(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.
"I am beginning to think the online betting markets are on to something here."
Meh. Ignore them. The GOP/Teatrolls had someone skew Intrade the other day by dropping $18,000 on bets that Mittens would win, just to goose his percentage and give themselves "evidence" to blabber about with their current "Mittens is surging" reality-denial meme.
Greg Greg Greg – why is it you cons love the polls when they're in your candidates' favor and then post comments like yours when they are not.....
Romney is one of those rare politicians who an talk from three sides of his mouth- depending on the situation at hand. He has no business running for President. Republicans had many more straight arrows that they should have nominated. This guy is a con man and a definite loser,
where is the party breakdown of respondents? is it based on the 2008 model? without that information it sounds like you are trying to mold opinion, not report developments. Put out all the facts and let folks draw their own conclusions.
Notice how Romney was so desperate after the 3rd debate to say the trend was on his side.
He did this because he knew he last the debate badly.
When Romney easily won the first debate, it was just over a week before polls started moving in his direction.
This week, President Obama easily won the third debate. Polling calls are just starting to show the bump from the third debate. These phone results will not show the bump until middle of next week.
Another sign that Romney is in trouble, Ryan gave a policy speech (in front of few people) and then disappeared for two days. We learn that less than 2 weeks before the election he was fundraising? A campaign that is more worried about money than talking with voters is in deep trouble. Look for the money to go toward House and Senate candidates as Republicans realize that 3rd debate was bad.
Romney's worst moment was when he stuttered trying to remember people he met. Couldn't remember their names or stories.
On the other hand, President Obama talks about the families he met in Israel and the 9/11 young women (had my wife in tears).
Obama allowed Americans to die and then went on his way to party wiith the durg lord Jay -z...
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.
And I hope CNN moderator will be neutral enough to let this be posted.
I agree! This poll is a joke. Rasmussen has it tied up and the momentum is going Romney's way. Gallup has it 51 to 46 for Romney. With this latest news of Obama denying 3 requests for help from our Embassy while it was being attacked, he's just gonna go into a support freefall. This administration is corrupt and has BLOOD on its hands!!
@terry,get your facts straight,Ambassador Stevens had the option to go to Tripoli and refused .He knew there were no reinforcements coming and it was 9/11 .You think Stevens was ignorent as you,he spoke Arabic and knew that region for over 20 years and trusted as well as loved the people so don't go off like your old senile Sununu before asking your Darrell Issa who as you might know headed the committee that cut defense spending by over 400 million and a big part of that is embassy security and Stevens knew it as well that's why there were in training towns people for security forces ,check it out nitwit!!Don't you republicans read anything but FOX crap or of your savior Limbaugh the junky,pretty pathedic for your candidate as well but that's republicans losers picking losers!!!
I see that people in Ohio are very smart they can see right through lying Mitt. Way to go Ohio!!!
Without Ohio, it is a whole lot harder for Romney to win. I figure that Romney could win VA, OH, FL and still lose the race.
CNN polls are always way off. They favor Obama and everyone knows it. The latest polls show Romney tied in Ohio and gaining in Wis. Romney only needs Ohio to win as Florida and Virginia are all but locked up. But he will likely also win N Hampshire and Iowa is turning his way. At this point Obama has all the votes he is gonna get. The remaining undecideds will either not vote of vote Romney. So if Obama has a 2 percent or less lead and is not over 50% he will lose that state. I still think Obama is vulnerable on Libyan Embassy attack. CNN won't report it but it looks worse for him everyday. The latest is Obama knew of the attack and went to bed. There were forces in Tripoli and Italy that could have been there in less than 2 hours. They were not called. The CIA headquaters asked if they could help and were told to stand down twice. Panetta is lying he knew and they could have done something. So all you Obama lovers will soon see that Obama is a combination of Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. He will undoubtedly be considered the worst President of the USA in its history. If he wins the election he will be impeached over this Libya incident. So you Dems you may win in the short run but you will lose this war. But I still think Romney will beat Obama and that will be best for all.
This data makes no sense, ~5.7M voters in 2008, ~25% voted early and with a current margin of 59/38 for the oresident in early voting, and 51/44 for Romney on election day, Assuming that 2012 is similar to 2008 then early voting would have to go to 50% of total ballots cast to get a +4 for the President.
"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."
Yes, it can be made without direct input from the CinC, and it was. It's called delegating authority. It's what leaders do. If you think every single request like this gets passed by the POTUS' desk, then you are living in a fantasy world that youclearly invented because reality makes you very uncomfortable and scared.
Obama is starting to pull away at Ohio. Kicking a... there..
This is excellent news!! For Romney!!!
What happened to the MittMentum?
CNN assured me there was MittMentum –
well, I'm sure Mittens will close the gap in the next ten days even though Obama has had a lead there for like 4 years now
Oh great, here comes the "the polls are wrong" excuse again.
Libya is a non-issue in terms of the president. Its just the right wing trying desparately to stir something up before the election. The story was on the news yesterday before Faux today. The military generals said they would not send our soldiers into harms way until they had a firm grasp of the situation on the ground.
It's all about the electorial votes. America does not trust a NON-CHRISTIAN. American christians follow the BIBLE not the book of morman, huh?
i guess some Ohioans like , food stamps, Big intrusive government and a detached left wing lawyer to run things, go figure people..The hell with them!
Why are people even being bothered with these polls. HELLO it all comes down to the Electorate. Don't you know that these polls all of them are bias. some call more republicans and some call more Dems. I only care about who actually voted. That is what's gonna really count. the vote. If you call a bunch of Dems then sure its gonna show in Obama's favor but if you call a bunch of Republicans it will show in Romney's favor. STOP looking at these polls. SMDH
Hey Ohio, the whole world is watching. Romney is out for himself and his billionaire buddies. He will overturn Roe vs. Wade, repeal the popular health care reform bill, embarrass us internationally, and reward his rich friends, not you. Vote early, Ohio!
California Gary, every fact you gave is wrong. Are you an Obama plant?
Great... thanks Ohio... LEFTARDS