November 2nd, 2012
04:00 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN Poll: Obama 50% – Romney 47% in Ohio

(CNN) - With four days to go until the presidential election, 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 three 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 47% supporting the former Massachusetts governor. Obama's three-point edge is within the survey's sampling error. The survey was conducted Tuesday through Thursday. The poll's release comes on the same day that the president holds three campaign events and Romney holds two events in Ohio.

"The race in the Buckeye State has remained essentially the same throughout October, with all three CNN/ORC polls taken in October showing President Obama at 50%-51% and all three showing Governor Romney at 46%-47%," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The CNN poll is in the range of the three other non-partisan, live operator surveys of Ohio likely voters also conducted entirely after last week's final presidential debate. The University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll and an American Research Group survey both indicated Obama with two-point edges and a CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll indicated Obama with a five-point advantage. All of those margins were within the sampling errors of those polls.

The gender, generation and income gaps that CNN polls have indicated in other states are readily apparent in Ohio as well, with Obama winning women by 16 points, lower-income voters by 30 points and those under age 50 by 15 points, while Romney leads among men by 13 points, and holds the advantage with older voters by 6 points and those making more than $50,000 per year.

"The president's prospects are boosted by a strong showing among white women, support in the northern parts of the state as well as the Columbus area, and a big margin among early voters," added Holland. "Romney's chances in the state rest on white men and a good showing in the central part of the state as well as the southwest corner, home to Cincinnati and Dayton."

"It's so close the president will need to run up the margins in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland and its suburbs) and in Columbus, and Governor Romney needs to win Hamilton County (Cincinnati and its suburbs) and elsewhere in southwestern Ohio. It's not an accident he is in that part of the state tonight," said CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

"Base versus base, in a fairly even divided state," added King, who is reporting Friday from Ohio.

According to the poll, 63% of those who say they have already voted early or who plan to cast a ballot before next Tuesday say they support the president, with 35% backing Romney. But Romney has the 55%-42% advantage among those who plan to vote on Election Day.

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 and ad spending that has flooded the airwaves. The two presidential campaigns, the party committees, and the super PACs and other independent groups backing the two candidates combined have spent over $134 million to run ads on broadcast TV in Ohio since the start of the general election in early April, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which tracks ad spending for its clients. Just in the past week, nearly $14 million has been shelled out to run spots.

"Ohio is a very different place than four years ago. Our numbers show that and you feel it and see it when you visit here," adds King. "The GOP offices have much more energy than late 2008."

The question is, is it enough?

"There is no question the auto bailout helps the president here, but also no question Governor Romney has a more motivated base than John McCain did," says King.

For months the Obama campaign has touted the bailouts and they were giving prominent prime time placement during the Democratic National Convention in early September. It's a strategy that the Obama campaign thinks could be the difference in Ohio, a major base for the auto industry.

"The American auto industry is back on top," said Obama early Friday at a rally in Hilliard, Ohio.

The bailouts were started under President George W. Bush in 2008, but the next year Obama grabbed the keys to the program, managing and funding the bailouts.

Romney opposed the government bailout and pushed for a privately financed, managed bankruptcy of the two automakers. The Obama campaign and other Democrats have attacked Romney over his opposition to the federal assistance.

And they've highlighted pushback by General Motors and Chrysler to a Romney TV ad and a radio spot this past week that claimed that both domestic auto makers were sending U.S. jobs to China.

With four days until the election, the poll indicates that more than nine in ten have made up their minds, with 7% saying they could still change their mind on their choice for president.

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 47%, Romney 44%, with Johnson at 5%, Stein at 1% and Goode registering less than one-half of one percent.

"As always, keep in mind that the poll does not, and cannot, predict the outcome of the election," cautions Holland. "Close elections are inherently unpredictable."

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from Oct. 30-Nov. 1, with 1,000 adults, including 919 registered voters and 796 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Sashatree

    This pretty much seals the deal for President Obama. THANK GOD MITTENS DOESN'T STAND A CHANCE! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 - FOWARD WITH A MANDATE TO SQUASH THE TEA PARTY AND CONSERVATIVE GOP NUTJOBS!

    November 2, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    If romney gets in and the auto industrial gets in trouble and your jobs are going to China ,blame romney because he taught these companies how to do it and call your momma for help because if you call romney you will only get a busy signal!!!!!! Morons !!!!! Only idiots would vote for romney the tax cheat and a new bush administration with his 17 bush advisors. Idiots !!!!

    November 2, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. President Obama knows how to work hard and pull yourself up by your bootstraps, because he did it and is smart enough to lead our nation forward

    Forward, not backwards the way Romney wants to take US. Romney/Ryan = R/R = Rich Republicans who will only help Rich Republicans. President Obama is the entire 100% of US citizens, which includes the 47% Romney suggested were freeloaders. The irony is that Romney has never pulled his fair share. Evidence: When a student asked him how one could pay for college or start a business, Romney replied with "Borrow money from your parents." While it would be nice if everyone had this opition, the reality is most people do not have this option and it shows just how out if touch Romney is. President Obama knows what it is like to pull yourself by your own bootstraps and Romney doesn't. And while there is nothing wrong with Romney's inexperience with real world day to day problems faced by most of US, if Romney has never had to pull himself up and truly be a self-made, how can tell someone else how to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Obama knows how to work hard and pull yourself up by your bootstraps, because he did it and is smart enough to lead our nation to blue skies and green pastures. The irony is that if President Obama he would epitomize the extreme Republican's perception of self-made who gives back. So, it saying something when a person like Obama chooses a life of service. Obama Cares about the nation, while Romney cares only for the few.

    November 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. bob campbell

    Like I really believe any poll done by CNN!!!!

    November 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Petra

    4 More years for President Obama!!!

    November 2, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. yasmine

    come on Ohio... Mitt mades millions off of our sorrows..

    November 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Jeff Massaro

    Dear CNN,

    No one believes a word you say regarding the election. You can keep your biased poll results.

    Signed,

    The American Public

    November 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Randy Patrick

    I am annoyed with politics. Is it over yet?

    November 2, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. bob campbell

    why don't you poll the people in Staten Island to see if CNN is telling the real story.

    November 2, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Chris from Boston

    These polls don't mean anything. We don't need to see the same story with the percentage points changed by one or two percent every other day. Please write stories of some substance.

    November 2, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Alger Dave

    Lazy Democrats won't make it to the polls. They say they'll vote, but they'll be too busy talking on their Obamaphones while trying to navigate the tangle of bureaucracy of their social welfare programs to have time to go to the polls. Too bad for Obama – he gave them one too many things to do to have time in their busy schedules to vote for him. Who knew?

    November 2, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Patrick

    Even Rasmussen now shows a tie in OH. In 2008 he did as well and he missed it badly as Obama won by over 2%.
    If this holds its over.

    November 2, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. K

    I know you think you mean well, but I don't trust your polls. I am an Independent & CNN you are in Obama's pocket Never acknowledging His screw ups matter fact you run from talking about his mistakes. Sooo tell us why we are supposed to trust you & your polls?

    November 2, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Bill

    Who believes a CNN poll, give it up you guys have been wrong for years from Wolf Blitzer to the guy with the moving map.

    November 2, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. TJ

    O won't get 50% of the vote.

    November 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    LET DETROIT GO BANKRUPT, 47% are victims, I will SHT DOWN FEMA., Obama12.

    November 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Patrick

    Here's the REAL bad news for Romney. It appears Obama has a DOUBLE firewall as he leads now in Colorado, NV, WI, MI, IA, PA, and NH. Even if Obama somehow lost Ohio he's win with the before mentioned states.

    November 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Robert

    All of these polls use the 2008 turnout which has democrats +9 in sampling. Republicans will have at least a +4 in turnout this year. Romney will come out on top with those numbers. Of course by conducting the polls this way they will have ammo to suggest the election was stolen from Obama.

    November 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Patrick

    IM voting for the guy who believes the BIBLE IS THE ONLY WORD OF GOD. Does Romney believe that?

    November 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Oh the CNN desperation!

    November 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Goodbye Mr Romney, I hope we never hear from you again after next Tuesday.

    November 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Scott

    CNN polls obama again. LOOK AT THE REAL POLLS! Its TIED or Romney in front

    November 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    http://Www.mittvmitt.com and on YouTube watch WHEN MITT ROMNEY CAME TO TOWN... Enjoy.

    November 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Arthur carter jr

    I would vote for obama. He is a gift from god.

    November 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Mee

    Mitt Romney insults the electorate, he's lied repeatedly and doesn't think he needs to explain to the voters what he'll do until AFTER he's elected (heaven forbid). Romney has no principles, no convictions. He's a snake-oil salesman who doesn't have compassion or respect for the American people. I hope he is stopped from ever entering the White House on Nov. 6.

    November 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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