CNN Poll: Race tightening up in battleground Ohio
October 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Race tightening up in battleground Ohio

(CNN) - On the day that both presidential candidates are campaigning in Ohio, a new poll indicates a close contest in the race for the Buckeye State's 18 electoral votes.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll (PDF), 51% of likely voters in Ohio say they're backing President Barack Obama, with 47% supporting Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Obama's four point advantage is within the poll's sampling error.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

The survey, released Tuesday, was conducted October 5-8, entirely after last Wednesday's first presidential debate. Since non-partisan, live operator polls of likely voters in Ohio conducted prior to the debate indicated Obama with a 7-10 point advantage over the former Massachusetts governor, the new CNN survey suggests that Romney got a bounce following the debate.

The CNN poll indicates a wide gender gap, with Romney leading by 14 points among men and Obama ahead by 22 points among women voters.

"Independent voters, suburban voters, and older voters are all evenly divided, indicating a close race right now," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But that's not a prediction of what will happen in November. With one in eight likely voters saying that they could change their minds between now and November, and several crucial debates still to come, there is every reason to expect the race to change in Ohio."

American Research Group is also out Tuesday with a poll in Ohio, with Romney at 48% and Obama at 47% among likely voters. ARG's previous Ohio survey, conducted in mid-September, had Obama at 48% and Romney at 47%.

"The new polls are a huge boost for Republicans, coming just a couple weeks after a string of polls made them wonder if there was any way to win without Ohio," says CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Three national polls released in the past 24 hours also indicate the race knotted up among likely voters. And two of the surveys, from ARG and Pew Research Center, also suggest a post debate bounce for Romney.

"There is clearly movement in Ohio similar to what we see nationally. You see it in our numbers. It's a very close race in Ohio and you feel it talking to people on the ground," adds King, who is reporting from the Buckeye State.

Ohio was the state that put President George W. Bush over the top in his 2004 re-election. Four years later Obama carried the state by five points over Sen. John McCain. But the Republicans performed well in the Buckeye state in the 2010 midterm elections, winning back the governor's office and five House seats from the Democrats.

This cycle Ohio is seeing an outsized amount of campaign traffic. Obama's Tuesday rally in Columbus is his 12th visit to the Buckeye state since the unofficial start of the general election campaign in early April. For Romney, his event Tuesday in Cuyahoga Falls is his 15th visit to Ohio in the same time period.

Overall, the campaigns, party committees, and super PACs and other independent groups have spent nearly $92 million to run ads on broadcast TV in Ohio since the start of the general election, with more than $20 million of that coming just in the last two weeks. Those figures come from Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising for its clients.

"The governor still has problems here, especially with working women in the critical suburban areas. And the president benefits from an improving Ohio economy," says King. "But our numbers reinforce why there has been $90 million spent on presidential campaign TV ads the past six months: This is the battleground of the battlegrounds."

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode are also on the presidential ballot in Ohio. When their names were added to the poll, Obama is at 48%, Romney 45%, with Johnson at 3%, Stein at 1% and Goode registering less than one-half of one percent.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 1,020 Ohio adults, including 888 registered voters and 722 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

MORE FROM THE CNN POLITICAL TICKER:

Big Bird the focus in sarcastic new Obama ad

Romney revives 8% unemployment critique at rainy rally

Pastor at Ryan event once said Romney is not a Christian


Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Mitt Romney • Ohio • President Obama
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Yonni

    CNN "Obama's four point advantage is within the poll's sampling error." CNN "The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points".which one it is CNN?

    October 9, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Rachel

    Let's go, President Obama!!!! OBAMA 2012

    October 9, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. mike58

    Even with plus or minus and your over sampling of DEM to REP Romney is ahead right?

    October 9, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. pcalif

    It's about time we saw a poll that wasn't conducted by the Republican leaning Pew Research. Seems like for the past few days, Pew Research made it appear to the public that it was the only poll in town.

    October 9, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Hamhock68

    The ever popular Media poll used to offset and earlier poll in the day. As expected and right on time. The MSM useful idiots are becoming the MSM predictable useful idiots.

    October 9, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. dave

    I'm from Ohio and I'll tell you right now that the educated people in this state are not voting for Obama. I'll also tell you that nobody has ever asked me who I'm voting for so how can this poll be correct? "NObama".

    October 9, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. GOP hate America

    Stop calling me a socialist for supporting Obama and i will stop calling you a racist for hating him.

    October 9, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Soulfood76

    Lol......CNN! Credibility = 0

    October 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Michael C

    This is what I like to see. People in America are smart. They may visually play the political game on the surface, but they know what the right move should be on voting.

    President Obama will have my vote this coming election.

    October 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Buckeyestate

    I live and travel through Ohio and there are 7-8 Romney signs for 1 Obama sign. I don't believe that Obama is leading Ohio...

    October 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Joi Gibson

    Are we going to be subjected to polls everyday until the election – seriously! How about waiting until after each debate and then take a poll, the last poll being the election.

    October 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. WouldYouLookAtThat

    Yonni, have you heard of rounding?

    October 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. Mark

    Obama is cooked – I'm sure CNN tried to cook the books here and still the gap closed. Obama is behind in the other Ohio polls which are much less biased! Good try CNN – you and your ilk are a bunch of lying losers!!!

    October 9, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. MaryM

    More video of Romney coming soon. October surprise

    October 9, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. ea

    CNN polls are garbage.

    October 9, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. New Yorkers against Trump

    Obama MUST win! Romney is a liar who would say anything just to win.

    October 9, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Raj

    Obama should win

    October 9, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. CS

    Funny, how CNN does not acknowledge Obama 53, Romney 43 among RV.

    October 9, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. BOB

    Wow, Obama and the dems have begun to panic.

    October 9, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. TheBigSarge

    so says the communist news network.

    this is just another way that cnn lies about their favorite candidate in the whole wide world, so they can try and convince those going to vote early, or by ballot, that their vote won't count, and that they should vote for the "supreme winner" borat obozo.

    -TheBigSarge

    October 9, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Abeslom

    CNN and all the other media are desperate to make this thing apear close for the rating purpose. Obama is still leading OH and Mitt has no chance of winning the election without Ohio's 18 electral vote.

    October 9, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. bobby

    Seriously, who are the, I'll be nice, people out there who are undecided? This could only be due to ignorance of the issues and the parties' stance on them.

    October 9, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Mtheumer

    @Yonnie

    Um...that is the margin of error.

    October 9, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Phil

    Johnson and others should just exit the race. The votes going to them are just being wasted making no impact with the direction of this country. Pull out and let your followers decide between Romney or Obama! Put your ambitions aside, you can't win. Put your country first.

    October 9, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. C Anderson

    How can this man Romney just lie flip flop and get a clear path to the white house. Obama has one bad debate and he is toast. Could it be racism?

    October 9, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11