(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.
Yes I know polls mean nothing even though they were 100% spot on in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2010..:) No worries though GOP! LOL
Looks like the turn out of blacks in cleveland decide who wins the presidency.
what is the demographic breakdown? wouldn't that be important?
Ohio America is coutning on you to REMEMBER who saved your state, our country from a complete financial depression. Who saved the auto industry and those 800,000 auto-related jobs in the state of Ohio.
Don't let Romney and his millionaire handlers BUY and LIE his way into the White House.
They mean to further enrich themselves at the expense of our recuperating country, our middle-class.
Obama 2012. Seriously America.
What CNN doesn't tell you is they skewed the weihgt of the Democrats in the survery to reflect an a heavy Liberal turnout like happened in 2008. The GOP is very active and the numbers are actually in favors of the GOP when a evenly weighted turnout is measured.
Check out the Bickers and Berry election model. Based on its track record, the model has since correctly predicted the outcome of every election since 1980. I will be very interested in whether this election will make an exception for the model.
REVENGE–REVENGE-TALK ABOUT A HATER–Obama talking about voting as REVENGE in Ohio today–Seriously-Sounds like Obama is calling for CIVIL WAR--he's telling people to get revenge on their neighbors–like the Hatfields and McCoys-just goes to show what a backward thinking hillbilly he really is!!!!
My vote is for President Barack Obama; I support the President because when you look at both campaigns, it’s disheartened to see the kind of campaign the Republican Party is running. It’s not like the Democratic Party is making this stuff up; the sound bites are coming directly from the Republican Party. It’s shameless, gutless, and not Presidential. It’s shocking that someone like Mitt Romney can be so close to becoming the next President of the United States. We need a President and a government of the people, by the people, for the people, not of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation. Why do people make it seem as if providing health care for every American is unpatriotic?
The news media should have some moral obligation in this process; they should make it crystal clear if a candidate is making false accusations. We rely on the media for information; Fox, CNN, MSNBC and every other news media should do the right thing and discredit any false accusations made. I made my decision based on integrity, virtue, and a good moral compass. I don’t see that in the Republican Party.
You don’t threaten employees to vote in your favor, you don’t call 47% of Americans lazy, the working class is the backbone of this country; you don’t send out false information or use scare tactics to intimidate the LEGAL immigrants living in America who are eligible to vote.
Has their been an election won by the challenger where they couldn't take their own state? In this case, Romney has Michigan and Massachusetts, but won't win either of them. So if the states that propelled his private and political careers won't carry him, how will he win a national election? Even Sarah Palin had Alaska backing her up.
I wonder what sort of heinous advertising Karl Rove will toss out there at the last minute to help his guy Romney?
Hopefully, the good people of Ohio (I lived in Lima for a few years, really good people), will see through the dirty smoke.
A vote for Willard is like a vote for the military industrial complex!
Sure. Name a CNN poll in which Romney has been shown to be ahead. There aren't any. Notice any real CNN coverage of the murders of our consular staff in Benghazi? There is none. CNN is so obviously in the tank for Obama that it will say ANYTHING to get this guy re-elected o rnot do its job to get this guy re-elected. Romney is tied or leading in Ohio, leading in Florida, leading in North Carolina, leading in Virginia, tied in Iowa, leading in New Hampshire, leading in Colorado, leading in Missouri, ahead in the national popular vote and leads in the early voting in Pennsylvania. Why do you think Biden was shipped off to that state, one once solidly blue? The Dems are running scared. But now there are reports of Dem cheating at the polls - Romney voters are being told that they voted for Obama(!) when touch-screen voting machines are used. Now the feds are involved. Ah, another typical Dem ploy to steal votes. Anyone see this story on CNN? Thought so.
Come on Ohio!! You would vote for a man who scared the people of Chrsyler saying Jeep was going to China??? Why would anyone from Ohio vote for him. Obama was the one who saved the Auto industry, not Romney!!!! If Romney gets ohio, then yes China will get your jobs and I won't feel sorry for you
With any CNN poll, your first question has to be is it based on the 2008 election. If so, subtract 6% from the Obama poll percentage to get a more accurate conclusion. Of course, CNN does not like to disclose that fact.
You've got to be kidding, CNN..... This is "Breaking News"?!! Jeeze.... I thought there'd been an earthquake or another mass shooting or something – you know, something that qualifies as breaking news, not a freaking poll. Ugh......
Most polls like rasmussen, wall street palls, gallup polls, etc. are funded by conservatives and favor romney, but they are false; they do not, I think, count in the absentee vote of radical veterans that have been conservative all their lives.
Next are the reagan fanatics who ignore that times are different and romney is faking being another reagan, but rather romney is the conservative presidents that took America into the 1920's and 30's depressions. :(
Well if the Browns beat the Ravens this weekend i am predicted Romney wins ohio.
I am amazed that anyone can stand in the devastation that we now call The United States and still think that Barack Obama is the right choice for this country. Every single Obama supporter I know tells me to "know the facts." Okay! I looked up the facts for myself. Here they are:
4 years ago gas was $1.89 a gallon – Today it's $3.70 a gallon
4 years ago our national debt was $10.6 Trillion – Today it's $16 Trillion
4 years ago we had a AAA credit rating – Today, AA.
4 years ago food stamp recipients totaled 32 million – today 46 million
4 years ago the Median Weekly Wage was $731 – today it's $718 (in 2009 dollar value)
4 years ago the unemployment rate among Blacks was 7.4% – today it's 14.1% (almost double)
4 years ago 66% of Americans participated in the labor market – today 64% 7 million people have just given up.
4 years ago, I voted for a man that PROMISED Change. A man that gave me HOPE for a better future. A man that told us he would have unemployment down to 5.2% by October of 2012.
He's had his chance and not just failed but is both bankrupting and destroying every liberty that we hold dear.
Wake Up America! It's time we gave someone else a chance.
On Thursday, just five days before the national election, Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney receiving support from 49% of the nation’s voters to Obama’s 47% for the third day in a row. One percent of those responding to the poll is currently favoring another candidate while 3% are undecided as to who they will support on Election Day.
My god the sweet irony if Mitt Romney loses Ohio because he only got 47% of the vote cannot be understated.
I always said he would be re-elected and by a huge margin. I'll still bet on that on Tuesday ( Election Day ). This President has far passed anyother President in U.S. History for just what he has done right up to this point. The health Care ACA= Obama Care, is exactly what every other POTUS has tryed to do for over 60 years. I'll tell ya, I'm watching this President at his ralleys all across the country and he has a passion and conviction like no other I've ever witnessed befor. The compassion absolutely comes from his deepest sole for all the people in this country, no doubt about. if there is a GOD ? He will see the President through this time in his life and ours too. This is a fight between good and evil.
My God help obama to come back to us president, let black vote 4 obama
Dominican mama 4 Obama
Ohio America is coutning on you to REMEMBER who saved your state
Tax payers money 'saved' the state. But you may not be among those paying federal income taxes so you imagine that help comes from Mr. Obama's pocket.
Has anybody seen Joe the Plumber? Karl Rove has some part time work for him this weekend.