.

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Obama was at 49% and Romney at 45% in the new Des Moines Register poll released Saturday evening. Their margin is inside the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The poll notes that only 2% of likely Iowa voters remain undecided, although 10% told pollsters they currently have a preference between the candidates but could be persuaded between now and Election Day to switch their support.

The CNN Poll of Polls for Iowa, which averages together recent nonpartisan, live operator polls of likely voters in the state, shows Obama at 50% and Romney at 44%. The Poll of Polls includes the latest Des Moines Register poll, plus samples conducted since September 16 by NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist and American Research Group. It has no sampling error.

Iowa has received its share of attention from the presidential candidates harkening back to its party caucuses, where the first votes this cycle were cast.

Obama has made 13 visits to the state this election cycle, while Romney has made 10 this year.

The state is one of nine toss-ups on the CNN Electoral Map and has six electoral votes.

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will turn his attention to the state next week when he kicks off an Iowa bus tour hitting several cities in the eastern portion of the state.

Early voting in Iowa began Thursday.

The Des Moines Register Poll was conducted between September 23 and 26 and included 650 likely voters out of a larger group of 800 Iowa adults.

Also see:

– Getting ready for Wednesday's showdown

– Ann Romney to rally while Obama preps for debate across town

– Obama to hit trail after debate

– Romney hits Obama on foreign policy in weekly podcast

– Obama talks housing market in weekly address


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. DavidT

    "Obama was at 49% and Romney at 45% in the new Des Moines Register poll released Saturday evening. Their margin is inside the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points."

    Four points is less than 3.8?

    September 29, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  2. J

    And Iowa another state that is slowly, following the 47% Romney comment, trending more Democrat.

    September 29, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. KH

    How on earth do you get a headline of "dead heat" from a poll with a 4 point difference?

    September 29, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. ken

    It's time to vote out Obama and put an end to his commie-unity organizing agenda...
    New World Order leaders have been exposed
    Obama Osama
    Biden BI nla DEN
    Americans are waking up to the truth and the media cover up

    September 29, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Mack

    Here's a
    thought for the GOP...instead of whining about the polls think about running a better candidate next time. One that cares about all Americans not just the 1%.

    September 29, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. Hatch

    All polls show Obama winning. The margin of error will be the margin of victory!

    September 29, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. Bill Hart

    3.8 plus 45 equals 48.8. 4% is the margin of error. Obama is at 49 and Romney at 45. The headline should read Obama is slightly ahead in Iowa.

    September 29, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  8. jimbob

    seems to me that 4 percent is greater than 3.8 percent. What are you talking about ?

    September 29, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  9. Hillcrester

    "It has no sampling error" is a decidedly misleading statement. It does not mean the sampling error for the IA Poll if Polls is zero. Likewise the existence of some stated Margin of Error for some particular poll doesn't mean the result is wrong. The statistical meaning is far more complicated than that. Unfortunately few journalists understand or even try to explain it. And I suspect that very few people reading/commenting here do either.

    September 29, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  10. librich

    A dead heat between two candidates who are dead wrong for America. Gary Johnson for President.

    September 29, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. Mary

    Huh? Obama is up 49 to 45 for Romney and the margin of error is 3.8, but CNN still reports that the difference is within the margin of error. Somebody needs to go back to 2nd grade.

    And early voting started last week in Iowa, so Election Day is here - November 6 is just the last day to vote.

    September 29, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. ZIZEWITZ

    These results are neither witin the error margin nor much less a "Dead Heat"!!! CNN sewems not to understand what the polls mean.

    An advantage of 4 – 6 % and 3.8% margin mean that:

    – that the advantage is MOST PROBABLY 4 – 6%
    – that there is a VERY SMALL PROBABILITT the advantage is only 0.2 – 2.2% or as much 8.8-10.8%

    That there are only 2% of undecided voters is not true either, as obviously there are 6 % which have not decided for Obama nor Romney and 3rd candidates preferences are not more than another form of "undecided".

    September 30, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  13. Seth

    I don't think CNN understand the margin of error sampling process.
    It means for Obama it can be 49% or +3.8 = 52.8 OR 49% -3.8 = 45.2%
    For Romney it can be 45% or +3.8 = 48.8 OR 45% -3.8 = 41.2%

    Therefore your statement about the race being locked up is totally misleading.

    September 30, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  14. Thomas

    Romney will win Iowa . He loves all the fields the same size.

    September 30, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  15. Phil

    This story is misleading at best. The assertion that the poll shows a dead heat is false. The poll shows a four point Obama lead. It may indicate a dead heat but it also may indicate an eight point Obama heat, Just because a poll is within the margin of error, a reporter should never say that the race is a dead heat.

    September 30, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  16. Alan Watt

    A four point lead is not a "dead heat". It is a lead within the margin of error. If you don't know the difference you shouldn't have the job of writing up reports on polls.

    September 30, 2012 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  17. Geoff

    Polls mean nothing if voters don't get out to vote. That's the entire strategy of republicans across the country - to keep the most likely democratic supporters away from the voting booths. Republicans are worried they can't win a fair election anywhere. And they know that penguins love donkeys more than elephants.

    September 30, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  18. GI Joe

    We're wondering why the reps didn't put up a sane candidate this go-round.

    You know, who would be reasonable and fair, not war happy for BiBi, would make gradual changes (like God changes the seasons), who actually cared for the U.S.A. instead of investing all his/her money in other countries. Why did they not put up a sane candidate.

    And now Ann has come out saying she is concerned with Mitt's mental "well-being" – it's too risky with his knee-jerk reactionary finger on the nuke button and his "go-it-alone-macho" attitude. War should be the LAST choice, not the choice of your best foreign friend.

    September 30, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  19. baadman

    How about the poll that shows that almost 60% of Democrats believe CNN is reporting the news accurately, fairly, and fully. Man, Kool-aid runs deep. Wish we could turn that misguided fervor into work ethic so the tax base could begin to catch up with our entitlement programs.

    September 30, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  20. chrisjef

    The voters in Iowa must come to the realization that the problems this country faces are very serious and can only be solved by a president who has integrity* and a proven record of success both as a businessman and governor. He has the ability to end the gridlock between both parties as demonstrated in his success working with Democrats as governor in Massachusetts. Mitt Romney is a genuine, honest and generous man who will work hard to get our country back to the strong and respected nation it once was.
    *the integrity and honesty that was missing when President Obama, Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton lied with regard to the deaths of our Libyan Ambassador and three other Americans. We must insist that they be accountable for their deaths. Makes one wonder what else they've covered up and lied about?

    September 30, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  21. chrisjef

    The voters in Iowa must come to the realization that the problems this country faces are very serious and can only be solved by a president who has integrity and a proven record of success both as a businessman and governor. He has the ability to end the gridlock between both parties as demonstrated in his success working with Democrats as governor in Massachusetts. Mitt Romney is a genuine, honest and generous man who will work hard to get our country back to the strong and respected nation it once was.

    September 30, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |