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. llatpoh

    November cannot come fast enough... there is no mystery regarding why our economy is in the tank – O's policies are a disaster! No matter how hard C N N tries to spin stories to fit the narrative that they want to tell – the truth shall prevail and Americans will not be fooled. I am an Independent and I have had enough of the divisive class warfare and the villification of whole industries. We need adults back in the white house... ROMNEY 2012!!!

    June 1, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. John

    Obama legacy:

    1.) Worst 30 months of employment in the last 25 years
    2.) Most months (40) of 8% unemployment ever
    3.) Greatest amount (over 8 million) of homes foreclosed ever
    4.) Most people ever on food stamps – over 48 million
    5.) Highest rate of poverty in over 53 years
    6.) Most people ever in poverty – over 49 million
    7.) Lowest percentage of people working ever – 63.5%
    8.) Lowest percentage of people owning a home 64%
    9. Only time in history our country has been downgraded

    Stop the bleeding now and get rid of the failure!

    June 1, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Scott

    Jeez American's are a gullible bunch.

    June 1, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Cedar Rapids

    "Obama has never had a private sector job"

    The guy was a lawyer for crying out loud. If you want to moan at least don't do it by lying.

    June 1, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. theMan

    LOL- MSN is so afraid their boy is going to lose they are inflating numbers to rile the base.

    June 1, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Sue

    It figures that CNN wanted this poll done "before" the jobs report was released today. Based on the fact that left leaning polling sources always weight their polls with more Democrats and Democrat leaning Independents, I suspect Romney is leading, not tied. Plus, they poll unregistered voters-who cares what they think, if they are not registered to vote. They do this until the election gets closer, so that they can try to sway opinion/support for their candidate. They did the same thing in 2010, until the election got closer. Once the 2010 election got closer, then the "real" polling numbers started to surface. That is why Obama/Democrats were so shocked/unprepared for the "shellacking" that occurred in 2010.

    June 1, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Uggggh. Can we start over?"

    Yes, we can. Please start by finding yourself a nice Googled article on the web that explains to you where the debt and deficits actually come from and provides yuo with the charts, numbers and math that show it's by far and away the GOP's policies that created and maintained them, followed by the recession itself. Then look up the fact that gov't spending under Obama grew at the slowest rate (1.3%) in the past 60+ years...compared to 8%+ under Reagan and Dubya. Your premises and foudnations are faulty, so yes, you very much do need to start over. You've built a portapotty in quicksand instead of a castle on a mountaintop.

    June 1, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. JBB

    marjee123 – you're wondering how the polls could have Romeny even? Take a look at the job numbers that came out today. Issue number one is the Economy. Issue number one when Obama took office was to create his legacy...Obamacare. He did not focus on jobs and the economy when he control of both houses, and now he's paying for it. I can tell you he's not getting my vote.

    June 1, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Alex

    Regardless of who you vote for nothing will change. Sad, but true.

    June 1, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Karl

    Is anyone seriously surprised that a community organizer from Chicago doesn't understand economics? Really?

    June 1, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Chuck

    The Obama experiment failed. It's time for a proven leader to step in and fix this mess.

    June 1, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. John

    Continuing Obama legacy:

    1.) Over 50% percent of American receiving some sort of government assistance
    2.) Medium household income falling to its lowest level in 16 years
    3.) Dow and Nasdaq having the worst month (May) in over 2 years
    4.) Corporate profits the lowest in over 3 years
    5.) Over 5 trillion added to the national debt in just 3 years

    Stop the bleeding now!

    June 1, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Cedar Rapids

    "John

    Obama legacy:

    1.) Worst 30 months of employment in the last 25 years
    2.) Most months (40) of 8% unemployment ever
    3.) Greatest amount (over 8 million) of homes foreclosed ever
    4.) Most people ever on food stamps – over 48 million
    5.) Highest rate of poverty in over 53 years
    6.) Most people ever in poverty – over 49 million
    7.) Lowest percentage of people working ever – 63.5%
    8.) Lowest percentage of people owning a home 64%
    9. Only time in history our country has been downgraded

    Stop the bleeding now and get rid of the failure!"

    and yet despite all this apparent failure Romney still cant pull away from him in the polls, sucks to you guys.

    June 1, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. David

    Hey, LIbertards! Your hero Bill Clinton just stated that Romney's Bain record was sterling! He's your boy, not ours! If your polls are tied, boy are you guys in trouble. This is CNN reporting. They never challenge Barry. It's got to be really bad news if THEY are calling a tie. By the way, that's among registered voters. You can register dead people, and half of the 20 somethings will be too busy on election day watching Dancing with the Stars to vote. We "unenergized" or under energized people who support real change that you and I can both believe in, will be out en-force. Have a great weekend, oh, did you catch the stock market drop, and the rise in the unemployment figures? YOUR cooked books unemployment figures. One went up, the other went down. I'll leave you in suspense as to which went where.

    June 1, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Jim

    If anyone knows about the economy, it would be the community organizer who has FAILED for last 4 years

    June 1, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. bnfl

    Liberal failed policies!!!!!!!!!!!! Time for a change vote for ROMNEY, Throw the bums out.

    June 1, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. nodems

    It is clear that US voters are not happy with Obama economy policies, actual NON in place, considered the advantage of present precidency. Hope Ronmey team can present a worthy recoverable economy. Otherwise, we willhave to vote for independent candidate, who will be the First in US history.

    June 1, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Ralph

    CNN, are you kidding me....? when was this poll conducted? Three weeks ago?

    June 1, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Charlie

    This article is a lie. How could the race possibly be tied?

    June 1, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. works4me

    @John...
    And these are all President Obama's fault, or did they just happen to take place while he was in office. Perhaps a little education and less redundant stuck on stupid bar room partisans would be more accurate.

    June 1, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Marcus

    John – About the 'legacy'
    Do you understand the difference between 'recession' and 'depression'?
    Only ONCE the USA faced a 'depression', but recessions? Many, about four just the past 100 years.
    Any economist that says that the 2008 Crisis could and would have led the US to a 'depression' if the government had not done what it did is not taken seriously by its peers, though he might find job in that institution funded by ther Koch Bros..
    My point is, you can't get out of a depression without passing through a recession. The 1 to 8 points you showed just prove that:
    THE USA ARE STILL IN A RECESSION.
    Now put the blame of point 9 on the POTUS when anyone can check the videos of those Tea-partierrs saying that 'a downgrade is not that bad' is laughable... not much but it is.

    June 1, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Cliff

    You know whats funny, CNN has made article after article for the past two months with this exact headline. EXACT. lol. In other words, ever since Romneys boost after Santorum dropped out, Niether side has gained an inch on the other. Why can't CNN just say Obama still holds slim lead? It's not like romney has gained a point in 60 days now. In fact, this 3 point margin is 1 point higher than the poll 2 weeks ago and 1 pt higher than Aprils report.

    Bottom line? Both sides have drawn their lines in the sand. Everyone knows who they are supporting and regardless of Economic news, everyone knows who they hate or love. I expect virtually no change all the way up until the debates. I just don't buy 1 month of poor jobs report which frankly no one saw coming, will have any immediate impact on the race. Dems hate Romney regardless of the Ecomony and Republicans hate Obama, regardless of how good the Economy is. Independents are pretty much decided as well. So are women. So there is no one really to convince. Most states are pretty entrenched in who they are leaning toward with the exception of maybe and of those 5 only really 3 matter to both sides.

    The real story should be the House and Senate. House polls show the Republicans BARELY hanging onto the house in Nov. Poll has Republicans at about 41 percent to 39% They are expected to lose as many as 20 seats and could lose 30. The Senate is looking to be a close 50/50 tie. Can you imagine the gridlock we will face regardless of who wins President? lol

    June 1, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. midogs2

    @John, and you could have stopped the GWB tsunami of 2008 with your bare hands. It's a wonder you weren't chosen over Geithner.

    June 1, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. S From Canada

    @ John – Get a life. Do you honestly think any sane, rational person believes the situation your country is in is due to the last three years of policy!!!!
    Like it all happened over night!! Geeeez!

    June 1, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. pimpson

    Obama is a massive failure. Never vote for him again. Romney couldn't possibly be worse.

    June 1, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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