October 24th, 2012
05:24 PM ET
1 year 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. mj

    Telephone polling?...I thought only senors answer or even have house phones now. Most people now have cell phone which btw polling is not allowed to call cells so that so call tie?..only means 80% of the pollsters
    are seniors..lol.

    October 24, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Charlie

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

    Sorry "all politics is local"

    October 24, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. mre2

    Rasmussen poll for Ohio released this morning shows it a dead heat.

    October 24, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. ronb

    So glad OH remembers the guy who stepped up to help folks keep their jobs in the auto industry AND the guy who said let them go bankrupt! I'll bet Willard invested heavily in a foreign car manufacturer in hopes that the US car industry would fail. Then, he could really cash in!

    But, a word of warning to Ohians....some republicans want the ability to rape your wives/daughters and force them to carry the baby to term! How's that sit with you men folk up there? For nine months, your wife/daughter/sister is going to have to carry the baby of a rapist if the GOP wins! It's in their PLANK!! They voted for it! IT's approved! IF THE GOP WINS, SOME OF YOU WILL BE "BLESSED" WITH CARRYING THE CHILD OF A RAPIST!!!

    October 24, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. bc runner

    I love this! When Romney is ahead, the Republicans believe the polls. When they show Obama ahead, no way!! The polls are wrong!! Go figure!!

    October 24, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. poopyonastickmakesmesick

    I think Time/ CNN/ ORC are the only polls showing Obama ahead in Ohio- all others show a tie.

    October 24, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. larry banal

    LOL reggiedw...but really enough already. let us get this election over. the 50 republican debates seem like a million years ago and this has been the worlds longest election

    October 24, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. Yes we can move Forward!

    @Gurgyl. Yes we can move FORWARD! ;)

    October 24, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Erik

    There's simply no way for Romney to win Ohio or even the election. The crucial demographies he needs to clinch his election are solidly in Obama's corner, not his. And I'm talking about the Latino and female demographics. Also, many of Romney's most likely voters will pass on even voting at all because they don't trust his wealth and also because they regard his religion of Mormonism as a cult. Add those facts to the fact that he denigrated 47% of America and its supremely easy to see that Romney doesn't stand a chance of winning election. Remember people, this is the party that tried to put the dimwitted Palin in the White House last election. The Republicans want to sell our country out to the corporations that created this recession through the policies that the last Republican administration condoned and encouraged. Be smart, America, and vote Obama for another term.

    October 24, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. independent

    Ohio, the Nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Dance with the partner who brought you to the dance.

    October 24, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. pensacola fl

    "...Obama leading Romney 60%-30% among people who said they've cast early ballots."
    wow. you can talk about all the momentum and debate performances you want, but if you're already losing 2-1 on votes already cast in the most crucial state, then that just shows Romney has a major enthusiasm deficit. so long, Mr. Romney. see you on the Fox News circuit!

    October 24, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. jonat

    Time is a liberal rag...
    DNC delegate and partisan Democrat lawyer Gloria Allred attended the “30 Days to Victory” Obama fundraiser at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on October 7th…featuring George Clooney and musical acts Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Bon Jovi and Earth, Wind & Fire. After the fundraiser, Allred admitted to O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters that she “just had a few words with the President” backstage, “he had some very kind words for me,” and “knows of my work…” but would not elaborate more on the details of her conversation. Now, two weeks later Allred is spearheading an “October surprise” targeting Mitt Romney just days before the election.

    October 24, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  13. ohio

    voted early-and as an ohio resident you might be surprised how many here are sick of
    the tea party and are voting dem because of it. and yes-abby-i find it troubling that Tagg
    owns voting machines too. Crazy conflict of interest but just watch the repubs justify it and they wll.
    I am really really hoping that Ohio goes for Obama. I live in a very conservative area and the
    number of obama signs is surprising. It is making the repubs so mad, too!

    October 24, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. DH89

    Anyone else sick of the hourly poll updates? I find them rather obnoxious to say the least. My phone has been ringing off the hook with pollsters. I refuse to answer the calls. Nobody's business but mine how I'm voting.

    October 24, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. enough

    maybe the Romney supporters want to reject a foxnews poll putting Obama up by three.

    October 24, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. Fantasybaron

    Do the Ohio people knowabout tax cuts? Its the thing Republicans have trumpeted for the last forty years. We can tax break our way out of this and if Mitt wins we'll stop talking about debt or blame Obama. If debt does matter we'll spread it across all the income groups in an uneven way so that the poor and middle class can pay for them. And do you know what? Four years from now, you heard it here first, we're going, to ask, for more, Tax cuts! Who cares if they work, the poor and middle class pay the debt back on those anyway.

    October 24, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. Anon 2012

    CNN is desperate to give Romney Ohio but it is not happening. The president is ahead in Ohio regardless of which poll you look at. Even the Fox News poll has the president ahead in Ohio. It's over. Welcome to the re-election of President Obama.

    October 24, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  18. On Vacation

    What "this" poll shows does not represtent anything but itself, a poll.

    October 24, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. Sergio

    NY Times/Quinnipiac poll released today in Ohio: Obama 53%, Romney 43%...not taking one side or the other, just throwing it out there

    October 24, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. Kareem

    This is a trip...CNN/Time Ohio poll has Obama up 5, 49-44. Sample is D+9. It was D+5 in 08, D+1 in 2010... Ok seriously?? Lol

    October 24, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. remymarco

    yeah, it is delusional to think this is gonna be close. Obama owns Ohio and the election.

    October 24, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. smarty

    You have to average these polls out. Neither D or R should try to cherry pick these polls depending on whether they like the results or not. I know this is human nature to accept information that we agree with and reject information that we disagree with, but an averaging of the polls gives us the best estimate possible. The average shows that O has a persistent lead of about 2 to 2.5% over the last 3 weeks. An important question is how you figure out who is a "likely voter" and there is no foolproof way of doing.

    October 24, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. GothVanhellsing

    Why do you guys at CNN always over sample Democrats and then report that your poll swings left like it's news?

    October 24, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Sam

    Since when is a 5 point lead within a 3 point sampling error CNN?

    October 24, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. D'Anconia Copper

    I agree with @Critical Thinking. Rass has it tied and Time's model is in fact D+9 favored. RCP and Politico are the only election sites worth checking.

    October 24, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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