(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 middle class average Ohian is backing the guy who backed them. They are not traitors like Romney who made money sending jobs overseas and saying 47% are mouchers. Pay back time baby.
This should not surprise anyone after the last few days of Romney trying to seem sane after those he supports prove to be actually insane. He is trying to convince women to vote for him yet he lets it be known that he is actually opposed to freedom for women. I guess the women in Ohio who have submitted themselves totally to their overlords don't see a problem., but any modern woman will reject these antique views of rape, free choice, and abortion.
Polls are bull. Just make the right choice for our America.
Wait for it......
Neocons screaming that the poll is no good.
Go Obama team!!!!!!!
What's wrong with Ohio? Can't they see what's needed is to go back to the "tax cuts will solve everything and not even increase the deficit" policies of the Bush administration? C'mon Ohio, wake up!
Tony, if you look closely, the Bickers University of Colorado model has NEVER BEEN USED until this year. It is merely a model. They claim it works "since 1980", utilizing past results. I could create a model and do the same thing, in hindsight. You folks are grasping at straws.
Terry and Buckeystate, CNN has tracked and successfully predicted presidential elections for how many years now and have never been wrong. They are quite nonbias in their polling too. The american people are speaking out, standing up, using their voice, and saying NO MORE! That makes CNN at fault? This is an election opinion poll, they have reported on Lybia elsewhere. Play nice peeps..
Brad ash there were CIA operatives with laser pointing at the targets and communications were up. Air Force or Navy jets could have taken out the mortars in minutes.
I am reading more and more about how crooked Bain Capital was/is and Romney's involvement. Bain capitalized/profited from essentially squashing companies and laying off their staffs. Destroying livelihoods. Do we want that kind of person in the Oval office? I haven't been able to get a clear read on Romney and his beliefs and stances. He keeps changing his positions daily/weekly. I want a President who is honest and we know his positions. Romney is not that person!!!!!
It's sickening the way CNN is frantically doing everything it can to help the worst choice get re-elected. I'll be glad when Romney becomes president and the news media stops looking the other way when news should be reported.
@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.
Did the owner of Fox buy CNN. It seems the reporting on the polls are promoting Romney. When Romney reached 50% on a poll they said it was a great threshold for a candidate to reach but when Obama reached it in Ohio they call it a tie. It is not a tie. he is up .Another item on the fact checker is when Romney states that 50% of the green energy firms the Obama govt invested is failed when there were only 4 companies that failed which is 8% whereas Romney had a 22% failure when he ran Baine
It's looking like Romeny may lose Ohio, could win Wisconsin, and it's up to little New Hampshire to decide the election.
Iowa and Nevada are going Obama. Colorodo, FL and VA are Romeny.
Since the CNN poll is a "likely voter" poll it may be accurate, but it was IMMEDIATELY after the last debate, and perceptions change quite a bit within a couple of days.
CNN was fairly accurate although Rasmussen has been the best for a while now.
It could be Romeny wins the popular vote and loses the election. Good possibility of that.
No way this poll is right obama is not over 50 % anywhere Romney is ahead in Ohio by 3 + Pa. by 4+ CNN are not calling the people center state and dems who are not going to vote coal workers and unions . obama will not carry Ohio thats why he keeps going back . After the news about Benghaza and the lying stunt obama tried to pull he will drop another 2 % in Ohio.
Mitt Romney to Ohio workers: I depreciate you!
Ohio residents, think of this before you cast your vote. This past week marks the 50th.anniversary of the Cuban
Missile Crisis. We came to within 15 minutes of total nuclear destruction of this world, only to be saved by the cool
thinking of JFK. We are now facing a similiar situation when Israel attacks Iran in the near future. Who would you
rather have as President: Romney or Obama? Just imagine if Romney was President in 1962, he certainly would have
listened to his advisors, (unlike JFK), and invaded Cuba causing the Russian Generals on the island to unleash their
short range nuclear missiles against our troops, causing the U.S. and Russia to destroy each other. I think this is a
very plausible scenario!!
You do know, "Liberal Disease", that both taxes and spending have gone DOWN under President Obama?
Polls this early mean nothing.
Obamas economic recovery plan is a complete failure. His foreign policy is in complete shambles. The only way he plans on winning this election is “bad mouthing” Romney.
We need creditability and leadership in the Whitehouse again.
The Democrats are ROCKING the early vote in OH. Obama will win this election.
If you remove the CNN bias then Romney is up by 4 and maybe more. CNN – the most untrusted news source
Why don't you ask Obama to show you the list of the money he wasted... We all know you don't know anything ofterwise you wouldn't spend your time on Romney's taxes. 47% of people paid no federal taxes... 33% on welfare will not work and will not look for a job according to CNN money... You are just another simple person who thinks we working tax payers owes you something without you having to do anything. Get your free obama phone and call Romney when he's our President because right now we dont' have one.
Headline says it all......CNN Poll.....lol......CNN you and your liberal followers are a joke!! Every other poll has Romney up and a dead heat in Ohio.......
I live in Wisconsin. Mitt isnt winning here!