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. sue

    Um, a tie would be when they both have the same percentage.

    They don't.

    Obama's ahead.

    And this coming from a news agency that writes an article about politicians lying. Geesh.

    June 2, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  2. once upon a horse

    part of the problem is that many of the GOP really don't like Romney and are going to do the "hold their nose and vote for him"....they the GOP are actually more energized by their dislike fo the president than their like of Romney. Democrats on the other hand mostly DO like the president and I think the more negative the Romney campaign goes the more they are going to support Obama.

    June 2, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  3. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    That's about 750 million more jobs than when Bush was ending his term and Team Obama was starting up. Positive rather than a negative number. Initially, Romney had a huge lead over Team Obama on the Econcomy...now they are tied....wow...the President's supporters are out there bringing the truth to "We The People"! Keep it up Team Obama!

    June 2, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  4. Freedom

    As bad as the U.S. economy is with many Americans suffering, GOP is climbing a hill if Obama-Romney race is tied.

    June 2, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  5. freddie nerk

    The US is in far b etter shape than the rest of the world due to Obama.we are safer and have real leadership of the free world now. GOP are pure negativity and traitors.Romney is a tax dodger and religious extremist who would send our children to die for foreign oil while his five strapping sons goof off. He is a disgrace and the GOP are headed for a big defeat.

    June 2, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  6. Reagan80

    Another CNN poll of likely Democrats.

    June 2, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  7. 2020

    Close your eyes, ask yourself, who kills Bin Laden, who save GM, and why would I that stupid HANGING MY HOPE on a rich man to look after me, create job for me, have affordable health care, and let me save a few dollars for my kids education?

    June 2, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  8. filtered

    stock market down, housing market down, unemployment up, national debt up by $5 TRILLION, healthcare bill will be struck down, no budget in 3 years- what has obama done since 2008?

    June 2, 2012 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  9. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    @ mrpopular

    kind of like when things go bad the GOP loves to blame Obama but when they go good he gets no credit or they give the credit to Bush....ie OBL capture they credit Bush, auto turnaround Mitt tries to take credit, good job numbers or falling gas prices due to nothing Obama did, rising gas prices and bad job numbers all Obama's fault. Makes you think don't it?

    June 2, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  10. 2020

    I don't make millions a year, I pay more than 30% income tax, I don't have two Lincoln cars and I don't have Swiss bank account. How do I expect Romney can understand our middle class problems. He has no comprehension of what struggle we face everyday in life. He is only busy firing people. Romney has nothing in common with 99% of the population. He should just emigrate to Swiss for good.

    June 2, 2012 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    @Labdad: "Anyone that will vote for 4 more years of this misery is insane."

    President Obama's policies are working – and they'd work faster if the GOP wasn't trying to make him and our country fail.

    Mittens' policies are GW Bush's – which got us into this mess in the first place. Cut taxes for the rich and they'll create jobs here? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    How long you going to believe THAT load of crap?

    Obama/Biden 2012

    June 2, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    @WT: "I believe Romney wins. If job numbers continue like this past month and the previous month, how do even vote for Obama?"

    President Obama's policies are succeeding – and would be doing more if the GOP wasn't trying to make him and our country fail. Mittens' policies are the same as GW Bush's: PROVEN FAILURES.

    How do you even CONSIDER voting for Mittens or any GOPer, for that matter?

    Obama/Biden 2012

    June 2, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @Copanut: "Virtually all of the extra trillions in debt go back to the depression and wars delivered by Dubya. Stop spreading lies and cherry-picked data."

    Ah, but you're asking scared, dumb people (read: Republicans and anyone who falls for their line of crap) to not only think, but accept the unpleasant reality that the people and policies they believed in are ALL FAILURES.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = Dems, Independents and anyone else with a working brain will vote for them in November

    June 2, 2012 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  14. Michael of Michigan

    Someone please explain to me how running a business (which is composed of EMPLOYEES) qualifies you to run a country (which is composed of PEOPLE). The sole purpose of a business is to generate a profit. It is NOT to generate jobs, don't bulls hit yourselves. Theres is no such thing as a 'job creator'. A business will never hire employees unless it becomes absolutely necessary in order to continue generating profit. Wages, benefits, and other compensation are some of the biggest expenditures for a business, so stop pretending like businesses and business leaders give a squat about you. You cost them money, and you are not worth it unless you bring them more money than you cost.

    June 2, 2012 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  15. Hmm

    What a bunch of crap! I don't know one Republican ( and I live in a conservative area) that is thrilled or even excited about Romney. He can't run on the anti-healtcare platform and doesn't really know what is going on. Swing voters will reelect Obama, not because they like him, bt because Romney is a joke. Again.

    June 2, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  16. Melo-D

    Who really cares what the polls say now, just wait until the debates and people get to watch Willard in all his awkward glory. Willard is going to get trounsed. After he gets beat down a in a few debates then we can start looking at the polls.

    June 2, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  17. Independant Cathy

    Problem is Obama is clueless and has never run a successful anything! he has no clue how to be a leader, he lets the experts lead and takes the credit, but Obama has not ever been in leadership or successful at anything, cant believe he is the POTUS really.. Mitt Romney is smart and has lead he will be a wonderful leader

    June 2, 2012 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  18. Max in AZ

    Ronmey for President of Americia 2102!

    June 2, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  19. David

    There has to be a large degree of inaccuracy in those poll numbers...I talk with a lot of people about politics and almost everyone is voting for Romney AND is very excited about his campaign.

    June 2, 2012 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  20. obama is going down

    Obama is done for. The job reports are killing his chances.

    June 2, 2012 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  21. Lib Tiredoff

    Yes, I am.

    June 2, 2012 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  22. Lib Tiredof

    The lib media – still that nasty guy Edwards was able to get off the hook. People like this will continue to cheat and bamboozle ane the MSM will not even show a surprise. The biggest favor he did for the libs was that he split the white votes during 2008 and helped Hillary go down.

    June 2, 2012 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  23. bill

    It's gonna be a close race...yawn,,2 sides of the same coin neck n neck so the indolent masses think they have a choice when in reality they will both di what they are told. If anyone still believes in this system they are daft

    June 2, 2012 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  24. Greg

    I believe that with the first term in office,President Obama has learnt the ropes and has been grounded in fixing the economy,diplomatic challenges and the unstable world economy that affects every economies of each country world over.It's better for President Obama to continue and consolidate what He started than Mitt Rommney who will start all over in learning the nitty-gritty of international diplomacy/congress diplomacy/politics of "Party egoism"and improving the economy of the American Nation.It amounts to another round of time waisting on poll debates on whether he is on the right parth or if he is the right man to hav been elected.America do the Right thing,make the Right Choice,elect the Right Man.President Barack Obama,The Right Decision,The Right Choice,The Right Economy Fixer.God Bless the United States Of America.

    June 2, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Of course they are tied. With billions at stake in ads by the media, it is in their interest to keep the race a tie, so that both side will spend more with abusive ads. A tight race will also get more people to peruse the news (leading to more expensive ads). A lot of articles lately have been in favor of Romney because he was behind. If he gains too much, he will be cut down and we'll see more favorable articles about Obama. It's simple economics.

    June 2, 2012 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
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