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. Musse K

    The 45th President of United States will be -Gov Mitt Romney

    October 9, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Pasco

    Enough is enough on the poll bounce report! I think majority of the voters get it. Let's focus on the campaign policy substance and deliver a non-partisan reporting. Perhaps focus on upcoming VP debate analysis!

    October 9, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. wallster

    If only Romney would tell us his super secret plan for fixing the economy BEFORE the election. That would make it easier for me decide if I want to vote for him since he keeps changing his position on everything!

    October 9, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. TomGI

    Did MR say today that he wants the US to start funneling advanced weapons to the Syrian insurgents? I guess I'm OK with it as long as his sons (all of them) enlist in the Army or Marine Corps.

    October 9, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Jon

    You're still oversampling Democrats by 8 percentage points. No one is paying attention to your undoubtedly biased polling attempts.

    October 9, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. bobdevo

    So Mittens gains ground and he's still 4 points behind in Ohio, which means he has got about 0% chance of being elected. Wake me when it's over, you can put a fork in Romney/Ryan . . . they're done . . .

    October 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Double standards

    Why is there now no talk from the right about skewed polls? Have the polls suddenly become reliable now that they are more favorable towards Romney? Hypocrites!

    October 9, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. BD70

    Another poll? This is like weighing yourself everyday. Its pointless.

    October 9, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Dnick47

    I will all but guantee that Romney will loose Michigan. We remember his dad's ppp! And I doubt he'll get Massachutes cause they remember his ppp.

    October 9, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. DirtyHeat

    Obama better start cranking out those "free" phones.

    October 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. ll

    Ohio should think long and_hard about voting for Romney. They might as well turn off the lights and close up shop as a state if Romney gets elected.

    October 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. George

    Obama could have reached out to the middle and been coasting to victory .Instead he pandered to the big public unions and the gay crowd.Now he is in the fight of his life.Give me back my Democratic party of FDR,Truman,Kennedy and Clinton.

    October 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. obama4more

    I heard when our presidents wins his second term he will bring back the draft,just to take care of iran.that will allow our soilders in afganastan to return home and also take care of the uneployed that are age 18 to 36

    October 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. cliff

    So okay suddenly CNN shifts their whole format o likely voter polling instead of Registered? And all this hype about Pew and whatever is about a 1 point lead in likely voter poling when Obama still holds a lead among registered voters and in Electorate. Nice reporting CNN lol.

    October 9, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. PaulCat

    The people in Ohio are very smart. Obama will win there.

    October 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Cabs

    All this Mitt hype will be just that when Obama wins again.
    The reason Mitt is losing is because of the party he represents. I think Mitt is smart guy but he has to dumb him self down to have his base vote for him.

    October 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Mike

    This is terrible reporting and manipulative polling, CNN. It takes you until the 14th paragraph to report on the results of a poll that actually reflects the choices Ohioans will have on election day. News organizations shouldn't be manipulating public opinion by conducting, and promoting, polling data about FANTASY elections in which there are only two candidates. And if they decide to engage in such flights of fancy, it should NEVER be the topline data. It is disgraceful to bury the true polling data and then couch it with "when we added the other candidates who are on the ballot." Candidates shouldn't have to be "added." They should be in the poll all along.

    October 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. DirtyHeat

    I absolutley love how niave and arrogant all these liberals are.

    "So Mittens gains ground and he's still 4 points behind in Ohio, which means he has got about 0% chance of being elected. Wake me when it's over, you can put a fork in Romney/Ryan . . . they're done"

    I think you may just be in denial that people are realizing "The Chosen One" is nothing but a phony.

    October 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Florida Mom

    @wallster
    Why do we to know the details of the plan.. right now some of his ideas are good for me. It is a lot more than we had from Obama... he did not give any ideas just said he would be doing it all in his first term..
    I don't trust polls either way.... they are only in the moment and if the moment is weak so are the polls.
    Some of the comments I have seen on Romney have been vicious and making him out to be a liar... Well I say that Obama lied when he said that he would bring the debt down, not increase the deficit, control gas prices etc. He said that if he did not do this he would be a one term propostion.. that last part is the only truth he has told since 2008.

    October 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. abcdxyz

    I hope Obama doesn't lose the election because his campaign advisers told him to be "presidential" and not to be the aggressor in last week's debate. I fully expect him to be much more forceful in the two upcoming debates, but let's hope it's not too late to do him any good.

    October 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. bill

    come November it won't even be that close and Obama will win another term! There is absolutely no way America can afford another right wing nut job GOP fiscal consevative president. mitt can return to lala land, or where ever he is from.

    October 9, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Monica in Denver

    Which candidate does this statement apply to?

    If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. "

    Who is the author of the statement?

    October 9, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. cliff

    Jon to get a air assessment you poll more Dems than Republicans because there are more registered Dems in the U.S. That is why every poll samples more Dems. Though it should be 4% over sample not 8. So then the race would be tied which every poll suggests. Lets not forget CNN's numbers are likely voters now NOT registered. Likely voter polling is a much less accurate and much more fluctuating number.

    October 9, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. nmdave

    Romney – 312 Obama 226 Take it to the bank.

    October 9, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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