(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.
Regardless of which way this turns out we can all agree on one thing....50% of this country won't be represented for the next 4 years.
Polls are nonsense...when they show MY candidate will lose!
I am amused that the GOP keeps ranting about Benghazi, then in the same sentence saying "the economy" is the only thing which matters in the election and to ignore Mourdock, Akin, Sununu, and Ryan and their bigoted garbage.
Obama Will Win !!!!
So cleareye1 you mention that Romney has a problem with 47% of Americans...which as usual was taken out of context. You mentioned that people voting for Romney are chumps. So in essence, you are calling 46% of Ohioans chumps? Nice.
I trust CNN polls about as much as I trust Joe Biden = None. We have an administration that has done nothing, will do nothing, and continue to drive us further into debt. President Obama promised us change, but I am yet to see it (by the way he said change in 4 years and now he needs another 4, I bet he will say he needs another 4 after that....)
Obama is far more honest & has far greater integrity than Romney could ever possess. His plan is working & Romney is just an investment guy, a dirty one at that, a dishonest person who will say anything to get a vote. & maybe it's you who has your ass up your butt Flyboy. Do your own research instead of being a sheepie for the GOP BS.
Another deceptive headline from CNN. Yes, this single poll may be within the margin of error. But the Ohio race is not tied when every single poll has shown Obama leading, most from 3-5 points. The polling in this state has been quite consistent.
Then again, nobody will tune in on election night if they know it has been pretty much decided.
Romney has the popular vote in a landslide.... The question is the electorial... But I think Romney has that as well.
Romney visited N. Canton today...............Its the mostly white section of town.....Hey, Mitt! Why didn't you visit Downtown Canton and see what your parties policies helped create?....See the decay, the aftermath of Huricane Bush and YOUR new, his old advisors....I think he knew he wouldn't be recieved well there....
"Obama better be worried about impeachment right now.." "Impeachment" doesn't mean someone gives you peaches, sonny. Are you saying he should be charged with the crime of running for re-election? Where are all these dumb people coming from today?
@sheepguts68: LOL, the Republitards did that all to themselves. You can thank Akin and Mourdock for inciting the war on women. Maybe you should look beyond Faux News. LOL.
Sorry Romney, you're big donor money is no good in Ohio!
Does Ohio see what's going on around the country? Please look beyond your borders – people are suffering out here – please do what's right for the county as a whole. And even if Ohio is better off economically, do they really think Obama is the best Commander-in-Chief this country and our servicemen deserve – after the way he and his administration did not come to the aid of our Ambassador and the others in the Benghazi horror – and lied to the American people outright?? We could use your support, Ohio.
How could anyone vote for someone that let 4 people die in Libya and didnt have the guts to do something about it. Keep it up CNN.You can do it.
Serious CNN.....why are you protecting this lying president. 4 men are dead and now we find out they were calling for help and were ignored.
Obama lied to us, and the media is not showing the true to citizens of US, Obama left Americans got torture, raped and killed by AlQaeda militias, He them said it was a Video when He knew exactly happens...Go head vote for this lier
Romnesia forgets 47% of people. He is a fake and a serial flip flopper. Obama 2012
Democrats think it's ok for the president to lie to them. I guess honesty and the presidency have nothing to do with each other anymore.
Why on Earth would Obama need to worry about impeachment if Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield are living large and still not in prison for their war crimes and treason? Get a life people.
Wow, some of the Bafoonary on the message boards after the articles, some of you guys think you write for CNN its hysterical. The funny part is no one on this board makes the case for Romney because you can't your case is against Obama. I'll take a president like Obama any day over a one term Gov. who is bank rolled by Millionaires any day. One ter to give his Million dollar donors everything they want. If you really think you can change mind on this message board, than state your case not your ignorance
If 1.4 million are split 59-38 for Obama, and 4.4 million are split 51-44 for Romney, then that means CNN's projections have Romney winning by 14,000. Of course, CNN will never admit to that.
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? Then their children inherit 55% of what is left?
Romney simply has flip flopped too many times. He should have stuck with be a moderate in the first place instead of trying to be a "severely conservative" wannabe. Obama will win and Romney will finally give up on being prez and hopefully next time around we get better choices!
Gary Johnson 2016!