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. policies not rhetoric

    i live in ohio and my vote will go to obama. romney may have done a good sales job but
    he made facts up as he went along and told me nothing about how he would acheive his
    grand plans. Obama scares me less. Ryan will have people on the streets begging for food
    while telling them he is "empowering them to make their own choices"--no thanks!
    obama 2012

    October 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. jinx88

    With all the restrictions the GOP is trying to put on the voters in Ohiio, they might as well give it to Romney. Repukes dont try to hide the discrimination how pathetic.

    October 9, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. raul

    love it how supposedly the media pounces on dems. guess we need more reporters to go thru what dan wrather went thru .

    October 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Gary

    I'd really like to understand Mitt's actual plans relative to the economy and the military spending and reducing taxes. I'm just not sure of how he'll be doing this...i mean there's no math to even say that it doesn't add up....I've got nothin' Where are the specifics????

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

    I just hope people check the facts on Romney, he came out strong but he did his regular flip floping and on how he was going to go. don't kid your self it wasn't the real Romney up there,he is going to do exactly what he has stated before kill Obama care make medicare a vouncher program, women right tax cut for the 1% and take from all the social programs such as medicad, teachers, policeman, tax the middle class and poor, a war with 3 different countrys and the other things they stated. WAKE UP!

    October 9, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. jinx88

    The Repukes were praising CNN yesterday when Romney was winning now they are saying its leaning Dem. Which is is Repukes? Or are you flip flopping like your candidate.

    October 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Robert

    As a non-American, I'm left wondering if Americans are as petrified as me that Romney might actually become President.... If not, they should be. If he wins, get used to the world hating you again.

    October 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Mike

    I have voted straight Republican in every election since '88. This year I am either going to vote Democrat or not at all. I cannot believe how dumb Republicans have become. We could have unemployment down around 5% had the Republicans not gone on this anti-spending kick. Seriously, right now it cost the government one half of one percent to borrow money. It will never be that low again.

    Anything that we think we may need to build as far as infra-structure over the next fifty years, we should borrow the money now and get to work instead of waiting for interest rates to go back to three or four percent.

    That right there shows you that Republicans have absolutely no business sense no matter how much they try to convince us that they do.

    October 9, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Dejavu65

    Its amazing how half this country wants to support Romney when they know deep down inside his policies will destroy their lives...Pre-existing conditions(no coverage), woman's rights(gone), voucher instead of medicare for the elderly(poor coverage),involving religion more in the government(church and state), raising taxes on the middle class by allowing the middle class tax cuts to expire in 2013, raise interest rates on college loans(making it harder for kids to go to college, taxing us more but yet he avoids paying taxes himself(offshore accounts,release taxes), outsourcing jobs(Bain), less regulation of banks(which started the recession in the 1st place, supports wall st), take sesame street away from kids(scrooge).....know wonder Romney talks down and disrespects middle and lower class Americans 47% around his rich friends, He knows bigots would rather see another recession than have Obama as President!!...I hope you people really know what is going to happen to the middle class if this guy who just lied about all his positions in the debate to fool simple minded people is elected..if you think it is bad now I hope you all have some super Rich friends to loan you money!!.....glad I work in the medical field and have a high paying job in demand!!

    October 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. scranton

    Eastwood was right. Jinx88 another pathetic whiner.

    October 9, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Scott

    I wonder how many comments Communist New Network will allow on this article that shows their beloved plastic muslim messiah sliding?

    Scott

    October 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Buzz1975

    How ironic.... those 47% that are shown as supporting Romney.....must have forgotten how he really feels about 47% of this country! Guess his performance on stage (no matter how many lies he told as he switched from right to center in front of our eyes) must really have fooled those folks. Hopefully they will wake the heck up before they actually vote!

    October 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. the one

    you are all stupid, this election is just a show for all the stupid americans, obama will win cause he is the chosen one b ythe illuminati wake up people

    October 9, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. inkandtears

    Ha, this is a CNN poll and Obama still has lost ground.

    October 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Mary

    Romeny has totally changed his story.. NOW he cares about 47% of of the people.. Even though the day after it all came out, he stood by statement he was caught on tape making..
    This man is a performer.. I think we were all stunned at the new story he told at the debate.
    Ryan and romney will not give the numbers for this huge tax plan they have.. And there is no way the numbers work.. In the end we will experience the Bush years all over again.. Only this time worse..
    The people of America will suffer.
    If anyone remembers the free fall we were in when Bush left office, the pain people were feeling.. Then only insanity would make you vote to do it again.
    These two are for the rich.. I call this a hostile take over of the United States..
    The plan? The rich taking control of the world and all its resources.
    The United States is another resource for the rich to exploit.. And the rich can't get richer if they have to worry about the "little people"... The unwashed mass's.. Those who are poor with no real value.
    The ones who will end up joining this new and huge military force.. The one needed to protect all these off shore investments.. You need a strong military to assure the countries don't take the things you have in their country away from you..
    Cuba did it when Castro took over.. Every person who invested in Cuiba was told to get out, and leave everything they owned behind.. They lost it all.
    This is all part of a global takeover of all its resources by the rich.. And People~? You are a resource..Don't kid yourself..

    October 9, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. ohioan

    Willard M. Romney, the greased weathervane, points in the direction of his audience. extreme right wingers see right wing Mitt. On the national stage, he won't cut anything except sesame street??? He's hawkish as anyone has recently been, but no one in his family has ever been in the military. Lot easier sending someone else's kids to do the fighting, I guess. Besides, each of his five sons have 20 million dollar trusts after he avoided taxes by keeping his money in Swiss banks and the Cayman Islands. Without direction or morals, how can he think he's presidential material?

    October 9, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. Lord Toronaga

    Anyone who can not produce a Valid ID is too incompetent or too stupid to deserve the right to vote.

    October 9, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. GOP hate America

    You stop calling me socialist for supporting Obama I will stop calling you a racist for hating him.

    October 9, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. angeldrodriguez

    It is extremely ugly what our USA has become! It has become an angry MOB thursting for blood! Whatever happened to listening to substance instead of the smoke being blown up our asses by the Romey camp! This is why so many of us Americans get conned! Someone like Romey sells you the Brooklyn Bridge and people actually buy this crap! Come on wake up and smell the BS!

    October 9, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Obamaisnogood

    It was all Obama leading untill the debate came around , and now the race is tightening up in most battle ground states .

    October 9, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Hadenuffyet

    Romney WILL NOT raise taxes, well , maybe not , but he WILL reduce reductions and exemptions. He did it in Massachusetts. But rest assured your tax bill WILL rise whether rates change or not.

    October 9, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. DevinJTX

    When I read this article and started thinking of the numbers i was reading about in the 3 polls, the poll of polls average just didn't seem to add up.
    I calculated the real avg

    Romney- 48.67
    Obama- 46.33

    Why would CNN round Romney's average down and Obama's up?
    The truth is the lead is over 2 points (2.34) for Romney.

    October 9, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Will S

    A four percent lead isn't all that close. You are talking about over 300,000 voters.

    October 9, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. vote for da guns

    dont forgeort yothe gun control romney supports plsu

    October 9, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Wade

    And to think the media was trying to call this for Obama two weeks ago.

    October 9, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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