October 24th, 2012
05:24 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll shows five-point edge for Obama in Ohio

(CNN) – A survey taken in the critical battleground of Ohio shows the race remains tight, with President Barack Obama holding a five point edge over rival Mitt Romney two weeks ahead of Election Day.

The Time Magazine poll released Wednesday showed Obama at 49% and Romney at 44% in the state, within the poll's three point sampling error. The number was derived from a survey of people who said they would vote November 6, and people who said they've already cast their ballot.

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The poll was taken October 22-23, meaning there was one night of polling after the final presidential debate on Monday.

Time's poll showed Obama and Romney both at 45% among respondents who said they would vote on Election Day, and Obama leading Romney 60%-30% among people who said they've cast early ballots. Early voting in Ohio began October 2.

Most observers, both Republicans and Democrats, expect Obama to win among early voters in Ohio, as he did in 2008. But Republicans say their improved voter turnout effort will put them ahead of where they stood four years ago on Election Day, pointing to early voting results showing outsized proportions of Republicans casting early ballots in some of the state's largest counties.

The Republican effort, however, isn't necessarily reflected in Ohio voters' perception of the race. Asked in Wednesday's poll who they thought would win the presidential election, 52% named Obama and 36% said Romney.

Among independents who said they would vote on Election Day, Romney led Obama 55%-32%. Independents who said they already voted went for Obama, 55%-29%.

A Fox News survey conducted after the second presidential debate on October 16 showed Obama edging Romney by three points, 46%-43%.

Other statistics included in the Time poll showed Obama leading among women in Ohio, 56%-37%, while Romney led among men 51%-42%.

The battle for Ohio's 18 electoral votes has been fiercely fought in recent days – Romney stumps in Cincinnati on Wednesday, while Obama makes a stop in Cleveland Thursday. Both vice presidential candidates have also been campaigning in the state this week.

In his criticism of Romney, Obama often points out the GOP nominee's opposition to the bailout of American auto companies, who employ a large number of Ohio residents. In the Time poll, there was a gap between the direction Ohioans saw the country moving, and the direction they saw their state headed.

Fifty-four percent of the respondents said the country was on the wrong track, compared to only 41% who said it was headed in the right direction. The figures for the state of Ohio itself were reversed: 51% said the state was going on the right track, while 43% said the opposite.

Whether credit for Ohio's improved economy goes to Obama, or to the state's Republican Gov. John Kasich, remains a contentious political point, though Wednesday's poll indicates Ohioans are aware their state is better off than the country as a whole. Ohio's unemployment rate is 7%, lower than the 7.8% nationwide rate.

The Time poll was conducted by telephone October 22-23 from 783 likely Ohio voters (or those who had already voted). The sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. Reggiedw

    Wishful thinking CNN!!!!!!! Romney is tied with Obama in Ohio. Come again with something else.

    October 24, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Critical Thinking

    Here are results from a real polling organization.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters, taken the night after the final presidential debate, shows both President Obama and Mitt Romney attracting 48% of the vote.

    October 24, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Abby!

    Why does Tagg have investments in polling machines? Conflict of interest anyone?

    October 24, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Abby!

    Lol at the people above. Republicans only believe polls when they support them. They sure were quoting the CNN poll everywhere the day after the first debate. Hehe

    Happy Voting! Forward!

    October 24, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. myviewis

    I guess we can determine that Ohioans don't care about the unemployment in the rest of the country.

    October 24, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Phil

    Time Magazine is CRAZY Liberal. Sorry can't take this poll too seriously.

    October 24, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. B.

    Obama will win Ohio and win the election as Ohio truly knows who is on their side and always has been.

    Romney is a Exploiter of people and events, and admitted that he has no use for 47% of America!

    October 24, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. DJ

    This is a D+9 sample. But obama only won OH by less than 3-4%. Meaning that Romney is in reality tied or ahead

    October 24, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Watch Ohio, obama12.

    October 24, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    Critical Thinking
    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters, taken the night after the final presidential debate, shows both President Obama and Mitt Romney attracting 48% of the vote.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Ohio UAW union workers should be thankful for Obama. He gave $143.00 from every man, woman and child in America to help the UAW. The rest of the people in Ohio ( the vast majority ) should see that their $143.00 might have been better spent elsewhere. It did not save the auto industry. GM was saved by bankruptcy. The $143.00 was a huge boost to the United Auto Workers Union. They owe a lot to Obama. The rest of us owe a lot to China.

    October 24, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. Really?

    So we are just going to ignore the early voters, eh? I guess so. We will see, come Nov. 6th.

    October 24, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. TEAPARTY MIKE

    This Times poll is made up of 37% Dems and only 28% Rep. A +9 Dem polling advantage. In 2008 election results the actual Dem advantage was +5 in Ohio. Will be less in 2012, no way it will be anywhere near +9.
    There are 2 current polls in Ohio with Obama up +5, this times poll and a CBS poll that also has a +9 Dem advantage in the polling.
    There are 3 polls that show Ohio tied, Rasmussen, Soffolk, and Gravis Marketing.
    There is one poll with Obama up +1, PPP.
    And there are 2 polls showing Obama up +3, Survey USA and Fox News.
    If you throw out the 2 polls with the unrealistic Dem +9 advantage, Obama is up by an average of +1.2.
    Obama is ahead but +5 is just crazy.
    Dems can feel good about the bogus +5 polls is they want. Does not change reality.

    October 24, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. truth hurts

    Romney is surging in ALL the other battleground states as well as Ohio. Whether he wins it or not will not matter when he wins WI, CO, MI and all the other battleground states.

    Obama and his poor supporters can only look on as the Romney Tsunami sweeps them bck to Chicago!

    October 24, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. St. James Place

    If Ohio goes for Obama the Republicans will have the ballots recounted for the next year. Obama is going to win the state and the national. We need a president not an inside trader that hide his income in the Cayman Islands.

    OBAMA 2012

    October 24, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. KarenFaye

    The ONLY reason Ohio polls for Obama is because the Union Goons are leaning on the folks to swing that way. Once they are in the secrecy of a voting booth - they can vote by conscience – not FEAR of reprisal. It's time to take our country back – and send these thugs in the UNIONS packing. Maybe they can guard consulates in Libya – yathink?

    October 24, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. jj

    As Ohio goes, so goes the nation

    October 24, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Looking at some of the candidates the Republicans have trotted out in this electrion. Now a Republican is saying that a pregnancy from a rape is what God wants. Does this mean that Republicans think rapists are doing God's work? I would ask if they could possibly be that stupid but they have already given the answer. Republicans repudiated the candidate who claimed women could prevent pregnancy from rapist through mind control. Admittedly these are Tea Partiers, so they are from the shallow end of the gene pool. Why else would they be Republicans?
    The only wonder is why the Preident is not farther ahead in the polls with folks like this as standard bearers for the opposition.

    October 24, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. KarenFaye

    To ReggieDW: Maybe one day we'll learn why the media is so pro-Obama. It's either Payolla, or stupidity. Wonder which????????

    October 24, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. b

    Romney damaged himself in the eyes of Ohioans after lying to the nation on national television during the third presidential debate stating that he never said that he was against providing a government financial bailout to save the auto industry, when in fact that most people are familiar with his infamous Op-Ed "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" in which he clearly states that he IS against a government bailout. And, 1 in every 8 jobs in Ohio is tied to the auto industry.

    October 24, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. Ryan

    Wow, first Time Magazine crazy liberal? Ok whatever helps you sleep at night. Second, why can't Republicans mention anything wrong with polls when they are over sampled to make it look like they won the debates? Because they don't want to know the truth.

    Second, CNN, the last time I looked 49-44 is a 5 point spread. If the magin or error is 3, and 5 is greater than 3, that means this poll is OUTSIDE of the margin of error. Stop trying to make this closer than it already is. You and Faux News need to learn how to report on real news.

    October 24, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. mkriley39

    I wonder how many of those early voters who rushed their Obama vote are now having serious heartburn. Ohio should let them change their minds and repent.

    October 24, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. boB

    Look into the metrics of the study. They over-sampled Democrats by 9% and think they will turn out in the same numbers as 2008. Not going to happen on either point.

    October 24, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Jen

    Keep going Ohio!!! Remember who safed the auto industry and who wanted it to go into bankrupty. Also, the unemployment went down in Ohio and many other places, get your facts straight before opening your mouth. But i forgot your a republican

    October 24, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  24. Bill in Florida

    So tell me how a 5% lead is within a 3% MOE? Why doesn't CNN drop the MOE instead of using it only oen way? The MOE shows Obama in the lead, by somewhere between 2 and 8 points.

    October 24, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Jake

    The further north you go in this country, the more you know you're in a state where intelligence, common sense, and real America lives. Ohio, a great state, with some very bright people who don't let slick commercials take over their mind. Wish the rest of America could see what Ohio sees and knows.

    October 24, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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