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 Bertrand

    Only in the dreams of republican'ts is this election "tied"....there is no amnesia when it comes to who brung us to this dance!

    June 1, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. Joe

    5 trillion dollars spent and unemployment is higher now than it was 3.5 yrs ago when Obama took office. Think about that for a second so that it registers how much money was blown. Meanwhile all his does is deflect blame to others. Wake up folks, look at Greece, Spain, other Socialist countries and how they are faring. Spain now has 25 percent unemployment and Greece is breaking out in riots, the USA is following down that path led by Obama's socialist policies. Half the country is on govt assistance, food stamps going through the roof, and soon our hospitals will be overwhelmed with red tape.

    June 1, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  3. taz111111111

    Obama has failed miserably. He still blames everyone else and still take no responsibility. Worst leader ever.

    June 1, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. dallastexas75205

    Look, there is really no reason for the Dems to get all hot and bothered about Romney. No ONE, and I mean NO ONE wants another Government run by anyone that smells like Bush. Let's face it, Romney doesn't have a plan just talk.

    June 1, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. mitts chief campaign manager is comical Ali

    Ok. The unemployment rate upticked one tenth of one percent. The housing market is now on the upswing and oil prices are dropping. ThAT, folks, is why the recovery will continue.

    June 1, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. mambert

    A candidate to the presidency is one that want to be. A President is one that he is. By logic of rule of Grammar; OBAMA's name shall be first and Meat Roomy's name shall be second. However, CNN is doing the opposite, why? I think it is a good question for our remarkable editor Mr,Paul. My friend Bill Gate affirms that Mr Paul,the aforesaid editor is a MORMON

    June 1, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. colowest

    Oh for pete's sake I don't care whose side you're on these polls don't mean anything! There's already a Pew study out that confirms they are skewed heavily toward older white women who lean Republican (although not as strongly as might be assumed) and besides which probably 50% have no idea who Romney is and 20% don't know who Obama is either! Wake me up at the end of September.......

    June 1, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  8. Stella

    This survey must have called only democrats. There is NO WAY Mr. Obama has 52% support in this country at this time. He is driving this country into a ditch of NO return. He has done everything he can to turn America into a socialist utopia–with NO concern about the unemployment rate & economy, as long as he can keep the benefits flowing. I would like to see the internal statistics of this poll–to see how many more democrats were polled in relation to republicans and independents.

    June 1, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. jackie treehorn

    Mitt is going to mop the floor with the community organizer... Jimmy Carter was ahead in the polls too... and we saw how that worked out...

    June 1, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  10. mitts chief campaign manager is comical Ali

    Republicans, how does it feel to hope our country fails? I know not that feeling. How does it feel to plan to vote for someone you definitely dont like or trust? If that were not enough, you are also responsible for electing George W. Bush TWICE! And you call yourselves patriots? How do you look yourselves in the mirror?

    June 1, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  11. JackDW

    As soon as Romney agrees to debate Obama, this election will be squarely back in Obama territory.
    Not one republican has yet been able to stand toe to toe with Obama on a stage. They all have come off looking slow and lacking depth, and nobody wants those poor qualities in a leader after having already put up with Bush.

    June 1, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  12. albie

    I hate to say it, but the only reason they are so close (and Obama will probably lose this election) is because he came out in support of gay marriage. I voted for Obama and I will vote for him again, and I am pro gay-marriage - but i don't understand how he could have made such a bone-head move. The republicans must have been dancing in the isles. It was like a gift from their god. It is almost as if Obama doesn't want to be president anymore and was throwing the game. Hopefully Romney isn't too bad.

    June 1, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  13. mikle

    Obama president show to me, that anybody can be president.

    June 1, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  14. valwayne

    Just today we saw the terrible damage that Obama has inflicted on the U.S. economy made obivious to the entire world with the total meltdown in the jobs report. For the last 6 to 8 weeks we seen the jobs data get worse and worse as Obama's debt bubble has burst, and now the failure of Obama's policies of massive government, wasted spending on Solyndra, and nation destroying debt was made obvious. We should be in a roaring recovery, but employment fell apart and UNEMPLOYMENT went from 8.1 to 8.2%. After 3 1/2 years of Obama we have record long term UNEMPLOYMENT, the highest period of employment over 8% since the Great Depression, and the lowest percentage of Americans working since 1981. And the debt? We all know that Obama's debt may well collapse our economy like Greece. Obama's failed Presidency is the worst disaster to hit our nation since at least the start of the 20th century. Now its out there for all to see. Nov can't come soon enough. We have to replace the Obama disaster!

    June 1, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  15. mambert

    There was no moderation request when a group of racists compared President OBAMA with Hitler. Now I am very moderate when I compare MMitt Romney with Meat Roomy

    June 1, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. chuckyschmucky

    Why are you not showing internals, so we can reconfigure them into a likely voter mode with the proper party breakdown.

    The question answers itself.

    One has to be an absolutely braindead moron to think that Obama would be better for the economy than Romney. What kind of dolts would give that answer? Not nearly as many dolts as CNN projects, fortunately.

    Furthermore, does anybody actually believe the right's enthusiasm has waned since 2010? On the contrary, the more the arrogant narcissist Obama opens his mouth and spews his Marxist drivel and the more his racist attorney general sues us for trying to secure our borders and ballot integrity, the more determined we become.

    This poll is garbage. A shift to a likely voter model puts Romney in the lead. And he hasn't even begun to campaign yet. Furthermore, this pushpoll was taken before the horrible jobs report. The economic cement is hardening around Barackalypse's ankles and we're just about past the point of no return.

    It's all over but the whining. It's President Romney, in a landslide.

    June 1, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  17. Sue


    WRONG.......The Independents are the largest voting block in our country.......And, their numbers keep increasing each and every year. Based on all state/national polls, the Independents are supporting Romney, not Obama!!

    June 2, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. Robert

    This poll used a partisan split of 32% Dem, 24% Rep, and 44% Ind.
    The actual partisan split is 32 D, 32 R and 36 I.
    Why would CNN go to all the expense of conducting a poll and use inaccurate numbers?
    The same question could be asked of NBC, CBS, ABC, AP, Reuters, the Wash. Post, NY Times etc. and even Fox (who actually used even more lopsided inputs for their poll which showed Obama up by 7%).

    When this CNN poll is recalculated using the real partisan split of 32-32-36, the numbers reverse, and Romney leads by 49-46. There is a website which shows all national polls, gives the partisan breakdown used in the poll, then recalculates the poll using the real partisan split (which changes monthly). The site is polls2012.blogspot.com

    Also Cliff, polls of likely voters are more accurate than those of registered voters. Not all those who register to vote actually vote. Likely voters are registered voters who actually vote. So polls of LV are considered more accurate than those of RV, by everyone. Just FYI.

    June 2, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. gregory

    Neither one of these clowns can save our country. Anyone who puts faith in either one of them is a sucker. Partisan politics is for the blind. Both parties have ruined our country. The media just likes a good fight. Politicians pander for votes from various agenda groups which further divides the country.

    Obama: come visit my unicorn ranch for a great photo op. Your smile will win you the election. Remmber to speak Spanish on your unicorn ride. Pretend to care about the middle class.

    Mitt: Pretend you're a conservative to get nominated, then go populist and suck up to the media to get elected. Make a good spin to defend our corporate overlords.

    June 2, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  20. Steve

    All I can say is Barry's easily the worst president of my lifetime, but I only go back to Truman. Can't say whether he is actually worse than Harding, or Hoover, as I wasn't around then. I thought Carter was bad, but Barry makes Carter actually seem semi-competent. Unfortunately, I've learned that there's no discounting the ignorance of the American voter. I mean, here's a guy with no job experience, no understanding of basic economics, no leadership ability, no idea how to solve a problem, but 47% of the people in this country still "approve" of his job as president. So it seems hopeless. 47% seems like a good basic correlation of brain disorders in the population at large. The guy's a freaking disaster. If he had a job in private sector he'd have been fired within six months. But some of you will vote for him again, and that is the very definition of insanity. Repeating the same mistake, hoping for a different outcome.

    June 2, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  21. FedUpPeriod

    This is why I get such a kick, from Libs and Cons alike, when they talk of a landslide. 😉

    June 2, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  22. UnFred

    (picture on the left) used car salesman, (picture on the right) pawn shop guy. Who do I trust? Neither one of them.

    June 2, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  23. Riley

    Hope and Change! NO, THANKS!

    President Romney, please save this nation.

    June 2, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  24. MaryM

    If you want to know what type of "leader/president" Mitt would be, just ask the good people of Massachusetts.

    June 2, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  25. josh rogen

    if the cnn poll has it tied then Romney must be up by 20 points

    June 2, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
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