Poll: Obama-Romney race tied; Obama supporters appear more energized
June 1st, 2012
04:00 PM ET
9 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. mike

    I love it, the stock market tanks close to 300 points today, the jobless numbers stay in the dump and CNN has NOTHING on the front page of this. CNN and Obama both equal major FAIL

    June 1, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. RodgerDodger

    hmm, if only presidential elections were decided by a national majority, this poll would have some value. come on CNN, make some effort to produce a story showing projected Electoral College votes by states. you know, the way presidential elections are actually decided??? Till then i will depend on other websites that actually track those numbers.

    June 1, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Not exactly

    Polls really don't tell you anything. I have NEVER taken a political poll so who opinion are they really looking at. remember in 2007-2008 the Rep ticket was leading in the polls but who ended up winning.

    June 1, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. DemWhisperer

    Bill Clinton says Mitt Romneys business success IS sterling.

    Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, Socialists, Communists and Facists are now stumbling all over themselves to determine what the meaning of IS is.

    I am voting for Romney!

    June 1, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Fried Green Tomatoes

    I polled the three children in my house.
    1 vote for Obama
    1 vote for Romney
    1 vote for a peanutbutter sandwich.

    I will get back to you next week.

    June 1, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  6. Harrys Putter

    We like the polls when our guy is in the lead,
    but the polls are frauds if our guy is behind.

    The only thing that matters is the morning after the election.

    June 1, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. A

    If you believe the astrology people(which I don't), Obama wins the election, but with "Chads" back in the news like when Bush stole...uh...won his last election.

    June 1, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. Bruce

    @Leo, please direct me to the unbiased report that shows more jobs created in 3.5 years of Obama than 8 years of Bush. The disappointing thing is that when the report came out all anybody in Washington did was to point at somebody else as the problem. If any of them, Obama, Boehner, Reid etc. were to say, "what we tried hasn't worked, now we are going to try this," I would support them mightily as soon as I woke up from my dead faint.

    June 1, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  9. John V

    This race isn't going to be close. I refuse to believe America is so stupid to put the jetsetting obama couple back in charge. To shove down our throats 2,700 pages of legislation w/.out the Congress's time to even read it. "We'll" pass it and see what's in it" will be the sad catchphrase of this brother that has added more debt than every president COMBINED that came before him. No experience. No wisdom. Nothing but a joke.

    June 1, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. John V

    51% to 39% Independents chose to vote Hussien out. THAT is the key. A a sidenote to national media when it comes to reporting polls. "Obama's base more energized"? Laughable. His supporters think the gov't is going to keep handing them out "Obamabucks" no matter what.

    June 1, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. ARaine

    @ Lynda/Minnesota Seriously? Did you happen to notice that CNN has a reelection ad for Obama on it's site? And it's not CNN that's putting Mitt before Obama – it's the polls showing they are tied. You're impression is incredibly wonky.

    June 1, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. Chris B

    So if Romney wins the fair thing to do is hold a meeting and decide how we can work to make him fail.

    ^^ This.

    June 1, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. 2tor

    Odd, every poll I've seen shows almost the exact opposite of CNN/ORC's

    June 1, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  14. Susan B.

    We love Mitt in Florida. – vote Romney 2012 – Hope for Change...

    June 1, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. ADiff

    Voting for a 'pay check' from Uncle Sugar might well "energize" some.....

    June 1, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. Harrys Putter

    *** Only time in history our country has been downgraded..............

    Because of the Tea party Republicans.

    June 1, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. bcj777

    i think that the job situation total is not his fault by himself even though he is the prez he asked for the job act to be pasted but they said no only thing they want is the keystone pipe line and tax cuts for the wealthy give me a break stop this worrying about who's in the white before we all be in the poor house

    June 1, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  18. bcj777

    can somebody say help cause this congress and senate is sick

    June 1, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. nytw

    Always good to have a choice between the worse president in history and the second worse president in history.

    June 1, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  20. david kerbaugh

    You liberals are in denial. No other explanation. Landslide – Romney is the next President of the United States of America.

    June 1, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  21. Larry

    I don't know what to say. How do you talk to people who are determined to vote for a rich man who's plan is to cut taxes on rich people and tax working class people to pay for it. Don't bother to deny it – look at the new gov in Wisconsin and Michigan and you will see the true face of the republican party. They are evil people consumed with greed and only a very stupid person or a very rich person would vote for any of them.

    June 1, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  22. Johnh77

    Bottom line.

    It's the economy stupid.

    Look at the two men, then tell me who is a man of action. Which one stands a chance to get money rolling again in this country. Romney the business man or Obama the blame man.

    June 1, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. S. Washington

    Stop this madness! Not until Romney truly leads the national poll.

    June 1, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. steve

    it's close I feel
    many of my dem friends who voted for O are now undecided based on one pure fact. the dismal economy. not sure he can do anything about it or Mitt as far as I'm concerned. we shall see. it will be very close I feel. today's news was a blow to the prez

    June 1, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. Log Cabin

    When Bush was President, Republicans would always say, "The President really has no influence on the economy." LMAO

    June 1, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
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