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. Ed

    Three year ago with 0bama it was all about hope and change. Now it is all about changing 0bama to get hope back.

    June 1, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. devnullzzz

    Obama has been a miserable failure, as expected for socialism, it has never worked, anywhere.

    Nobody cares about his race, his name, his skin color, etc etc. He is simply stated, an AWFUL president, now placing Jimmy Carter at number 2.

    I notice CNN does not include the internals on their poll, to date, every poll i have seen that shows Obama "ahead" has extremely oversampled democrats.

    It may provide a false sense of security for Obama supporters and the Obama propaganda media, but the truth is, this miserable failure, and his crooked liar administration will be anhilated in November, just as they deserve.

    June 1, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Cliff

    David he didn't say it was sterling. He said it wasn't a point worth Campaigning on. I agree actually. There are SO MANY other ways to attack Romney.

    Ralph, yes it is a recent poll. It was dated if you can read. And if you also followed polls and read the Adobe attachment, you'd see that ever since Santorum dropped out and Romney got his boost in the polls, the poll has remained exactly the same for almost 8 weeks now.

    June 1, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Tired of Seeing Mitt

    CNN help me to underestand why are you always puttimg Mitt boy before the President in ever article?

    June 1, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. John F.

    Mitt will win! We can't take "4 more years" of terrible unemployment, out of control spending, and weak foreign policy. As the election draws still nearer it will become clear the only rational course is to choose Mitt. Blaming Mr. Bush or saying things are slowly improving is just a mirage covering up this administrations failures to keep their promises and improve the economy.

    June 1, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. B

    @ Kevin

    Just curious, what is Mr. Romney's step by step plan to get all Americans back to work?

    June 1, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. santorumspread

    Where was Gary Johnson's name on this poll? I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils in this election (in the end it is still a vote for evil).

    Gary Johnson is my guy in 2012!

    June 1, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    I agree with you marjee123 great analysis.

    June 1, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. Myviewis

    Of course Romney understands the economy better than Obama, Obama has no experience even in working in the real world. Obama stuck to teaching law, being an author and community organizer which gave him no experience with the economy, businesses, jobs.

    June 1, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Rodney

    It goes to show that 50% of Americans are moron's if they are voting for Obama.

    June 1, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. What Now

    Mike above....I applaud your attempt, but it won't work. Research requires giving up on preconceived ideas. I do agree with your assessment and wish more people would approach voting based on what is truly important. The more I research Romney, the more confused I become. He seems to change his opinions to suit his situation. Obama may have some problems, but he is at least trying to get us out of this mess and he makes an effort to help the middleclass. I'm am certain that the middleclass is not Mr. Romneys first concern. A weak middleclass equals a weak USA.

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

    The CNN liberals can whistle past the graveyard all they like regarding their "enthusiasm edge". Come November, Obama is toast!

    June 1, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Myviewis

    Romney, Governor and businessman. Obama, Professor, author, community organizer. Obama has been getting on the job training because he had no experience.

    June 1, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. hurryup2012

    Yep...I would be energized too....jobless number rising, stocks falling....keep drinking the Obama koolaide!!!!

    June 1, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Justin

    People are SPLIT on how Romney and Obama would handle the economy?! Really, half the country thinks he's done well? Despite a terrible, stagnant economy, trillions in debt, class warfare narratives, cabinet members who openly wish for high energy prices, and a 2 thousand page health care bill rammed down our throats, people are leaning towards re-electing him? What kind of catastrophic blunders would it take for people to finally re-think the current situation? I guess the media has been successful in portraying Romney as some rich white bigot, who follows a weird religion and doesn't care about average people.

    June 1, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. larry

    Well, I guess people are getting tired of the monkeys in the White House.

    June 1, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. edmundburkeson

    This election will be about throwing the oBUMa out!

    June 1, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Sue

    Do not worry about how "energized" Republicans are CNN.......Republicans AND Independents (based even on your own poll results showing Independents supporting Romney 12% over Obama)-–will walk in broken glass in their bare feet-to get to the polls and vote Obama out in November!!!

    June 1, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. mrpopular

    I for one (and everyone I know) can not wait to vote for Romney and get rid of Obama ...

    If you do not know anyone like me ... you are in for a rude awakening on the day after election day.

    June 1, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    @ John
    You are gripping yourself too tight. Let go so your brain can function properly. Meanwhile, I will continue to support our president so he can continue cleaning up this mess and as far as a legacy goes – Willard's only legacy will be that of ANOTHER failed presidential run so get used to it.

    June 1, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. amp

    Don't renig in 2012

    June 1, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Cliff

    Actually last poll I saw by CNN showed Indies split so not sure where you got the 12% And what about the Woman vote Bren? You say indies will decide this? I say women will and they favor Obama by 14%. Soooooooooooooo we will see. Right now Obama has 279 EV's his way or leaning. With another 30 possible. And with an approval rating remaining near 50%, statistically despite this Jobs report, his chances of re-election are at 85%.

    I'm not saying he will win. After all 2 more months of rising unemployment would drastically change this picture but right now? Romney has virtually no shot.

    June 1, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. akduck1

    Nice post Tommy. I agree with you completely, except that you leave out two things. The hillbilly tea party garbage that inevitably goes along with voting for Romney, and that Romney is not likely to be a good steward of our increasingly fragile environment. Obama may look bad, but he's not going to gut the EPA.

    June 1, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. Jared

    When a countries leader delcares Gay Marriage is right and normal, no wonder their economy goes down the gurglar. We are being lead by a moron. When this stupid proclomation is made why would we think he could hire a cabinet who can affectively run our economy...

    June 1, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Breta

    You guys are pathetic. Even when it's "tied," Obama still has "more energized supporters." CNN well on its way to better ratings with this kind of journalism!

    June 1, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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