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. YoBabyYoBabyYoBabyYo

    Reelect Obama and get rid of the Republican House majority! That's what FORWARD looks like!

    June 1, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. winstonsmith

    Who is genuinely excited for Romney? I don't mean they hate Obama with all their hearts and are just planning to vote out of hatred and vengeance, I mean who actually LIKES Romney and thinks he's a genuine guy who really gives a hoot?

    June 1, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. nilla

    Ahhh, gotta love the daily reminder that you will have to select a guy you hate to lead the country, because the only other option is a guy you hate even more. Two-party politics, thank you once again for validating my feeling of hopelessness. more

    June 1, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. liberal disease

    we are at each others throats because that's the way Barry wants it, it's the one thing he has been successful at.

    June 1, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "With all he has done for gays, even the "Log Cabin" Republicans should be 100% energized and turnout for the President"

    There's a reason the word "paradoxical' appears in the definition of Stockholm Syndrome.

    June 1, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Cary

    This poll proves that 50% of Americans are morons...

    June 1, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Bill

    It's really scary to see the American economy heading to an unknown future. Don't blame the European crisis, don't blame the previous administration, there are always creative ways to fix the economy and get people back to work. Not big speeches or big promises, but more results. Personally, I like Obama and Biden, but what's the point of re-electing them if there is no result. We should think about America and what makes it remain the best nation on earth.

    June 1, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. scott

    Get Rid of Obama's and Democrats and that is change we can believe in.

    June 1, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Doug H

    Who the Hell did CNN poll ? what ever polling they did was the biggest joke in history .
    Romney 2012 , Obummer is done .

    June 1, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Susan

    Never again will I vote for Obama.

    June 1, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. BlackDynamite

    Americans are pretty stupid, but I don't think they're stupid enough to vote for Romney.....

    June 1, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. judith

    Yobaby has it right. Get rid of the obstructionists in Congress and reelect Obama–then we'd see some real progress. The GOP obviously doesn 't want the economy to improve and won't do anything to address it.

    June 1, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Ken

    We need to elect Mitt. He is head and shoulders better for this country than Obummer. We must save our country, and while we're at it, get Obummer's hands off of the Supreme Court. Four more years of Obummer=banana republic!

    June 1, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. dweezil22

    Obama's supporters may be more energized but it looks like there are less of them.

    June 1, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. The REAL TRUTH...

    Every single Repug that votes the party line will vote for Mittens – even tho' they can't STAND him!! Why? 'Cus they have been conditioned (propaganda, demagogery) to believe that Obama is the devil, a muslim, born in Kenya, leading us down the path to desctruction, gonna take away our guns, going to make us a socialist, communist country, a liberal.. I mean you name it!
    The reason they believe this is simple. Look at the voter distribution maps. Populations centers are generally Dem (blue) as are about 1/2 the states. The GOP states are generally the lower populus states, states like TX and MO, states whose folks want to be left alone.. less govt, lower taxes. Problem is that this ameobic, simpleton view of the world has yet to be delivered by the Grand Obstructionist Party... and it's their mina ideology... and they have FAILED MISERABLY to deliver on it.. and local, state or Federal lever.
    Do the research folks.... it's there for you to find. It's FACT, and the TRUTH !!

    June 1, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. Cliff

    Bill, that is the most ignorant statement I've read yet. Don't blame Europe? When every Economist in the Country will tell you that the Eurozone has a HUGE impact on the Global Economy???? Apparently you graduated Harvard with your Economy degree and know better than 99% of the Nations Economists? LMAO. Apparently the fact that under Bush we were losing 750 THOUSAND jobs per month and our econmy was nose diving means nothing? That an Article made in the Economic news (Dated Nov 2008 while Bush was in Office and easily googled) predicted we'd hit 10.2 unemployment. That was based On what they knew of the Economy and what Bush had done to it. LOL They also predicted in the same article that regardless of WHO was elected that it would take a decade to recover. *LAUGHING* DUDE! Stop watching Fox news and READ!

    And no result? We've had nearly a 1 MILLION job turnaround since Obama was elected and have CREATED 4.3 MILLION jobs in his term. Bush LOST 4.7 MILLION.

    June 1, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. John Patrick Grace

    Romney doesn't appear to have a clue as to how to "fix" the economy. The economy is already on the mend, slowly, and that's the way it likely will continue–unless we are devastated by the collapse of the Eurozone, about which neither Obama nor Romney has much chance of influence. Romney's chief ally is the bitter hatred of Obama stirred up by rightwing talk show hosts and bloggers. His second biggest ally is big-bucks contributors to the Superpac. He doesn't appear to have much in the way of creative ideas to contribute to the discussion of where we are and where we need to go. And he has never given me the impression he gives a rip what happens to the middle class and the poor.
    John Patrick Grace
    Huntington, West Virginia

    June 1, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. akduck1

    Which means that Romney wins, because the people who run Ohio and Florida will cheat and the United States Supreme Court will back them up.

    June 1, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Cigar Anyone

    Barry's polls are dropping faster than a polished watermelon.

    June 1, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Smith

    Lets ignore the reality that our current President is Black and the one trying to defeat him is White....and let look at what really happened here in American prior to President Obama's tenure. Come on now... Really its so hard. I often wondered why grown folks act like they haven't a clue with they have experience it with each president that comes into office...OK then I say it...what one president does doesn't spill off onto another...case and point...4 years of Bush...who left the United States in a economical catastrophe, did you forget? Everything was breaking down, and our economic structure was during the Bush era that the economy crumbled and failed. 4 years of his doing and 1 year of Obama's all hands on approach that guided the country out slowly, and solidly...with each crumble, Obama worked at helping the citizens thru tax relief, cash out payments, and more. People loosing homes, jobs, bankruptcy, all is a spill over from the Bush era...Obama did not cause, but he did work at helping to improve conditions, pushing for longer unemployment benefits, fining the mortgage companies and forcing them to stop taking homes and helping people keep their homes....and I'm sorry but I cannot agree with u who only see what they want to see...and the Dow didn't say worse month... I heard a steady improvement....but everyone has an opinion, I just wish you guys wouldn't be so narrow in your scope and view as to what really is going on. Have you really looked at Romney's tenure? AND if there are as many disillusioned people out there as you, and Romney wins, then you will see Obama's legacy spill over onto his first two years, and think it was his doing...COME ON NOW really.....craziness

    June 1, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Ed

    Three years ago with Obama it was all about hope and change. Now it is all about changing Obama to get back hope.

    June 1, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Mammy

    It's all over, babies! Romney will win and the Moocher Class will starve or go to work. Btw, Gay Republicans Rule!!!

    June 1, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. cyg

    I'd like to hear one idea from GOP for job creation that doesn't revolve around war, or raping the environment. Got one? just one? didn't think so – bunch of children left behind you are.

    June 1, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. tommy

    As one of those independent voters who likely will determine the election of 2012, I can't begin to express how disappointed I am with the President's lack of leadership and his results. Hope and change. Optimism. The reality of it all set in pretty quickly for many of us... from promises of transparency to ending torture of prisoners (now he just has them killed by drone attacks) and closing GITMO. From cutting expenses to reducing our nation's debt. From "free" education to "free" health care. From creating jobs to solving the mortgage crisis. From balancing the budget to taxing the rich. From reaching over to work with Republicans to.... well, you get the picture. This and countless other promises all sound so attractive. Easy to vote for that guy. Unfortunately, three years later, none of it is reality. Even when he appears to do something good like give the "kill order" on Bin Laden, we find out his administration couldn't protect the very one man who helped us locate him in the first place. He invests our money into alternative energy start-ups like Solyndra, which appeared like a good plan, then they take our tax payers money and shutter the doors and windows. Gay marriage? Sure, good move, but you can thank Biden for leading that effort. Heck, even his beer summit didn't accomplish anything.

    Is Romney the answer? Who knows. I'm starting to at least put credence in the idea that he's been successful in pretty much everything else he's done. He understands economics and leadership. His resume in both areas is impressive. And right now, any noteworthy success would be welcomed.

    Sure, there are lots of excuses for Obama. Heard them all when Bush was President too. I didn't buy it then either. Republicans, Democrats... doesn't matter. Independents are going to make the difference. And while the President is a nice guy who makes good speeches, the track record and empty promises prove he simply can't get anything done. He's a weak leader. I hope that changes.

    June 1, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. Ken

    Notice how they keep posting polls of "registered" voters. I prefer the "Likely" voter polls which show 49% for Romney and 44% for Obama with 7% Undecided. Just because someone is registered doesn't mean they will vote. And people who like Romney are still far more motivated o vote than Obama supporters (who are generally lazy to begin with, the reason they like big government paying for their health and food and wages and everything else).

    June 1, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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