(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.
CNN can say that it is 50% lead for all I care,but we WILL see Nov.6.
Gov. Romney, SHOW US YOUR TAXES FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS !!!
@Terry: "Where is your Benghazi coverage today???? There is breaking news about the refusal of the Obama administration to help, not once , not twice, but three times during the firefight that night."
This is what happens when you consider Breitbart "news," I guess. A top story YESTERDAY was the Secretary of Defense talking about exactly why troops were not sent in. Look it up, knock yourself out.
Silly. The only Ohio poll that shows this margin. The internals show a higher dem turnout than in 2008 which is completely unrealistic.CNN is so corrupt.
Tony, it could also mean Obama is up by 8 or 9.
Where's the million dollar Stemberg story where Romney perjured himself, under OATH. Nov 7 is too late!!!
Romney's got this
This President has no credibility and this attempt to portray Obama gaining in Ohio is yet another attempt to deceive the American Public. Where's CNN's news pertaining to the latest reports on what Obama DIDN'T DO when asked. As was previously posted: To let the folks in Benghazi go without sending in aid when they called in and asked for help three times and denied three times clearly shows a decision was made by the Commander in Chief to stand-down. That decision could not be done without him knowing about it and without him taking a position on it. So either he was derelict in his duties or he chose to let people die due to his negligence and disregard; people that counted on the chain of command coming to their aid. Obama loses not only the trust of the American Public but the military, our intelligence personnel, and those that represent our country's interests can't count on this leader and his administration to have their back. SHAMEFUL.
Obama is going to win ohio so lady parts Romney and crew get used to it...
CNN hoping to discourage voters.. Thanks for empowering those thinking of staying home...
The poll is as far off as CNN claimed the Gallup poll to be. Automatic outlier.
if you google "Bickers election model", it will point to you to a university colorado website which show "Updated election forecasting model still points to Romney win, University of Colorado study says". The model has been correctly predicted the election result since 1980. Of course it cannot give an %100 guarantee to its prediction, but it's fun to watch and see how this time this model works.
JJ, flyboy, and critical thinking........the rasmussen poll tends to shade everything to the "right".......their data is no more reliable that this poll that you are so ready to dismiss. If you really want a sense of who has the momentum, look at the size of the crowds attending their various events. Obama is drawing bigger crowds at little one horse towns than Romney draws in large metro areas. You might also take a look at the pictures of people streaming in to vote early......do those folks look like right wing Tea Party types to you? Advantage Obama.......
Since when is a 4 point lead "close"? I understand theres a margin of error and such, but it's just as likely that the margin of error is underrepresenting Mr. Obama's lead (although I don't believe that to be the case). Averaging out all the polls and it looks like Obama is up about 2 points in Ohio right now, which is plenty for me to feel pretty comfortable as of right now.
Great! Romney behind by only 4 points in a CNN poll means that he must be about 8 points ahead in credible polls. :)
BENGHAZI REPORTING CNN ?????
CNN give it up already!!!!!!!!!! Romney 2012
I dont know why Romney loves talking about his role in Massachusetts.
I am from Massachusetts and I can tell you that NO ONE likes him here. He raised taxes on everything. We lost more than 10% of jobs and we were placed 47th on job growth in the whole country. Does the country want to lose more jobs? because that IS his record in Massachusetts. And since he believes his record in Massachusetts is SO credible. If Romney wins, expect to lose more jobs just like he did in Massachusetts.
Cool! may the best man win. Too bad presidents dont run the country. People with large sums of money and major influence do. Presidents are just figure heads who get to sign stuff into law if told to. IMHO. People will probably disagree with my thinking, but thats ok because some time ago a president/figure head was influenced into introducing the bill of rights which allows me to speak freely. ( :
These poll numbers are all BS. This race is close...very very close. So as much as the liberal media wants to influence the undecided voters in favor of Obama....it won't work. God help us if this man wins...we will all be doomed.
dammmm - looks like ohio is getting ready to place the blindfold on obama, and offer him a his cig
Game Over! We love Mr. President Obama!!! Four more years!!! Forward!
Libya is not a Lie....its republican propaganda spinning the whole thing out of control...let the investigation do its job...than you can nail Obama after its done....meanwhile, why don't you ask Bush for an apology for lying about WMDs in IRAQ, we lost thousands of soldiers and you crying for Obama's head for 4?!
Lets see how many republicans can twist this poll to their favor.
CNN--have you no honor at all. 4 Americans died and now the CIA says it ask to be allowed to help and were denied by our bad leaders in Washington. CNN you would be the first ones to jump on Richard Nixon if he covered up a political break in but you don't say a word when 4 Americans were brutally killed and denied help they requested and it is proved by the CIA. It does not get anymore sickening than this.
Tell the truth CNN The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters, taken the night after the final presidential debate, shows both President Obama and Mitt Romney attracting 48% of the vote. Two percent (2%) plan to vote for some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
How bout covering the story about the CIA having the terrorists targeted with a laser-guidance system, but the plane suppost was denied while their annex was under fire from the terrorists in Libya on 9/11, as they were calling for help.