(CNN) - With a week and a half to go until Election Day, a new poll indicates the race for arguably the most important battleground state remains very close.
According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday, President Barack Obama holds a four point advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the contest for Ohio's much fought over 18 electoral votes.
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Fifty-percent of likely voters questioned in the poll say they are backing the president, with 46% supporting the former Massachusetts governor. Obama's four point advantage is within the survey's sampling error. The survey was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, entirely after Monday's final presidential debate.
"The race in the Buckeye State is essentially unchanged since early October, when a CNN/ORC poll taken just after the first presidential debate also showed President Obama with a four-point margin over Governor Romney," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Surveys by other organizations conducted last month, before the first debate, had Obama ahead of Romney by seven to 10 points.
The new poll indicates that Obama has a double digit lead among those who have already voted absentee or early ballot or plan to do so before Election Day, with Romney holding the edge among people who plan to cast their ballot on November 6.
According to the survey, the gender gap has tightened a bit, but the basic storyline remains the same. Obama holds a 56%-42% advantage among female voters, with the GOP challenger up 50%-44% among men.
"In other major demographic groups, the movement since early October has been in the expected direction, with Obama picking up ground among younger voters, lower-income voters and urban voters and losing support among older voters, suburbanites, and higher-income voters," adds Holland. "Looking at age, for example, Obama has gained three points among voters under 50 years old since early October, but lost three points among voters who are 50 and older."
The poll indicates Obama maintains a small but critical advantage among independent voters. In early October, he had a 50%-46% margin among independents - virtually identical to the 49%-44% edge he has today
Among those who have voted early or plan to vote before Election Day, Obama holds a 59%-38% lead, with Romney up 51%-44% among those who say they'll vote on Election Day. Ninety-two percent of likely voters say they've made up their minds, with 4% saying they could change their minds.
Campaigning Thursday in Cleveland, the president urged Ohioans to vote early: "Ohio you can vote now, you don't have to vote later."
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 from the presidential candidates. This week alone, Obama campaigned in the state on Tuesday and Thursday. Romney spent Thursday making a swing throughout the state, and returns to Ohio Friday evening.
"Ohio is going to set the course for the nation," Romney said Thursday in Defiance, Ohio.
Overall, the campaigns, party committees, and super PACs and other independent groups have spent more than $118 million to run ads on broadcast TV in Ohio since the start of the general election, with the numbers evenly divided between the two sides. Those figures come from Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising for its clients.
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 44%, with Johnson at 4%, Stein at 2% and Goode registering less than one-half of one percent.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from October 23-25, with 1,009 Ohio adults, including 896 registered voters and 741 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
American Research Group also released a live operator, non-partisan poll of likely voters in Ohio on Friday. It was also conducted entirely after the final debate. It indicates Obama with a 49%-47% edge over Romney, which is within the survey's sampling error.
What is shocking is that Obama is only up 4, and tied in other states. It is a joke that people are supporting a GOP party that basically destroyed the country 4 years ago. Romney is indeed a bull*****er. Our poor, gullible american public is falling for the same old GOP tricks. I can't but feel sorry for our country.
Come on Ohio!!!!!!!!
We need you!!!!!!!
Keep it up!!!!!!!
Obama deserves regardless of HORRIBLE CONGRESS THUGS. Yes, on Obama12.
PS: mitt said let Detroit go bankrupt. Did we forget???47%? Baincapital to China???
You lefties are really in panic mode and it is hilarious!!!
Why is Anderson cooper and the CNN news reporters not reporting this story. gloria Aldridge Confirmed this on TV last night. This shows that CNNs reporting is very questionable, Mike Athens Ohio
Justic For All!
Mitt Romney implicated in perjury and stock fraud, made millions in process
Mitt Romney has been implicated in a complex case involving perjury, stock manipulation, and possibly consumer
Pay careful attention to the part about the President's 2-1 advantage among early voters and the 4 point lead over Independents.
Traditionally our family voted Republican even back in the Days of Franklin Roosevelt, but the current Republican Party is one of religious and ideological extremism. They are scary, really scary. Be afraid, be very afraid.
I hope Romney wins this election. I can't take another 4 years of Obama. The only people voting for him are the ones that are on welfare. The free checks are gonna stop regardless who is president. What's sad is that America has plenty of jobs, but the people are too lazy to work. It's easier to sit on their ass and collect free money. When the checks stop, it's gonna be like Seagulls on a beach with no food. All Hell is gonna break loose....
How annoying that the fate of the nation lies in idiot Ohio voters. Hopefully they will remember that Obama saved the auto industry.
CNN polling is oversamples Republicans ... because more Republicans watch TV!!!
Did you not see all the polls after the debates? CNN's polls were generally tighter because they over sample more Republicans.
Even FAUX NEWS shows Obama is up! LMAO!
What do the real polls say?
So funny when Kerry was running against Bush, they labeled him a flip-flopper. But when Romney does it on more issues than people can keep track of, he's good for the country. The man was governor of MA and it was 47th of 50 states in jobs. If he didn't so well in one state, what makes you think he can do it for the whole country? Bush was likeable too. People said he was the type they could sit down and have a beer with. Look where he got us. So spare me the idea of likability. Obama got thrown into a deep hole with Republicans obstructing him at every turn. Didn't Republicans run on jobs in 2010? Well?
I believe now that CNN is no better thn Fox? It is very Bias! anderson why dont you kiss Romneys butt!
Republican talking points:
Mitt is up in the national polls: "It's going to be a landslide... Obama is the next Carter... the DNC is toast..."
Mitt is down and trending down in Ohio; "Libya, Libya, Libya... polls are wrong ..."
I was just in Ohio, all I could see was R/R signs and bumper stickers. Ohio is going to Robmey and that is a problem because America as a whole is not controlled by a small group of uneducated nit wits.
Another thing is that the Ohio poll was +7 Democrats were polled over Republicans. Do they really think that many Dems are going to go to the polls??? Romney has more of a chance than the media is letting on.
If you live in an east coast battleground state, and can vote early, do it. Hurricane Sand could affect the area through election day.
Is it true if you work,with after tax money you save, buy a house,land and retire if you pass away your children will only receive 55% with democrat tax? And their children will only receive 55% of their parents hard work?
In all honesty, this race shouldn't be anywhere as close as it is. Romney is a disaster...even his own party hated him up until a few months ago.
its amazing the optimism of the right loosing by 4 point in the most critical state and still they thing they have a chance becouse it is within the "marging of error" well that margin can go both ways and coosidering that atight election means big money for news sources guess what they are trying to sell... but clarity is comming in the next week or so and it wont be on romney's side thats for sure.
"...an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials - who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11. "
Where is CNN's article about this??
Many people in this country are trained in even a very basic math. If they do understand the elementary math, they would know how destructive Obama's policy is for a long run.