(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.
If Obama is consistently polling 50% or more then that means he has enough to guarantee a victory, so long as he can get his supporters to the polls. Close only counts in horseshoes.
Romney has to either convince Obama supporters to switch to him (turning more Independents to his side no longer matters if Obama already has 50%+) or rig the vote count.
Romney really jacked himself over with the false chrysler jeep comment! It has cost him Ohio and the election!!
GO Obama 2012!
Oh! Jesus, Tuesday night can not come fast enough. I do assume it will be the night to remember in 2012.
i think we should enforce a "political blackout" for three days before any election, in which no one is allowed to campaign, show campaign ads, take polls, mention polls, or talk about anything political in any sense of the word. That would be nice.
What about Gary Johnson?
Dear 8 1/2 pound Baby Jesus in a golden sash. So tired of Obama & his Obamacult. Help Romney win this election! Thank you lol
Hopefully, those people still on the fence will see how important it is to continue with the successful economic recovery underway.
Now we have even more reason to vote for Obama's second term- the disatser in the north east! He has handled the situation wonderfully and earned the compliments of all local government people in the area, including a political opponent, Gov. Christie. That sold me!
I can not for the life of me understand how it could be this close in Ohio or for that matter any where else in the crountry. Can there really be that much wrong with almost half of the country that they would all rather go back to the Bush failed policies that got us in this mess in the first place. Could almost 50% of the country want to continue to see a do nothing congress that has sat on their bottoms for the last four years and helped do absolutly nothing but block Pres. Obama on every thing that he has tried to do to move us fowrad and then point a negative finger. It's mind boggling. Obama/Biden 2012!!
Gary Johnsonwas a Republican Governor in New Mexico. He is still a Republican who calls himself an independent liberal. He is a dope smoking loser and one of the many closet republicans who call themselves something different after the bush cheney disaster. But they are still Republicans no matter how much they try to conceal the fact. It wa so funny to see after bush cheney fiasco how many people pulled their cars into their garages and removed bush cheney bumper stickers. Too FN Funny.
"You people for Obama should look up the history of the slogan "Forward". Some of you are really dumb....."
It's really sad that these right wing nutjobs have to make up Controversies. It shows how desparate they are and they know that Romney has no chance to win. The word "Forward" means to continue to move "forward not backwards" to the BUSH era which Romney will try to lead us! If you're not smart enough to understand that then why don't you stay home and not vote!!!!
Curious that the 55-42% election day voter prediction favoring Romney almost exactly mirrors the 2008 white voter breakdown of 43% Obama and 55% McCain
.Now, you be the judge. Do you think white voters are less motivated to turn out this year? Better hope so if you like things the way they are now.
I can smell from far that the win is on the way. Those who will make it happen should head to the polling stations in thousands if not in millions so to make it happen. We are warming up to head to Chicago for the celebrations. Please do not let us down.
THEREALTRUTH – Where the hell do you live? Gas has not been at $3.00 a gallon in over a year?
Look, the bottom line is – you can't convince a true Democrat of anything except the fact that Obama is a miracle worker and the savior of our country.
You can't convince a true Republican of anything except the fact that Romney needs to win and Obama needs to go.
Regardless of exact statistics – our country is in trouble and I don't think Barry is the man to fix it.
We'll duke it out at the polls on Tuesday – AND TRULY, MAY THE BEST MAN WIN!
Long for the old days of sound, unbiased reporting (Bernie & Judy) from CNN. Fox is even worse. No where to go. Really tired of Don Lemmon in particular who has no place in mainstream news broadcasting. His bias is jaw dropping.
If Obama does win, I will waiting for the shock, when his actions destroy America.
People can be so foolish.
"The best predictor, of future behavior, is past behavior." .........Dr. Phil.
Here are the latest polls from the battleground states:
Colorado: Obama 46%, Romney 46% (Reuters/Ipss)
Colorado: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)
Colorado: Obama 47%, Romney 45% (Denver Post/SurveyUSA)
Florida: Obama 48%, Romney 46% (Reuters/Ipsos)
Iowa: Obama 49%, Romney 45% (Gravis)
Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 47% (Rasmussen)
Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)
Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (Mellman)
New Hampshire: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (New England College)
Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (CNN/ORC)
Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)
Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 45% (Reuters/Ipsos)
Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (We Ask America)
Virginia: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Reuters/Ipsos)
Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (We Ask America)
Wisconsin: Obama 52%, Romney 45% (We Ask America)
Let's go Ohio.....bring it home for President Obama.
At Sue – thanks for your holier than thou, moral commentary and judgment on those who will vote for Obama. And double thanks for advising us to stay home on election day. I was just waiting for your orders to refrain from exercising my right as a citizen.
Here is our chance America to send a message loud and clear.
1) We will NOT tolerate voter suppression (in any form); and
2) This country cannot and will NOT be sold to outside interest groups.
Be prepared to live with your choice because it WILL make history.
Peace – I agree!
Today, at the outset of every election, well-funded special interest groups spend unlimited sums of money on ads to influence voters, and thereby influence the outcome of our elections. These groups then continue to influence our elected officials to advance their agendas. This influence results in laws that benefit big business and other special interest groups, often at the expense of middle class Americans.
In short, the “for the people” building block of our government is ultimately lost when these lobbyists win over our elected officials. If the majority of Americans are members of the eroding middle class and the less fortunate, and there is no group to represent the interest of the middle class and less fortunate, then the will of the people is lost.
Ask yourselves, who better understands and can relate to my life and the issues of middle class Americans? Who would be the more trustworthy advocate? Is it the man who dismisses 47% of Americana as MOOCHERS? Is it the man who told a college student to get a loan from her parents to pay for college? Is it the man who said let foreclosures bottom out? That means let real Americans lose their most essential possession (their homes). Is it the man who has no clue what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck!
Romneys lying about Chrysler lost him any chance of winning Ohio
CNN i sin the tank for the Redistributor in Chief. So are several election officials in fraud-ridden districts. The DNC is a
in response to the growing number of complaints, the Republican National Committee has sent a letter to election officials in six states - Ohio, Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina, Missouri and Colorado - demanding tighter controls on touch-screen machines.
The RNC wants the machines to be re-tested, more technicians added to fix any problems, and verbal reminders given by election workers telling voters to double check their ballots.
Multiple voters from several states wrote ___ News to report problems similar to what Stevens reported.
One voter asked: "I wonder how many voters just hit the 'Cast Ballot' without reading the machine?"
"How can we be sure our votes are not being stolen electronically?" asked another.
Former Governor Romney is toast. He is just going through the motions now before he shuffles off the stage, and let us hope that he decides wasting several years of our lives running for president is enough.
PLEASE let us move forward ... we refuse to be confused and drawn backwards by Romney. Please come out and vote, Vote for the future, forward OBAMA 2012.