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. david

    Obama had a lousy debate, especially the body language, he noded and noded when Romney critized him, it's unbeliable. Hope he learned something now.

    October 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. blucaller

    What were the previous CNN Ohio polls again? Oh. I thought so. How can there be a tightening if there are no apple to compare it to? Shame on CNN for dishonesty for sake of promoting a money maker horserace.

    October 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Strangways

    if this is true and America elects Mittens and the other creep, then America gets what it deserves. I guess nobody learned anything from those miserable 8 years of Bush/Cheney.

    October 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. Jason

    Wow, 1 point. Well within the margin of error.

    October 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Dr. Pete

    Yes, guys...trust your instincts...this guy is really that out of touch with the majority of America! YOU have a better idea of what America needs and how to go about making improvements than this guy!!!!!!!!!!!! So don't you dare trust him with your LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Red Pison

    The job situation has been hell in Ohio I hear, so it's obvious that a lot of misinformed people are angry at the White House currently and are looking for a change, the only problem is the change is a leap backwards to the Bush years.

    October 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. DustyOnes

    It is hard to believe that Ohio would elect Obama when Obama wants to stop Coal production, thus increasing the unemployment. A vote for Obama is a vote for Poverty.

    October 9, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Steve S

    Why is the polling all over the map???

    October 9, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. Muffy 7

    Yes Busho won Ohio in 2004 after Kerry was ahead all day. Do you know HOW? He had that crepe Sec of State Kenneth Blackwell (a blackman) and illegally his campaign mgr take it into his hands and closed the polls and wouldn't let students and minorities who stood in the rain for hours vote. Don't beleive me check it out. that Blackwell should be in jail with Bush and Cheney.

    October 9, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. pork&beans

    These polls show how shallow the American people are. Like an American Idol contest. Pathetic.

    October 9, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. dewey

    When Romney loses in Nov. he's done right? He can't run again? I just don't want to have to deal with this in the future.

    October 9, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Monica in Denver

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

    October 9, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. jon

    There is a real problem when o% of African Americans will vote for Romney.....and all these African Americans actors and Opra are tryong so hard to convince me Romney is the devil......I think I will vote race-everyone else is....

    October 9, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. Hadenuffyet

    Can't gain enough for me...it ain't happening.

    October 9, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Repandum

    These polls show how shallow-minded the American people are. The liken a presidential race to a weekly episode of American Idol.
    If Romney got this big a bounce from that debate, then shallow-minded doesn't even cover it.

    October 9, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. ToughLove

    I thought this race was over a few weeks ago. Ohhhhhhhh how things quickly change. Even if Obama wins this close race it proves a few things to me: 1. Conservativism still resonates with at least half the population, 2. Obama's presidency has been disappointing to most Americans and 3. Every vote and every voice REALLY counts.

    October 9, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. ObjectiveGuy

    MOMENTUM: Romney has it. Obama has lost it. Start packing, Mr. Obama–your successor has a LOT of work to do cleaning up the mess you've left him! Bet you don't hear Romney WHINING one bit about inheriting YOUR mess. He will just get to work on fixing it, not pointing fingers and passing the buck the way you have.

    October 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. ColoradoJoe

    win at all costs. Even if it means saying one thing and saying something else that contradicts it. Like the 20% tax cut across the board, then saying the rich won't get it, then saying that it does not equal $5T. Like the statement that pre-existing conditions are covered his plan. Only his you do not have a coverage gap. Thus the 23M who are unemployed or under employed who probably do not have insurance, would not get coverage for pre-existing conditions. Like he "now" is willing to support people who have received immigration papers. Shall I list the women's situation?

    October 9, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. BillC

    It's a long way to November! Obama still the first choice! Obama 2012!

    October 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. jen

    I'm glad there are two debates left – because Obama will be better prepared to not let Romney cite facts that are MISLEADING AND UNTRUE – SUCH AS QUOTES FROM LOBBYISTS. I think one of the best things Obama can do is to advise the American public to read the next day's "Fact Checkers"! After the last debate so many things were found untrue which Romney said:
    1) Green tax cuts would have provided thousands of more jobs – this was from a REPUBLICAN LOBBYIST GROUP (i.e paid corporate interest.
    2) The unemployment rate is 11% – google this – it will show that it could be higher but the number cant be predicted since it does not adjust for retirement and other factors – it assumes NONE of these variables.
    3) His health policy provides for pre-existing conditions – HIS AIDES ADMITTED THE NEXT DAY IT DOES NOT. He is simply referring to existing policy as Obama noted – and we have all heard how hard it can be to get insurance if you have a preexisting condition.
    Obama needs more one-liners, simple lines that the public can digest. He knows his stuff but he can get too long winded. Nonetheless, Republican economics brought us from a SURPLUS TO A DEFICIT with tax cuts to the wealthy and this 10+ year war – anyone who knows less revenue and more expenses brings you into debt – and Romney's economic plan DOES NOT ADD UP EITHER – see the NONPARTISAN tax policy center – it says to achieve Romney's goals, he will had to raise taxes on the middle class. Romney couldn't even give any details on his eocnomic policies, we want details Romney!! We've been asking for them!!!! And please, don't say you'll let Congress figure it out like how you did in the 1st debate!

    October 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Steve

    For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

    We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

    They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

    Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.

    I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936

    October 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Hadenuffyet

    You think Mitt is going to help you ,...really? Ask the 66% of Massachusetts voters who were dissatisfied with his performance . How can you be so , so blind to the fact that GOP policies got us to this place you deplore. Any progress is progress , there is no quick fix , no panacea. It ain't happening no matter how much you think he can.

    October 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Alan Gottlieb

    If the momentum continues for Romney, it's over. The real Obama killer is his inability to work across the aisle. If we continue with this kind of one-sided government, we can only expect more paralysis, another credit downgrade and a stalled economy. Romney's proven ability to work with an overwhelming Democratic legislature puts him on top.

    In addition, we cannot expect more government spending to yield a lasting escape from recession. The key to balance the budget is more people working and paying taxes. That means listening to small business and removing unnecessary regulatory barriers that create uncertainty and kill hiring. In my view, the only way to out of the current recession is to vote Romney. I'm ready to take that chance.

    October 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. JGANUKEAPELSD

    JGA Phillip Anthony Biondo for President 2012 of the Fraternity Party! VP's elections 2nd place. Kegs party at the White House! Free College like k-12. Free Healthcare. All safe drugs over the counter. Escorts legal. Casinos legal. The American Citizens are not intelligent enough to elect me. Evolution, big bang, God of Universe and Milky Way. I'm suing the supreme court Apes for freedom of Religion, I suffer from severe depression because holy medicines, primarily thc, psilocybin, mescaline, lsd, and dmt are illegal, in fact I committed suicide. Target the DEA. Superhuman AI: 2045. Navy Nuclear Spaceships, next star, rainforests, dinosaurs. Meditate. I'm a Sapien, what are you? Does Obama or Romney believe in global warming? We are like deer in the headlights.

    October 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. the 99%

    We want ROMNEY because we LOVE TRICKLE DOWN economics. The rich gets RICHER and the poor, well they just roll over and die. They are the 47% anyway and they vote for Obama.

    October 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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