October 28th, 2012
04:40 PM ET
2 years ago

Looking at the polls & state of the campaign in the homestretch

(CNN) – It may be hard to figure out whether President Barack Obama or GOP nominee Mitt Romney is leading in the presidential race - but a panel with CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" made it clear that it will be a close election.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff said pollsters could not predict who would win based on recent polling, saying the race was "(within) a 1-point margin with …10 days left" and that it would be "hubris" to predict victory for either candidate. However, McInturff did predict we'll see the largest difference in voting by gender and ethnicity ever in a modern presidential election, with women and minorities supporting Obama. He also dismissed a recent Associated Press poll showing Obama and Romney tied among women voters with 47% each, calling it an "outlier."

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That said, McInturff said it was important to look at the trends of the race, noting that Romney has improved in polling in every swing state since the first presidential debate and has kept his gains in almost all of those states since. He also said that Romney was leading with independents in nearly every Ohio poll since the debate and pointed to "historic low" consumer confidence. Based on these factors, said McInturff, the race was moving Romney's way.

Joining McInturff on the panel were Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg and Time magazine Executive Editor Mike Duffy.

Greenberg agreed that the election was hard to predict based on the national polls, but suggested it was a different story based on the average of state polls and early voting. Both of these, said Greenberg, favored Obama. She disagreed that there was a trend toward Romney, saying the polls "have been pretty stable," and thus the ground game was very important.

She also disagreed with McInturff regarding a large gender gap, saying Obama has been "surprisingly competitive" among men while at the same time struggling among women. Only about 51% to 52% of women support the president, said Greenberg, but only 51% of men support Romney.

McInturff said that was "totally wrong," pointing out that Obama was losing among white men by 30 points. He said Obama would lose among men by "a double-digit margin."

Duffy said the only poll that would be believable at this point would be on Election Day, but expressed surprise at how many states seem to be very close. Duffy said the only way something certain could be said about the direction of the race would be "if you froze the race," which is obviously not possible.

However, Duffy pointed out that white men, even those without a college education, were actually helping Obama in Ohio. Duffy attributed the support of these men in Ohio and in other industrial Midwest states to the auto bailout.

"It will be ironic," said Duffy, "if at the end of the day, it's white men who make a difference (for Obama in those states)."

Greenberg agreed with Duffy, but also pointed to those states' economies being better than the national economy.

As for what to expect in the campaign's final days, Duffy said that neither campaign had yet made its closing arguments, as both are still primarily concentrating on attacking each other.

Said Duffy, "(It) tells you just how much further we have to go in 10 days."

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– Obama courts young voters in MTV interview

– Coulter stands by use of controversial word to describe Obama

– A gridiron battleground

– Micro-targeting offers clues to early vote leads


Filed under: 2012 • Polls
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. eddie chen

    obama has a 4 point lead in ohio with a week left until election day. obama has 3 point leads in iowa and wisconsin. win all 3 states- obama wins reelection.

    October 28, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  2. Loyal Northern Democrat

    Honey Boo Boo has endorsed Obama. As she is an excellent representative of us Democrats, then I agree with her.

    October 28, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  3. TheTruthHurtButDoesNOtKill

    If someone got your back during hard times, it is american-like to retrun the favor when needed. A friend in need, a friend in deed. Wise men and women of Ohio are put to do just that.
    Romney tells everyone anything to win a vote. This has been my biggest disappointment. I will back the PRESIDENT.
    Romney did not come clean with his tax return; very weird of someone who want to lead others
    ROmney plan to increase expenses when everyone worries about the deficit; very weird!!!

    October 28, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  4. Stellar12

    Yes its hard to tell who will win from polls, because there are so many different ones and NONE of them can gauge what will really happen at the voting booth on election day. We are sick of pollsters trying to predict who will win and pundits on the news media adding their bias and spin to it all. Lets face it the election is a windfall for the media and pollsters, about 1 Billion dollars now spent on the campaigns? Could be put to better use paying down the deficit. Whatever happens in this election, one thing is certain, whoever wins will face a huge backlash from the other side and that is why we should all be worried.

    October 28, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  5. migeli

    There's something a little strange about this Romney guy.There's more in the closet than those tax returns.

    October 28, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. Carly Schoen

    All but one of my girlfriends (all in the Canton, Ohio area) are going to give Mr. Romney a chance this time around. Most of them are registered Democrats or almost always just voted for Democrats, including the President last time. I am now the only one of my girlfriends left who will remain undecided until election day. The thing that binds us all together is the economy and its affect on our families and our fear for our kids growing up in this horrible, job-less, growth-less, hopeless economic condition. A coach of 4 losing seasons needs to be canned.

    October 29, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  7. virginiafrog

    This is telling... It certainly appears that Greenberg knows the jig is up. We are no longer being inundated with tales of mathematical certainty, landslide predictions, and the inevitability of Obama's continuance. Now the curtain has been pulled aside and it's a toss-up.

    Regardless of who wins, it should be a lesson to both sides that constituents are unhappy across the board. If Romney wins, he needs to recognize that he must follow up on his promise to reach across the aisle and find common ground. If Obama wins, he needs to lose the arrogance that has been the hallmark of his last four years and do the same.

    Kudos to Candy for promoting frank discussion on a topic that has been nothing but smoke and mirrors for far too long.

    October 29, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  8. biologixco

    How can anyone vote for a flip floppy TAX CRIMINAL like Romney>?

    October 29, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  9. bob

    Well actually the trend is towards Romney. Even in Oh which is now tied. Stop with the polls and trying to influence the election MSM.

    October 29, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  10. Rogue351

    Well the outcome had better be Obama or you want to talk about debt and religious control. And not to soon after I am certain we will see the US involved in yet another Republican war if Romney is elected. We will see all but Israel dropping like flies as our allies. The cold war with Russia will start to fire back up and we will export nothing to China. Women once again will be treated like second class citizen only good for raising children. Anyone other than whites will be constantly harassed and nothing will be done about it. And if you are gay it is back to the closet for you. No marriage, no jobs, no laws the protect you from hate crimes. And rape will be considered a gift from god, regardless of the circumstances. And you worried about Obamas birth certificate. Did I mention all CES's will have their pay doubled and the middle class will have there healthcare taken away and their hours doubled to make up the difference. WAKE UP PEOPLE !!

    October 29, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  11. Scott

    Obama will be sent packing soon!

    October 29, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  12. Rick Bergen

    Amazed that this is even close. But we live in America and we are a free people with free elections. Just remember that nothing is really free. You have to pay your way in the world. Nobody owes you anything but a shot. Fair is not a promise. Grow up America – make your own way. God bless America.

    October 29, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  13. abrahim

    I am not biiliyener I am poor support obama I hopping he win! Go obama!

    October 29, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  14. Morning1Su,

    There is a big difference between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The President is confident in his skin beecause he is telling the truth and believes in what he says. Mitt Romney does not believe in what he says and doesn't couldn't care less in poor and middle class people. He will not keep his promises if it does not benefit him or make him more money. Please Americans vote for an honest and intelligent leader who has proven to be steady, intelligent, honest and truthful. God, please guide our fellow Americans to make the right decision in our Presidential election. President Obama will lead us and will save the states from kaos. He will help each governer on their needs no matter Republicans or Democrats. This week you can see President Obama assist each state because he cares and tries to set an example of honesty and trust, if not for us it will be for his daughters as a father.

    October 29, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  15. madhuthangavelu

    Sometimes, sometimes we talk too much and imagine way over our heads...and Candy, this interview was a typical case of it. POTUS is straight with the people, he has a a solid list of achievements during his first term, and people know that.Compare it to Gov.Romney. Nice businessman, utter disaster as a candidate. After having reversed everything he said to win the nomination, in a party that is in tatters, he has yet to level with the people about his tax records or his plan for America. After flip-flopping right there on debate nights 1,2 and 3, with no clue whatsoever of foreign policy, you all think he is going to win by polling ?. Amazing !...I think we all need some good sleep and rethink this through tomorrow evening. G'night !

    October 29, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  16. Morning1Su,

    I can predict the future. Mitt Romney will lose the election and President Obama will finish what he started in the first four years. Steady path to progess. Mitt Romney is selfish not selfless. Surely good Americans can sense it, if they can't see it.

    October 29, 2012 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  17. indie 52

    The polls got it right last election why would they not get it right this time. The republican pollster claims the race is within a point. But that is nationally. As of when did the majority of votes matter. Obama is winning the battle of the battleground states that's all that matters. Its about electoral votes and the republican pollster knows that. Why so mush false info.

    October 29, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  18. gius

    Please don't let us go to war with Syria if Romney gets elected because Mitt doesn't know where Syria is!

    October 29, 2012 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  19. Name gmbhadiza

    Romney is a man. Men recognise that!

    October 29, 2012 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  20. Shakti Paul

    Obama has strategic visions and he is consistent. Any disruption to the current economy will be futile. Romney is just trying to get elected. He is expected to 'business-like' deals and push US into deeper crisis.

    October 29, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  21. us1000

    romney's victory will bring destruction to this country fast because he will bring war for economy recovery bur that will push back our economy recovery. obama's victory will bring our gradual prosperity with his emphasis in developing infrastructure and will keep us ahead of china, russia and others for another century.

    October 29, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
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