CNN Poll: Obama tied with Romney & Paul in November showdowns
January 16th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama tied with Romney & Paul in November showdowns

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney is all tied up with President Barack Obama in a likely general election matchup, with the president showing signs of weakness on the economy and Romney seen as out of touch with ordinary Americans, according to a new national survey.

And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday also indicates that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is also even with Obama in another possible showdown this November. The survey also suggests the Republican advantage on voter enthusiasm is eroding, which could be crucial in a close contest.

See full results (pdf)

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According to the survey, if the November election were held today and Romney were the Republican presidential nominee, 48% say they'd vote for the former Massachusetts governor, with 47% supporting the president. Romney's one point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.

The poll also indicates Paul statistically tied with Obama, with the president at 48% and the longtime congressman at 46%. But according to the poll, the president is doing better against two other Republican presidential candidates. If Rick Santorum were the GOP nominee, Obama would hold a 51%-45% advantage over the former senator from Pennsylvania. And if Newt Gingrich faced off against the president, Obama would lead the former House speaker 52%-43%.

Enthusiasm in voting in the presidential election this November now stands at 54% among registered Republicans, down ten points from last October. Meanwhile, enthusiasm among registered Democrats has risen six points, and now stands at 49%.

"In a race that tight, turnout is likely to determine the outcome, and the Democrats have begun to close the 'enthusiasm gap' that damaged their prospects so badly in the 2010 midterms," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

While the Obama re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have all of the GOP White House hopefuls in their sights, they are directing most of their firepower towards Romney, and the poll indicates why that is the case.

According to the survey, both men are seen as strong leaders, and both are viewed as having the personal qualities that a president should have. Forty-eight percent of Americans say that Obama agrees with them on the issues they care about - not great, but better than the 43% who feel that way about Romney.

"But on the economy - issue number one to most Americans - Romney has a clear advantage. 53% say the former Massachusetts governor can get the economy moving; only 40% say that about President Barack Obama," says Holland. "But the numbers are reversed when voters are asked whether the candidates are in touch with ordinary Americans. Fifty-three percent say that Obama is in touch; only four in ten feel that way about Romney."

Obama and Romney are virtually tied on whether they are seen as strong and decisive leaders. The survey indicates that by a 61%-34% margin, Americans say Romney changes his position on the issues for political reasons. By a 56%-42% margin, the public feels the same way about the president.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from January 11-12, with 1,021 adult Americans, including 928 registered voters, conducted by telephone on January 11-12, 2012. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Also see:

Paul scores sought after endorsement in South Carolina

DeMint: I will not endorse

Romney nabs Florida endorsement

FIRST ON CNN: Huntsman to drop out

Filed under: 2012 • CNN/ORC International poll • Polls
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Bill O

    Gavin, Obama for the people? U gotta be kiding me. NDAA, Patriot act, Geitner, Paulson, Bernankee, Goldman sachs...Come on ..There is no one Wall Street loves more than Obama....In fact they want "Robaney" to be elected in GOP cause he has no chance in H...beating Obama. Ron Paul, who gets ALL his donations from the people and soldires would in the other hand, sweep the floor clean with the BSing dictator you call Obama. remember, He got the Nobel price för best act of BSing !

    January 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. jude

    Small coffee house owner has to pay credit card processing 26 cents per swipe of each credit or debit card. Imagine 26 cents less from a typical $1.25 charge for a small coffee. Paying cash for a coffee will always help the SMALL LOCAL BUSINESSES !!!!!

    January 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. jerry

    Polls Smolls Romney wont want to come with 100 feet of Obama if its up to him... Paul might actually change things unless he gets the same talk Obama did when he won... "Now that your the Prez we need to inform you that what you think doesnt matter, you'll do as your told". NWO

    January 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    "After watching Bill Moyers on Sunday-any Republican should be voted out of office for their simple belief in –not to tax the rich!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    Right on, Martha. The GOBP deathcult is blatantly thumbing its nose at the two thirds of America (including about half of Republicans) who want the millionaire's surtax and an end to the Bush tax cuts for the filthy rich. And no one in our so-called "liberal" media has called them out.

    January 16, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. sf

    CNN and their stupid polls...what a joke...poll this CNN!

    If this country is as stupid as I believe them to be, they'll elect romney...and then they'll complain 4 years down the road when they get what he gives them. And if they do elect this clown, it's only because their employers have instilled the fear in them by holding all those profits and not hiring...the rich in this country are evil! that's why they use republicans like puppets.

    this country has become a joke because of one party who wants to keep the poor..poorer..and the rich RICHER.

    January 16, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Ricksta

    I don't believe this poll at all. It sounds like a Fox News story.

    January 16, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Cedar Rapids

    Thats got to be worrying for the GOP.
    I mean despite the terrible job they say Obama is doing they can still only statistically tie with him in a poll?
    Shouldn't they be galloping ahead by now, leaving him in the dust?

    January 16, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. Ron

    Man, that's putting the "hype" in hypothetical survey!!!

    January 16, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Brando, OH

    BS. All Romney needs to do is all McCain's states, VA, IN, NC, NH, OH and FL. And he gets 270. Literally, 270. Do the math. There's no way, Obama wins FL. The REP convention is in Tampa, FFS. It's all about Ohio. Just 18 votes. Go Romney! 🙂

    January 16, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |

    President OBomber (OBaller when he doesn't feel like working and attends Wizards games) will be reelected because too many people want their social medicine and their welfare checks

    January 16, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Vumba

    Now for those that told us over and over that McCain was too old, what in the world does that make Ron Paul? Just watching, and listening to him, you can tell age is catching up to him. And besides, some of those people voting for RP were once standing and chanting for lyndon Larouche! Please RP just fade away...

    January 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. rand

    Considering how many Democrats are being investigated for voter fraud from the last election, it could be a very scary outcome. Will we really know......... if Obama gets elected............... that it was a legitimate result?? We've reached a new low in America when you have to doubt an elections outcome as being VALID!!!

    January 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Bryan

    Why is anyone even talking about Paul, he said himself he isn't electable. He seems intent on just wasting tax payers money so he can parade around the US and talk about saving money and smaller government. What a jerk.

    January 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Ralf The Dog.

    As a Democrat, I have never been more motivated to vote than I am for the next election. I will donate the maximum allowed by law to the Obama campaign, I will also donate to Liberal PACs. I will also donate as much of my time as I can to the Obama campaign (and to Democratic candidates for the House and the Senate.) I think most Democrats share my motivation.

    Most Democrats I know are beginning to get fired up. Lets work towards winning the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    January 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Eric

    This is nice to say now, but the GOP is emptying their clip right now, trying to get the nod. Obama is just hoarding cash, and has said almost nothing on what he will say to the people, other than look at what we really have done.

    My prediction is Romney will be the GOP candidate, but get blasted in head to head debates. Mr 1% has no economic solutions, just a bunch of generic bumper sticker phrases. McCain was torched for the same reasons.

    January 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. dave

    After Obama, I would vote for Bozo. We cant keep failing America aswe do.

    January 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. lex

    Snap shots are useless

    January 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Vumba

    Obama is the best.

    January 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. EndTheFed

    Ron Paul is the only person that can beat Obama. I'm not talking about who is right or wrong, but Ron Paul is the only person who has enough support from EVERYONE to be elected.

    January 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Linda

    How anyone can vote for Romney is beyond me. He will cut taxes even more for the wealthy- and get rid of social security and medicare. He cares nothing for people. remember, to him, 'corporations are people" and then he had the nerve to say that the money corporations make goes back to people. More like one or two, the CEO's who are given huge bonuses while the workers who create the products are left behind in wages. They cannot even buy what they make – Romney is an elite destroyer of American jobs. So, Americans, if you are not ultra wealthy and you vote for him, you are voting against your own interests, your children, your grandchildren and the planet. Don't listen to Fox News or Limbaugh, they are only mouthpieces of the wealthy – they lie, they are hate mongers and trouble makers.

    January 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. lesanekusa

    did mine homework and Paul is the only straight talking and consistent in his opinions candidates.

    January 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Cedar Rapids

    "Once you understand Dr. Paul's message"
    something none of his supporters have done yet....they hear 'freedom' and 'peace' and dont actually work out what his policies will really mean for the country.

    January 16, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Revolution 2012

    RON PAUL for president 2012!!!
    ron paul 2012 com

    January 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Marc

    Oh, so the Republicans DO have an electable alternative to Romney. Personally, I would never ever support Romney, but I definitely would give Paul a look.

    January 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Sandra B.

    Wow, congratulations CNN. It's probably the first time EVER where you actually acknowledged Ron Paul in a homepage headline image and article - albeit shared with Romney and Obama. I realize CNN Reporter Dana Bash is all "worried" about Ron Paul. Was she having cardiac arrest when George W. Bush, the worst president ever, was elected not once, but twice? Surely the US can weather any president now after that characters path of destruction?

    January 16, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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