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. Dino

    Don't worry the polls are all a bunch of inaccurate BS. If anything adds to sensationalism it's polling numbers in an election year.

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

    Bill Clinton said it succinctly and best the other day when he simply said in essence that Mr. Romney has had some stellar business successes. He was right, putting down business achievement is not a good idea. He made it clear however that Mr. Romney's plans to "fix the economy" are bad for the US. The United States is not a corporation. Firing teachers, fireman, policeman, letting health care be determined by the market place, privatizing social security, giving vouchers to seniors in lieu of medicare, shutting down the EPA, and letting banks and brokerages do their deeds w/o "government interference" is a leap into the 19th century. Obama's message in fact does not really seem to me to be putting down business. What it says is that Mr. Romney's business plans, though good for a few investors, truly would be devastating to the working middle class. We face a crystal clear choice in November: Re-engage Republican policies that got us where we are today or move forward to sustainable economy, a more level playing field for Americans trying to get ahead and a healthier, better educated living in a less oil dependent and less polluted world.

    June 1, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. Dav

    failure obama is out nov 2012

    June 1, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. Meki60

    this whole thing is silly, but Obama has not performed and must go before we all lose our lifetime of work

    June 1, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  5. Leigh2VA

    Hmm, that's funny. The other National Presidential tracking polls have Romney ahead, albeit by only 1 percent and within the error of margin.

    June 1, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Bayousara

    It wasn't long ago the Republicans themselves were very wary of Mitt Romney–asking, who is this guy? Now they think he is absollutely wonderful. He's their man now. The next few months will be quite interesting.

    June 1, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. Rose Mary Abbott

    It doesn't really matter which one wins or loses. They are just the same.

    June 1, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. sithlord1

    Romney would be better for our country. Hell in 3.5 years of obama the unemployment rate hasn't even changed more than 1%. And gas is still going up. its now 4.40 a gallon in olympia. Wait till next year when all of Obamas hidden tax increases come in to play. obama is full of crap.

    June 1, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. thedude

    Note that this is a CNN poll – immediately suspect. By November they'll be manufacturing numbers to show Obama leading 2 to 1, unemployment at 0%, and the Cubs winning the World Series.

    June 1, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Thomas E Shell Jr

    Romney can't be president because he has money on over seas account. We pay 100% taxes and he does Not! True or false?

    June 1, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. Walter

    It's unfathomable to me that Romney isn't way ahead of Obama. Does anyone but far left Democrats really want another 4 years of true (U-6) unemployment of nearly 15%?

    June 1, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. nolimits3333

    Mitt won't release his tax returns for the last 12 years.

    What are you hiding Mitt?

    June 1, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. fandancy

    Well, Mittens might not have time to campaign as much as he should. He'll probably need to join Trump's investigators in Hawaii trying to track down Obama's fake birth certificate that "The Donald" is so obsessed with. That lucky Romney, getting Trump's endorsement. How lucky can one man get?

    June 1, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. dud

    Jobs report. Ug-lee.

    That's why they're close.

    I'm no drinker of the BHO Kool-Aid, but you can hardly dump on him for what's happening in Europe. The Eurozone is tanking and we are going to go along with it, just like they did with us.

    Having said that, his "I'll create jobs" schtick was believed only by the real Kool-Aid drinkers.

    June 1, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  15. keeth

    Wait until the debates. Romney will bury himself.

    June 1, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  16. Grace Of The Witch

    The engine that runs the world economy is America.
    That engine had a monkey wrench tossed into under George W. Bush.
    Never before in American history, do you start 2 wars, unfunded, and turn around and
    give tax breaks to the rich.

    Message to you Republicans, i understand that you want to defend your "brand"
    But there is one thing that you just dont understand.
    There is a big difference between the "Republican" party,
    and the "NEOCONS".

    The NEOCONS ran as Republicans, but these people do not care about you,
    They had, and still have, thier own "agenda".
    When "America" soured on Republicans after eight years of war and destruction and put a Democrat in the White House
    the NEOCONS responded by forming The Tea Party.

    Democrats are not perfect.
    But they are a big step up from what has happened to your party.

    Time to reconsider.

    June 1, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  17. Karm99

    The job numbers today were bad, very bad. The stock market tanked. President Obama, headed to Chicago to lick his wounds. Romney and Boehner slapped each other on the back and smiled.

    Contrary to some, and most certainly to the Republicans, I think this is the best thing that could happen to the Obama Re-election effort.

    This event, will make crystal what the obstructionist congress has done at the expense of the American people. It will make clear that Republicans are interested in one thing, their own very narrow view of America and who should prosper.

    The American people will understand this. They know that giving tax breaks to the rich and big corporation will not help them, they know implementing the Ryan austerity plan is a death sentence, they know trickle down economics is a lie.

    In the next several months, President Obama will make the choice clear He will propose large scale jobs programs that will get people immediately back to work. He will propose cuts in defense spending, he will ask for a middle class tax break. He will line up economist after economist support that these ideas are what will get the country going.

    And you know what will happen, the Republicans will say no. They will fight and obstruct every single proposal.

    Their twisted ideology and willingness to sacrifice the American people will be their undoing.

    I am not a Democrat, or a Republican, I have voted on both sides. However, in this election, I will not be voting for a party who will sacrifice the American people for their on ideology.

    I have one vote, and it will be for President Obama.

    June 1, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. Tower Of Babel

    Those who forget the past, repeat the past.
    Those that remember, move forward.
    Why do Republicans forget the past ?
    Because you have been raised that way.

    Why do Arabs hate Jews ?
    Because they have been raised that way.

    Why do people hate gay people ?
    Because they have been raised that way.

    Control and hate is a very powerful tool.

    Time to break the chain.

    June 1, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  19. Maxwell Smart

    Barry is going down, AAHHHahahahaahahah

    June 1, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. Matt

    I'm voting for Romney.

    June 1, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Matt

    At this point, it's not about supporting a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, it's about success or failure and Barack Obama has failed badly. It is time for Mitt Romney to try and fix things before this country is ruined for good.

    June 1, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. J

    Is that a Joke matt? Plenty of people have landlines, how else are people going to call you? anyways, yeah this poll was biased, only like 20 percent of people are republicans, but all of them vote, barely any democrats vote, thats why races appear tied, but no1 likes a republican

    June 1, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  23. Pat Champion

    Independents are the smartest voters, they elected George W twice. How pathetic.

    June 1, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  24. CathyCap

    The Republicans are in bad trouble. With poll results that close, cheating for the win will be easy for the Democrats.

    June 1, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. Matt

    Barack Obama and his radical policy of envy and division have created such an ugly feel across the country, now throw in the 8.2 % unemployment rate and sinking economy ???? Even top Democrats are shaking their heads behind closed doors. This president must be defeated come November.

    June 1, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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