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.

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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.

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

    ^0.5% is statistically significant, they can't explain everything to you genius.

    October 9, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. kathy

    PLEASE vote for content not appearances

    October 9, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    Anybody dumb enough to vote for the bought and paid for gop and romney the lieing. Tax cheat deserves to get screwed .

    October 9, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. FreeDrop

    How many Dems did poll? How many GOPers? And how many independents?

    October 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Steve

    R4smuss3n has Romney up in a poll of all the 11 key swing states as follows QU0TE "In the 11 swing states, Mitt Romney earns 49% support to Obama’s 47%. One percent ". Tthey also show45% of that "certain" they're voting Romney with only 41% of that certain they'll vote Obama. Who trusts CNN polls? Anybody that thinks when they read can tell what they're up to. BNN, the barrack n3ws n3tw0rk. All the n3ws that's fit to wag.

    October 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. JihadisSukIt

    Seem like nonsense. Failure to deliver, and yet no matter what happens, Obama is always in the lead. CNN is bluffing.

    October 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. MikeB

    Where is Obama in his support of Women and Girls in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, ...
    War on Women? More like negligence and indifference. Go see the CNN Breaking News article on the Girl who was shot for speaking out against the oppression by the Taliban.
    U.S. Leadership?

    October 9, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. @yonni

    the four point advantage is 51-47=4

    the sampling error means 51+-3.5 and 47+-3.5, meaning the range can be (47.5 to 54.5 for O) or (43.5 to 50.5 for R)...so statistically O or R can be leading or losing

    October 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. T'sah From Virginia

    Hmm, 51% of the voters most likely already voted for President Obama during the early voting season.

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    October 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. sweet2th

    It's unbelievable. I really can't believe it. How can people be so uninformed as to vote for a man like Romney. Unless you are making above $250,000 or living off some type of inheritance, you would think those people would vote for Obama.

    It's not all about finances either. If you are tired of fighting fruitless wars you definitely should vote for Obama. Mitt Romney doesn’t want to give the military 2 billion unasked for dollars for nothing. You better believe on his first day in office he’s going to be trying to figure out what story to tell the American people so he can wage a war with Iran.

    In addition with all the lies he’s been telling how can you really know what he stands for. He’s all over the place. It just depends on what group he’s talking to. He seems to be like one of those prankster pop up canisters you know the ones that say peanuts on the can but when you pop it open fake snakes pop out. You put him in office you won’t know which version of his policies he would put in place.

    October 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Alan

    Awaiting m0d3r4710n because I mention r45mu553n5 much more accurate p0ll1ng which has Mittens up 2 point over4ll in a poll covering all 11 swing states.

    October 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. bengalskuta82

    Excited news. Hopefully Romney can keep building momentum until Nov 6. I'm an Independent and I have decided after the first debate that I will vote for the Romney Ryan ticket

    October 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Sam

    i vote for obama cuz he is the only one he is trying know what I'm saying

    October 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Log Cabin

    Romney will do ANYTHING to win, including lie his way right into the White House. Sad.

    October 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. One of the 47%

    Romney will make us miss Obama, flip-floping all the time, entering wars for no reason, damaging what is recovering,ending SS , medicare and medicaid. Goodbye America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Pasco

    How does one debate showdown results in so much bounce? Yes! President Obama only flawed the debate because he wasn't tough enough not because he didn't provide substance. I believe the media over-stretched the debate outcome and this is having influence on the polls.

    October 9, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. The day

    Ohio is full of stupid, they will vote Romney.

    October 9, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Jo Cooper

    The polls are not accurate. Romney will win by a large margin.

    October 9, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. MikeB

    The U.S. can win the war on terror by appealing to the Women and Children of the oppressive caliphates. What would the Taliban do when the women start beheading the men of devilish cruelty?

    October 9, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Kaiser

    So in 2008 you voted for Obama to prove your not racist,now in 2012 prove that your not supid.

    October 9, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. lovethedifferentcommentsystemsCNN

    lol romney sucks

    October 9, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Joanna

    Yonni:

    You have no idea what a margin of error is. If Obama was up 6, it'd still be within the moe.

    October 9, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. gazuntheit

    This just in Big Bird as joined the race and is winning in the Polls. She nominates Oscar the Grouch as her VP, and plans on banning Chicken from the American menu.

    October 9, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Kaiser

    sorry i meant stupid

    October 9, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. jose

    I just wished Obama was as concerned about defending our ambassador in Libya, as he is about defending Big Bird.

    October 9, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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