(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.
How can anyone consider voting for a man who hides all his personal financial information in such an arrogant manner, considers 47% of Americans to be deadbeat leaches., and wants to take women backwards a hundred year. On top of that, he has no plan to explain, no track record, no respect for the military (dodged the draft) and is clearly in the pocket of the mega-billionaires that are financing his campaign.
Only complete chumps would think he is going to look out for them!
The folks of Ohio are clever. They are hardworking. They can tell which candidate is authentic and which candidate truly cares about their well being and the well being of the families.
Go go go...Obama!
Anyone who would vote to re-elect the failure that is Obama is either not paying attention to his record of failure, is still suffering from "White guilt syndrome" or has their head firmly up their @ss.
Romney deserves a victory. Obama is a liar.. I don't hate or love anyone.. But I believe in Merits... I strongly feel that Merits suggest that Romney is better for the country... I also believe that instead of debates, there should be a lie detector tests and Narco Tests between the contestants, so that people can come to know who is a liar... Wish you a good luck Romney..
just went for a mammo, so was speaking to tech who complained that she didn't get a raise in years, the doc she works for keeps getting his reimbursements cut, meanwhile her food, expenses, gas keeps going up. I had to fill out a government form that asked me questions about my race, all medicines I was on, and other personal stuff that I refused to answer. Many places are refusing to take medicare already, so welcome to socialized medicine. You want more of this, just vote for Obama.
I just think it's hilarious when the poll shows pro-obama the Romney people are like BS, but when it says pro-Romney the Obama people are all BS this. Seriously guys take it for what it is. When was the last time Ohio went red...wasn't that 04 during that horrible election? I can't remember, but anyway we will see it could always turn into the 04 elections again.
Bet it is a bigger spread than is being reported. Who in Ohio would vote for Rmny? The rich people?
Looks like Romney is toast, say it ain't so. All because Obama camp played dirty and started this supposed war on women garbage.
I want Obama to win because if Paul Ryan becomes VP and eventually becomes president this country as we know it will cease to exist!!!
Seriously if you look at Paul Ryan's policies and his beliefs it is scary!! It will be pretty much a totalitarian state ran by a handful of mega corporations and social policies not too different than the Taliban except under the guise of Christianity instead of Islam... and I say this an an evangelical Christian. I do not want the US to become a 'Christian' Taliban nation.
Also – Obama's race (half his race) he's got you guys doing worse than Mexican... You guys really love histroy I must say... I'm American Indian, but I'd kick and Indian out before going backwards because of it's the 1st Indian to pimp at the White House... Thank God I've never lived on welfare and wouldn't sell myself short just to keep one person out of my race living better while destroying the rest of us. What backwards people.
Given the 3-5% margin of error in the poll shouldn't the headline be "Poll shows a statistical tie" rather than the misleading claim that Obama is up 4 points? Burrying the marging in the last lines of the story and making yet more false headlines just proves, once again, CNN has lost all credibility as an unbiased news outlet.
Albert Friday whined: "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."
President Obama has done a remarkable job turning this country around from the cliff we were falling off when he was elected. By every standard, our economy and our standing in the world has improved. President Obama is perhaps the BEST president of my lifetime and I was thrilled to vote for him yesterday!
You can babble about Obama's foreign policy being "in shambles" but by every measure our nation is safer and more respected than we were when Obama took office and the the planet was in complete chaos. You're not fooling anybody. We remember what the last Republican president did to our nation and the world.
GM is ALIVE and bin Laden is DEAD. OBAMA 2012!
Ohio, if you put Barack Obama back in the White House I will love you long time!
@ liberal diease..talking abt big intrusive gov't ?..That is what the GOP wants to do to women..
Here come the poll deniers LOL 10 of the last 13 polls of Ohio show the same. Obama winning. Obama will win the electoral college people. The cake is baked. Romney hasn't lead a single STATE poll of OH, WI, NV, or IA in almost 3 weeks. When looking at polls ALWAYS look at the average of all polls, not focusing on one. National polls are POPULAR VOTE polls. Al Gore / Bush anyone?
Ohio understands that Obama has played a very large role in its economic revocery, whereas Romney, in true vulture capitalist fashion, was all for throwing the U.S. auto industry under the bus.
This number will shift even more in favor of the President as the fallout from Lord VoldeMourdock continues.
I wouldn't believe anythign CNN puts up as a poll. Has anyone noticed they're refusing to report the Story of the CIA opertives being told to stand down as the attacks took place on Consulate? Then denied those same CIA operatives help for over 4hrs while their Annex was under heavy fire. Even when one on the roof had a laser pointed at the Motur Firing so they could shoot missle so the location... Wake up people, get all the info and make an educated decision instead of believing every bit of non sense aimed at Romney... You think its ok that our citezens were killed and this adminstration continues to cover it up.... How many of you know small business owners? Well I do and your jobs are on the line. Almost everyone I talked to are not going to hire if obama is re-elected with some considering selling or closing down...
GO gary Johnson GO... if you really want a balanced budget and an end to deficit spending, vote for Gary.
sheepguts68 whined: "Looks like Romney is toast, say it ain't so. All because Obama camp played dirty and started this supposed war on women garbage."
Don't blame Obama for the Republican War on Women.
Women will remember in November. OBAMA 2012!
I'll be glad when this is over. All the political nut jobs are becoming insufferable.
Already voted Romney and im a former new yorker
Willard now would be a good time to post those tax returns. We want to know how much un-taxed money you have in the accounts in the Cayman Islands. F
How can anyone trust the liberal loving CNN to publish any real numbers?