(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.
Obama now leads the RCP average in Colorado:) Polls show NC CLOSE today, FL close, VA tied... Romney is in big trouble especially in the electoral college.
Must be another CNN poll!
1) Do you trust CNN to do objective, unbiased polling?
2) Can you trust the any poll that oversamples Democratic voters by 10%?
If women didn't look at the virginity commercial and vomit, then they deserve Obama.
There are conflicting reports on these polls, some polls pointting Romney is leading in Ohio others is sayting Obama is leading. I think we have wait until election is over. CNN already is not an independent organization with good credibility, so it is very hard believe whether the poll is accurate or not.
Most of his health care plan doesn't even kick in till 2014, so welcome to the way its been for 15 years sister.
@Merits suggest that I should like Romney
A lie detector test will disqualify mittens I can tell you about that...
I just watched the new Ohio poll being released with Obama up 4 pts. How the hell can Wolf spin this as a tie? If it was Romney up 4... He would say he is surging ahead. I though CNN was fair and balanced... What happend?
It baffles me how every year the political races are determined so early. I'm over 50 and have responded to maybe three calls TOTAL over the years asking me who I'm voting for. So it stands to reason that all of these poll numbers–on both sides–are based upon the few who actually answer, then listen to those ridiculously long lists of questions. I hang up. I vote in the booth not on the phone. And I have a feeling most people are like me.
Romney has double the political ads as Obama in Ohio. It's a shame he couldn't use the money that he paid for these ads to help those less fortunate.
How could any human being with a straight face call Obama a liar when the GOP candidate ON VIDEO HAS CHANGED HIS POSTION ON MULTIPLE SUBJECTS IN A WEEK PERIOD! Jesus! I think in the end the politics of social hate are coming home to roost for the GOP. If you can't win THIS election. You are TOAST in 2016 as the economy will be even better and the 1st woman will be president:)
A lot of people with blinders on today I see! Romney is a joke...and the idiots have been duped!
Wow, two polls with the spilt between candidates at or within the margin of error. Big news at CNN that Obama leads. If the trend was reversed, no doubt CNN would play up how close things are and how much uncertainty exists in these polls.
Obama will win the debate; I can say this much with confidence. It won't be a landslide, but one just needs to look at the math regarding electoral votes. If Obama wins both Ohio and Wisconsin (which is looking very likely at this point), Mitt will need to win EVERY other swing state to hit 270. That simply won't happen. Obama is getting four more years, so I suggest you repubs start thinking up your salty conspiracy theories and sob stories as to why your piece of garbage candidate lost.
In reply to RapidOne
I don't have to look it up, I watched it. Panetta said yesterday that they lacked enough information to intervene. Todays disclosure hasmade that statement a fabrication. Both Panetta and Obama were in the White House while this was happening (look it up) knew what was happening , and stood by while four people were murdered.
Romney's tax plan does not add up,
his tax return is nowhere to find
he will create 12m job, but can not tell you how
he moved from far right to center, but do not tell you why
"Obama/Biden 2012" = "I care about myself more than I care about future generations. I'm selfish."
"Romney/Ryan 2012" = "I care about future generations more than I care about myself. I'm responsible."
It's all but certain Obama is going to win OH, IA, WI and NV. Romney has no viable path to win.
Also, why is there no news about the biggest factor in the election? Does anyone not realize what would happen if yet another 20% tax cut was applied across the board–it would devastate the government and return the country to the days of the Wild West where everyone fended for themselves.
Yes American hurry up and vote for me before they uncover more of my scandal/coverup in Benghazi. No seriously hurry up and vote. What a failure of a president and people don't even see it!!
The poll has a sampling error of +/- 50%
I don't know who's going to win, but Romney didn't just suddenly go from loosing easy to an easy tie based on Obama not getting enough sleep on that first debate. I think Romney supporters are just more enthusiastic and pick up the phone and want to tell pollsters they are voting for him, while many Obama supporters have Cell Phones only and don't get polled at all.
I'm supporting the President and I've voted already for him. The surprise of this election will be the high Latino turnout that none of the polls are taking into account. Our voice will be heard this election and the GOP will not be able to ignore us. The president enjoys a 40 point lead with us and we will come through for him. Viva Obama!!!
Two weeks ago all you heard was republicans talking about how great Romney was doing in the polls.
Suddenly the polls are all slanted and unreliable.
Ohio will be Romneys grave yard. With out Ohio, his campaign is dead in the water. As soon as they call Ohio for Oboma the election will be effectively over. Of course the media will still try to play out the evening to maintain the drama, but those of us who know better would get an early sleep knowing that when we wake up the following day that nothing would have changed, and President Oboma would have been re-elected.
My prediction is that the president will win handedly re-election, and the post-election post-mortem will attribute Romneys loss to the following:
1. His and the GOPs alienation of every significant voting group: Blacks, hispanics, women, gays.
2. His and the GOPs plan for Social Security & Medicare
3. Romneys dismissal of 47% of the electorate
4. Romney being all over the map flipping and flopping on every issue
5. Romney's unlikability
6. Romney's lies
7. Romney against the auto bail out
8. The people who Romney hung out with: Trump, etc.
9. The Ryan budege which Romney has essentially endorsed
10. Bain Capital and Romney outsourcing jobs to China
and last but not least:
11. A rejection of those deep pockets who wanted to buy the election by the 99%
Apparently the Obama camp has made it official that integrity and maturity are no longer qualifiers to be President.
In my opinion Obama is so far away from being deserving a second term that it should not be this close. What I see are all these phony excuses why they want Obama – let's face it, its because they want to have the country run by a socialist. Period.