October 24th, 2012
05:24 PM ET
6 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. Wanderer

    By now if Romney does not beat Obama at least 7% nationwide, we know the result after 11/06/2012 will be like that in November 2008 i.e. Obama will win the election with landslide.

    October 24, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Ken

    Another CNN lie designed to influence voter perceptoin and turnout. The race is tied in Ohio.

    October 24, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  3. Opal

    I lived in Ohio several years, and for the most part most Ohioans, except in Cleveland proper, are a bunch of selfish, vote for the union, and trailer trash people I have ever worked with. They sucked GM, Ford, and Chrysler dry. No wonder they have lost all their jobs. Ohio companies cannot compete, yet they cry when plants are closed and jobs are moved. They deserve what they got. The Ohio unions ruined the paper business, the car business, and now the steel business. AKS Steel will be the next Ohio Union Victim. Watch. Obama may win Ohio, but the people in Ohio will lose, and jobs will leave under Obama, and Ohio will once again continue to be the armpit of America.

    I only ask you this, what has Obama done for you lately, only to try to woo all the white women.

    October 24, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Has a +9% democratic sampling margin. I don't know the Ohio democrat to republican ratio off the top of my head, but I'd imagine it's not 9%. Regardless of how you lean, it's safe to say it's gonna be closer than this.

    October 24, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Jersey Girl

    The president has consistently been ahead in Ohio and will continue. I believe he will also get Nevada and probably Florida. It's funny that the president will probably win Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Michigan. Aren't they all home states of Ryan and Romney? Can't they win those states?

    October 24, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |

    Romney has changed his policies way too much to have any shred of credibility. He is trying to pull a fast one on the American People. DO NOT LET Mitt "wolf in sheep's clothing" Romney pull the wool over your eyes!!

    October 24, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. Stephen

    I like how if Obama is 4-5 points up somewhere, it's "close" with Romney "closing the gap," but if Romney is ahead somewhere by like 1 point, it's "Romney in the lead!" They're trying to make it sound closer than it is, I think.

    October 24, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. donna

    Important figure from poll = Obama with less than 50%.

    October 24, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. ObjectiveGuy

    People of Ohio, do NOT believe Obama's baseless accusations against Romney. If he is a president worth re-electing, why doesn't he just run on the strength of his own record? Simply, because he can not. Obama has not gotten our economy out of recession, and it was the democrat controlled house and senate in GWB's last 2 years that crashed the economy (the economy began to nosedive 8 months after they gained the congressional majority). Further, Obama has saddled us with $6+ trillion of new and unsustainable debt in just 4 years. Further, he has presided over record high unemployment for this period of time. If Obama was in the private sector, with his performance he would have been FIRED. He won the 2008 election by making empty promises that he had no intention of or ability to keep, and the proof is in his grossly failed term as president. Do not be gullible enough to fall his lies again. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

    October 24, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  10. Jeff7979

    Community organizer vs.a man who has 25 years of running successful businesses and 8 years governer – Oh what the hell, I'll take the guy who gives me a free phone!

    October 24, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. ObjectiveGuy

    Why do Obama supporters consider it "moving forward" to accept the same failed policies of the past 4 years? He has offered NO new plan for turning the economy around, other than saying that he needs 4 more years. I might be more inclined to believe him if he actually told us WHAT he plans to do differently from what he has been doing, because it clearly is not working. Romney actually understands how the economy and job market function, and has detailed his plan for making it happen. We cannot afford 4 more years of Obama's economy.

    October 24, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  12. Maria

    Obama needs Ohio and PA and this things is over. He already has Iowa and Michigan. Romney can have Virginia and FLA.

    October 24, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. David

    DJ, you obviously don't understand statistics. When a poll has a margin of error, it DOES indicate that there is what is called "error variance" and that the poll presents a range within which results statistically will fall. So, while it is possible that Romney is tied with the President or might be ahead, your comment that "Romney is in reality tied or ahead" is both logically and statistically dead wrong. Polls have margins of error built in to them because measurement is an inexact science, even with proper population stratification in the sample and with proper sample sizes. All things being equal, it is better to be AHEAD in such polls than BEHIND, so your illogical conclusion noted above shows that you are likely both a poorly educated Republican, and a Romney supporter. If this poll had shown Mr. Romney in the lead, would you have sited the margin of error statistic and then concluded that "in reality" the President is tied or ahead? This is the kind of muddled thinking that really scares me when I think of people like you out there voting on election day. Please exercise your right to vote, but THINK MORE CLEARLY when you do.

    October 24, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. dave price

    most media outlets in ohio have romney up 2-4 points in ohio.

    October 24, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. liz48

    Who comprised the voters polled is the million dollar question!!!

    If they were 80% democrats who got free phones in Ohio, I wouldn't care too much for the results...

    October 24, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. Dan

    Rasmussen is a republican propaganda machine, everyone knows this. When you see Rasmussen, subtract 4 points from the republican candidate.

    October 24, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. obamalarkey

    Who comprised the voters polled is the million dollar question!!!

    If they were 80% democrats who got free phones in Ohio, I wouldn't care too much for the results...

    October 24, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Republican who supports President Obama

    Finally some good news.

    October 24, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  19. SurRy

    Not a mention that Tagg Romney is financially invested in the voting machines in Ohio. Imagine if a child of Barack Obama owned them. The outcry would be endless.

    October 24, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. JC17

    Republicans, the party that brings you such genious ideals as:

    1. There is no such thing as evolution
    2. God's will is procreation through rape.
    3. There is no such thing as global warming
    4. Iraqi oil profits will pay for the war
    5. Iraq doesn't have wepaons of mass destruction, but we will tell everyone they do and send your sons and daughters over to die in order to protect the wealthy's oil interests.
    6. Sara Palin is qualified to be President.

    October 24, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. ciroc

    Romney is crushing Obama among independents 53-38, yet is behind by 5 points? Regular readers will immediately be able to pinpoint the problem. Yes, Time dramatically oversamples Democrats, crafting together a poll that is D+9. This implies a bigger Democrat turnout than the wave years of 2006 and 2008. Your mileage may vary a bit, but that isn't going to happen.

    But the Time poll goes one-step further than just the regular partisan oversampling. Basically, they split up the poll into two mini-samples. They separate those who plan to vote on election day and those who have already cast an early ballot.

    Among those planning to vote on election day, the Presidential race is tied, with Obama and Romney each taking 45% of the vote. Amazingly, Romney enjoys a 23 point lead over Obama among Independents voting on election day.

    Time then asks those who say they have already voted and finds Obama with an enormous lead of 60-30 among those saying they've already voted. Keep in mind, though, the sample size of this survey is just 145 people. To survey the whole state. This alone would carry a double-digit margin of error on the question.

    October 24, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. benny

    something that i wander with these polls is do they talk to the same people everytime or different random people everytime because if you talk to different people everytime it should not be a massive story whenever there is a major shifts in these "polls"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. Red Buttons

    If it is even close, this means Obama is actually way ahead as the polls have not accounted for the huge increase in cellphone only households, which are predominately progressive young people. Look up polling and cellphones if you want to see for yourself.

    October 24, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. Ohioan

    Hmmm...18 out of 24 of our family here in Ohio are voting Romney – CNN, I can't believe we are that far off base??

    October 24, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  25. nc1965


    Where votes really matter. Obama leads in 8 out of 10.

    PA (20 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.7 44.7 Obama +5.0

    OH (18 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.4 46.0 Obama +2.4

    MI (16 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.6 43.6 Obama +5.0

    WI (10 electoral votes) – RCP Average 50.0 47.2Obama +2.8

    IA (6 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.3 46.0 Obama +3.3

    NV (6 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.0 46.0 Obama +3.0

    VA (13 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.4 47.6 Obama +0.8

    NH (4 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.3 47.5 Obama +0.8

    CO (9 electoral votes) – RCP Average 47.9 47.7 Romney +0.2

    FL (29 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.3 46.8 Romney +2.5


    October 24, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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