Poll: Obama-Romney race tied; Obama supporters appear more energized
June 1st, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Obama-Romney race tied; Obama supporters appear more energized

Washington (CNN) - The race for the White House remains very close, according to a new national poll, partly because neither President Barack Obama nor Republican challenger Mitt Romney have a clear advantage on issue number one - the economy.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Friday also indicates that Obama supporters are more energized right now than those backing Romney.

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According to the poll, 49% of registered voters say that if the November election were held today, they would vote for Obama, while 46% say they would cast a ballot for Romney, the unofficial GOP presidential nominee. The president's three point margin is within the survey's sampling error. Obama had a nine point advantage in CNN's last national poll, which was conducted in early April.

"Which candidate better understands how the economy works? That's a tie as well - 45% pick Obama, 45% choose Romney," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the survey, one in five questioned say neither candidate can fix the economy, with another one in five saying the economy will recover regardless of who wins in November. Among the rest, once again there is no clear advantage - 31% say economic conditions will improve only if Romney wins; 28% think things will get better only if Obama stays in office.

The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, before the release Friday morning of the May unemployment numbers. According to the disappointing report from the Labor Department, the nation's unemployment level edged up to 8.2% last month, with only 69,000 jobs created in May.

According to the poll, the economy, by far, remains issue number one. Fifty-two percent said that it's the most important issue facing the country today. The deficit, at 18% is a distant second.

Over the past few weeks, the Obama campaign has been hammering Romney's business experience at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded. Did their strategy work?

"The public splits down the middle on Romney's business experience as well," adds Holland. "Fifty percent say that Romney has the right experience to reduce unemployment and improve the economy if he were elected, with 45% saying he does not."

The poll also indicates that Americans' views of the economy haven't gotten any better or worse since the spring. In March, the number who thought the economy was in good shape jumped from 18% to 31%, but there has been no additional movement since then. Sixty-nine percent say economic conditions are poor.

Although the race for the White House is essentially tied, Obama does have one big advantage: His supporters right now are far more enthusiastic about him. More than six in ten Obama voters say they strongly support the president, while only 47% of Romney voters feel that way about their candidate.

Nearly three-quarters of those questioned say they've made up their mind about who they will vote for in November, with one in four saying it's possible they could change their mind.

In the battle for crucial independent voters, the poll indicates Romney holds a 51%-39% advantage.

The president's approval rating continues to hover around the 50% mark. Fifty-two percent give Obama thumbs up on the job he's doing in the White House, with 47% saying they disapprove of how he's handling his duties.

The survey also indicates Americans are divided in the battle for Congress, with 48% saying they would back the Democratic candidate in their congressional district and 45% saying they would support the GOP candidate.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from May 29-31, with 1,009 adults nationwide, including 895 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.

Also see:

Obama campaign launches assault on Romney's Massachusetts record

Obama campaign releases third set of Spanish ads

Gonzales says Romney must make personal connection to Hispanics

Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll

soundoff (344 Responses)
  1. Marry

    Quite a few comments here about a “failed” President. Interesting you say “failed” – right out of the GOP playbook. While the President is working successfully with all his energy and class and yes, leadership nationally and internationally to bring the country forward, he has to face a “group” that is the party of “NO” (no ideas, no ideals – just greed, no commitment to the country, no honesty, no political class…) working with threats, bullying their own smarter minds, taking no responsibility for the shape of the country, and with insults and loose moths towards international partners – spreading fear and division across the country to get back in power to milk YOU and the county some more.
    Anyone liking that plan, needs to do a little research in how it will affect them if they vote GOP/Romney. Let’s not forget that YOU are NOT the 1% the GOP is really talking to and working for with their ideas! Maybe a bit of thinking will energize you to go out and vote: Obama 2012!

    June 2, 2012 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  2. fred ca

    Are they more energized or, since 17% of America is un/under-employed, do they just have more time on their hands?

    June 2, 2012 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  3. Bones

    Bogus polls...it all comes down to the voting in polls – "Have's" vs the "Have Nots" .... Workers vs Non-Workers

    June 2, 2012 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  4. Capitalists

    Won't be tied for long. The American people are finnally waking up to what many of us have seen for 3 years.

    June 2, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  5. John

    The thing I like about MSNBC, the only thing by the way, is that they do not try to hide their bias. CNN, tells everyone they are fair and balanced, the best political team, and they come out with this out of the mainstream poll. Only registered voters?? More Democrats polled than Republicans??? Wolf, Candy, John and Anderson are becoming as big a political joke as Chrissy, Rev. Al, Mister ED, and Rachel. Sad what "journalism" has become.

    June 2, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  6. libsLIE

    As Attorney General, Eric Holder has been an unapologetic radical, launching a crusade against our civil liberties and American values. He's lied repeatedly to Congress about the catastrophic gun running debacle he sponsored in Mexico and the dismissal of a voter intimidation case against Black Panther poll watcher-thugs. He's refused to recognize the Defense of Marriage Act—a law passed by Congress—and he's waged a secret war against the 2nd Amendment. Worst of all, Holder has continually spewed racial intolerance and division.

    June 2, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  7. Paul

    Come on CNN take a poll with the independent voters included. There are about 36 % of voters nation wide who do not vote with any poltical party.

    June 2, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  8. Obamabus

    "Choosing between the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil." – J. Garcia

    June 2, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  9. Jake

    gregrustin-You realize that Obama had no new ideas and basically ran as the "I am not Bush" candidate, right? I mean, the only people who truly bought his shtick were kids straight out of college and ignorant suckers.

    Not saying that Romney is the right choice either. As far as I'm concerned, they both are equally worthless. But laughing at Romney for running as the "I'm not Obama man" may not work out so well in the end, because it has proven effective in the past.

    June 2, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  10. fmnka

    CNN please I am begging you to start doing real reports. They are things going on in this great nation of ours that needs your attention instead of poll every day.
    1. Voter suppression in 37 states.
    2. House Republicans refusing to vote on job Bills and yet blame the President.
    3. Republicans Gov cutting education funding and firing teachers.
    I could go on and on.

    June 2, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  11. gthog61

    cnn rides to the rescue!

    June 2, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  12. Wazzup

    If CNN posts a article saying the race is close, then you know Obama is in trouble.

    June 2, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  13. GEdwards

    How many McCain voters plan to vote for Pres Obama this time around?

    How many Obama voters have learned their lesson and have no intention of voting for him again?

    June 2, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  14. HurtfulTruth

    WOW...I see that the old saying "Do TWICE as much to be considered HALF as good" still applies!!

    And to all of you "racism deniers" out there, ask yourselves THIS: Of ALL of thee things that Republicans said ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT happen under this President, it appears that MOST of the more significant things DID...so have you given him credit gor that??!! Of course not!!

    June 2, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  15. Duane _St.Pete FL

    Well, at least Obama can lean on his job creation....oh wait no......unemployment ticking up ....again under Obama....and four years latter all you libs can say is the old..."it's Bush's fault'. Please let me remind everyone that the democrats had complete control of congress (both house and senate) for two FULL years and did nothing to help our economy recover except work on a health bill that will now be over turned....what a WASTE OF TIME!!!!!!

    June 2, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    Ps: Iran war no, Bain capital no

    June 2, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  17. toby hill

    What a stupid poll. If the make up of the political affiliations as proven by the last elections is Dem 33, Rep 31, Ind 36 and others 2 and Romney has a 12 point lead amongst Ind then there is no way Obama leads. The closest Obama could be to Romney, who has to be leading, is 8%.

    June 2, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  18. JamesSC

    Since the Repubs & Mitt have gotten all the publicity from the primaries & use their attack-ads which are incomplete and don't tell the whole truth. When President Obama & Mitt debate, most of Americans will see that our president would be far better than Mitt in leading our country, again. His policies have been far better than McClain's or Mitt's. Heck, Mitt would give the rich further tax cuts. Now how crazy is that? Guess who would suffer in paying for that nonsense? Yep, seniors by losing SS/Mcare benfits. How can anyone not in the top 10% income even think about voting for Mitt and the TGOP.

    June 2, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  19. Independent Voters

    Republican congress is trying to destroy america and we going vote every one of them out of the office.
    President Obama is going to win by landslide do not believe these polls.

    June 2, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
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