(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.
The math is simple. You have one man who says: let the auto industry sink, 47% of the American have no meaning to me, abortion is debatable, equal pay for women is not something he want to address at the level of policies....Then we have another man who supported the auto industry and it worked unexpectedly well, supports women's right to choose, supports equal pay. We, in Ohio, made up our minds: Barack Obama. Yes, he is not perfect, he made promises, but at least he stands up for me and my family. As a father of two daughters and a husband too, I believe Barack Obama is the choice, not the perfect one, but Mitt Romney's policies are in the '50 (the year I was born), and I don't want my daughters to live in those days' policies.
50% to 46% is not a tie. Nice try, CNN.
If Romney were up that much, the headline would be ROMNEY WAY AHEAD IN OHIO!
Great. Now I have to rely on people in Ohio to pick our next President. I'm sure Ohio will realize how they have been affected for the last four years with oppressive gas prices, no jobs, no plan, no clue from current lawyer in the White House. Lets not let a businessman who is qualified to fix an economy. I'm sure worrying about a woman getting birth control on our tax dollars, who knew what when in Libya a month after the fact in the 21st century all wont come in to play. Amazing... One state is the key and it HAD to be Ohio. Congratulations Obama and we will have Ohio to thank. Trust us we will ensure you remember that daily for the next oppressive four years as the Lawyer muddles through and jazz hands on the View. Thanks for nothing Ohio. Say what you want they will definitly make the wrong choice and we will all ask "why" for 48 straight months.
Why would you want a Rich Racist who hates women for President? Don't vote for Romney. The facts are all there. Just listen to what Comes out of Romneys mouth: Trash.
With the recent developments in Benghazi, You can kiss your Horrible President Goodbye. NO PRESIDENT in history has lost the White House when they had 50% or more of the Gallup Polls. Your poll means absolutely nothing.
Minus 4 points for CNN bias. Looks neck and neck.
Ohio has been immunized against Romnesia. It won't infect Ohioans. Keep strong Ohio.
50:46? Really? How come Rasmussen has it at 48:48 then (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/ohio/election_2012_ohio_president)? As far as I'm concerned, Rasmussen and Gallup and the only two polls that matter. Everyone else's are biased or unscientific.
BTW, CNN, covering up Benghazi does not serve you well. There is breaking news there right now, and you're ignoring it for Obama's sake. I thought you were a news organization.
Don't beleive what you read. Let Ohio go with the ignorant fool who has no clue what to do next. Wisconsin and the rest will save the country. Obama is done and gone. He will be able to spend the rest of his life figuring out how to balance his personal check book, and no longer destorying everyone elses. Anyone who votes for this fool desires to be unemployeed hungry and have their children starve.
Why are you saying he is up 4 points? I didn't think he went down. I don't think 4 p oints is a big deal. He still has a couple of weeks.....
Funny how the President tells Ohioans they can vote early when his administration fought allowing us to do that very thing.
Romney is liar he said let auto industry fail..
Vote Early for Obama/Biden 2012
Let show america we love our president in Ohio.
Who in their right mind would support Romney after that 47% remark?
I see youre using the same trick Time used to inflate Obama numbers. Ask your small group how many voted already...of those get your numbers, about 130 people or so. Then apply that % who voted for Obama vs Romney and apply that % STATEWIDE. Nevermind applying a 130 people to a state of Ohio would give you a margin of error in the double digits range..take that number and apply it statewide, then combine it with your poll...TA-DA Obama ahead!
THIS POLL IS JUNK. It over samples DEMON-CRAPS as usual. ANd I don't believe that LITTLE BARRY HUSSEIN is leading in independents and female when all the national polls have Independents supporting Romney by 15% and the women supporting Barry Hussein by 2%.
CNN – circling the drain with the rest of the Liberal Trash.
OH YEAH!!! Romney is going DOWN! Why? Because he is just another sycophant with an (R) next to his name that the GOP picked to fill an empty slot on the ballot.
Every time good news comes out about the economic the gop fools say its bad ,while they have been sitting on their hands and hoping for it to fail .only idiots would vote for romney and the gop .when the employment numbers come out and show improvement ,they say the numbers are fixed and just keep lieing and lieing ,they have 0 credibility with normal Americans .the gop is like a new communist party ,my way or the highway and vote rigging !!!!
This election truly is scaring the hell out of me. They both continue to be at a dead heat within all toss up states but the ideology of Romney and Obama are profoundly different
" Many places are refusing to take medicare already, so welcome to socialized medicine. " You really need to think before you post. Medicare is socialized medicine and the GOP wants it gone. But you knew that already, right? You were KIDDING! Ha ha, how droll.
Low-info voters kill me. They kill my country, too.
Thankfully Ohio seems to be filled with decent and hardworking Americans who see Romney for what he is - a flip flopper.
Sources tell Fox News that CIA operatives twice asked for permission to help Ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff, and were told to 'stand down' — while a later request for military backup was denied. Look at Foxnews site since CNN will never report this.
"Looks like Romney is toast, say it ain't so. All because Obama camp played dirty and started this supposed war on women garbage."
LOL IF Obama wins it must be because they played dirty. It certainly couldn't be because the average voter is just smarter than YOU.
Romney is the biggest liar to ever run for President. If you don't beleive it just read and watch something other than FOX news! Good grief people! It's amazing to me how misinformed this country is.
@sheep, obama didn't start the war on women... romney and his people started it...just listen to adkin and murdoch...