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. copanut

    100% of all the whining posted by "John" can be laid at the feet of Bush. The economy was in an historical tailspin prior to the 2008 inauguration. To pretend like that was not the case, directly producing massive unemployment, massive foreclosures, massive food stamps, massive debt, etc., is just being willfully ignorant. If you want to measure Obama that's fine, but measure him for the period that is attributable to him, say from late 2009 once the economy started to rebound. Since then, roughly a doubling of the DOW, and continuous (if unspectacular) growth of the private sector job market, and gradual clearing out of the foreclosure mess. 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.

    June 1, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. rollotomasi

    Romney wants us believe his experience of loading companies with debt, firing their employees, selling off remaining assets for profit and then declaring bankruptcy prepares him to lead the US economy. Well, we don't have to think about what he would do in the abstract. When the auto industry was in crisis as a result of the bush depression, Romney was abundantly clear – LET DETROIT GO BANKRUPT .

    This would have resulted in 700K-900K additional unemployed and probably the end of the American auto industry.

    June 1, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Pete/Ark

    I'm following a side issue ... almost every time Romney won a primary the Dow dropped the next day. Take a look at what the markets have done since he locked the nomination. It appears that Wall Street has some trepidation about one of "thier own"...I wonder how many people who think a President can "fix" the economy have looked at this. It is NOT a ringing endorsement.

    June 1, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "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"

    All you've done is list a bunch of correlative data, not an analysis of causation. Why? Because it all breaks down and falls to pieces for the GOP/Teatrolls once you look past raw correlative data. But hey, I had a tummy ache today and the stock market didn't do well. I suppose that means my bowels control the DOW? Better watch out...we're doing chili this weekend.

    June 1, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Proud Hispanic

    More energized! Who are they kidding! CNN obviously does not know what happened in Boston yesterday or what is happening around the country as people are finally waking up! Romney 2012

    June 1, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. John

    Obama legacy followup:

    1.) Unemployment claims increasing 13,500 to 383,500 this week
    2.) May layoffs increasing 53% to over 61,000
    3.) Dow follows up with the worst month in two with a 280 point loss today (June 1)

    Get rid of this guy now!

    June 1, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "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!"

    Sane, rational people are not their target market.

    June 1, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Aaron

    Please! The economy tanked under George Bush. Obama is left trying to clean up his mess.

    June 1, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. anoel2005

    we elected Obama to "fix things" and we got his failed policies instead..........what's worse is he hasn't stopped blaming Bush.......Obama record....

    23 million are out of work, 5 million dropped out of the workforce. S&P downgrade for the first time, billions lost to tax payers in "green" money pits, most divided Congress ever, lobbyists go through back door of WH, Obama backs OWS who are responsible for violent protests, attack private equity when even some Democrats have complained about that as wrong, suing States for trying to protect their borders, suing States for Voter ID laws, suing Boeing for trying to create 1000 Non Union jobs in S.Carolina, etc. etc. etc.

    June 1, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Cliff

    John, your facts are very skewed. Let me add. The most people in poverty happened under G.W's watch. LOL. Worst 30 months of unemployment? Where did you get that stat? Because under G.W Bush we lost 750 THOUSAND Jobs a MONTH. Under Obama ARE CREATING jobs. In fact, we were creating well over 200k jobs a month, a near 1 million Jobs a month turn around since Bush. The slow down was predictable just as it's equally predictable it will pick up come September and the fall months.

    Most of that happened under Bush's watch man. Cleaning up his ness was expected to take a decade according to most economists. It's been 4 years and we are already night and day better off than 4 years ago.

    June 1, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. PoorNhomeless

    please...at this point a vote for Obama cannot be based on performance but only the blind rheteric of the "hope and change" bandwagon. I'm off that one. I'd love to hang with the man as long as it's restricted to golf and some basketball – but for president ABO – Anyone But Obaba

    June 1, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "3.) Dow follows up with the worst month in two with a 280 point loss today (June 1)"

    And yet, for three years it steadily grew more than double what it was when Obama took office. Did you forget that part? Oh wait, I forgot, the "big picture" isn't the Teatrolls' forte....more liek the "little mind."

    June 1, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    A CNN/ORC International survey released Friday also indicates that Obama supporters are more energized right now than those backing Romney.

    We sure are. Just the mere thought of Willard as CEO this country ought to scare anyone into backing Obama. I intend to get even more energized as we get closer.

    June 1, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. VARULES

    Really funny comments. Would you listen to someone or follow someone that started with nothing and made millions, on his or her own, by making smart decisions through life and worked hard. Or, would you listen to and follow someone who's only achievments have been given to him and never worked for anything.

    June 1, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. John the Historian

    Romney is going to lose big time. The Southern Baptists will never vote for a cult mormon follower. With his flip flops on gay rights and abortion and all his gaffes and all the anti- Romney statements by his Republican opponents in the primary, Romney is toast. Romney is the quintessential 1 percent of America, tru blue Wall Street.. Obama will get the Women vote, the Latino vote, the Gay vote, the Blue collar vote, the Progressive vote, the Pro-choice vote and the Black vote. All Romney has is the Wall Street vote, the billionaire vote and the military-industrial complex vote.

    June 1, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. lardoggy

    CNN will always side with the libs,very sad.Maybe try and side with the people for a change.40% of voters are now independents,I think CNN needs to open there eyes!

    June 1, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Cliff

    Proud, umm Dems are far more energized. That thing in Boston? Was a planned sabotage by the Romney camp. It wasn't an actual reflection of how Mass residents feel or the nation. Trust me, Romney will be seeing his share of those interuptions now too. BTW Mass is completely in Obama's corner lol.

    June 1, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Bren

    Look at the article....Even in a CNN poll, it is showing Independents are supporting Romney by 12% over Obama. Independents WILL decide this election, and Romney WILL win. This is especially true after the jobs report that was released today, and the fact that this poll was done "before" the jobs report was released. US citizens/voters want jobs-not welfare and foodstamps!!

    June 1, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Paula D.

    @llatpoh: It's cute how you say you've had enough of divisive class warfare and then say "Romney 2012!" I, for one, am sick and tired of partisan politics. Obama 2012!!! 🙂

    June 1, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. American Voter

    Nobody, called my house.

    Nod to Obama. Oh yeah, Jesus is a myth.

    June 1, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. MsNew York

    I totally agree with Marjee123

    June 1, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. American Voter

    Nobody called my house. Nod to Obama. One more thing, Jesus is a myth

    June 1, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. john

    The Gop members of congress must be SO proud that they have obstructed any and all efforts to revive the economy. So what if the entire country suffers...as long as they can create the illusion that things have not improved fast enough under the administration that the voters chose. These partisans are a disgrace to the republic.I still have HOPE that things will CHANGE. Obama '12

    June 1, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Susan in Arkansas

    Who in their right mind can take any of these polls seriously. I'm going to wait until the conventions are over and things really start to heat up. Then, I take a more serious look at the polls. Until then, the polls and a $1.25 will get you a cup of coffee.

    June 1, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. Me IN HOUSTON

    "Obama supporters appear more energized"

    We haven't even started yet

    June 1, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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