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. Lynda/Minnesota

    Tired of Seeing Mitt

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


    Obama/Biden 2012 – 2016

    June 1, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. mrpopular

    Is it just me or does anyone else find it hilarious that Obama can blame the bad unemployment numbers on Bush ... then the numbers get better and he takes the credit ... then they get worse again and he blames Bush again.

    Hilarious! Who buys that load of crap?

    June 1, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. ShovelThis

    Why have you done a poll with REGISTERED voters instead of LIKELY VOTERS???

    Because a poll of LIKELY VOTERS is more accurate, and like Rasmussen, shows Romney AHEAD.

    CNN - still pretending to be unbiased. At least MSNBC is honest about who they are.

    June 1, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Still undecided

    Still not sure which one is the lesser evil: Wall Street Shark or Clown.

    I guess I'll go with clown. At least he'll make me laugh.

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

    CNN just cannot get it right. maybe it is there pure liberal bias. Both professional polling firms Gallop and Rasmussen have Romney winning. Now I agree it is a tie however the real bad news for Obama is the electoral map. He is losing ground fast as Col gos for Romney Nev. and Iowa tie and N.C FLA.S.C go for Romney and now WIS. PEN and Va. are up for grabs. Obama will need the second coming of Christ and all the help he can get from his friends at CNN and the other liberal media outlets if this trend continues.

    June 1, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. BD70

    So if Romney wins the fair thing to do is hold a meeting and decide how we can work to make him fail.

    June 1, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. gregrustin

    this is good news for Prss Obama. the ads aimed at showing Mitt is not a economy fixer are working. Pres Obama is tied with Mitt as to who can fix economy. previously Mitt was way ahead. i know I sound negative but the truth is Mitt has no NEW ideas and is running as I am not Obama candidate whereas Pres Obama has even offered Republican ideas that all of a sudden the Repubs say NO to their own ideas. this means they dont care about the economy, they only ha te Pres Obama.

    June 1, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Cliff

    Ken, because Registered Voters decide it, not likely. They are ones of age to vote but haven't registered. And that poll is wrong. It's not 44 to 49 anymore. lol Last I saw was dead even. Regardless mister CIGAR, umm do you read the polls? Dropping? That is a outright lie. Barrys approval rating stands today at 52%. higher than last month and 8 points higher than last December. LOL His ratings are actually going up. In fact, overall since Dec 2009, his ratings have been almost unchanged. Sooooooooooooooo dude, what the heck are you looking at?

    June 1, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. SCOTO

    I dont believe this at all. I notice CNN was involved in the poll. I think the media is trying ot hype this up as being close when in fact I think Romney will get slaughtered. I'm not overly impressed by Obama but Romney is really the "tallest midget" from a field of jokers

    June 1, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Labdad

    Hope and change is now hopeless charade of a president. Anyone that will vote for 4 more years of this misery is insane. Anything and I mean anything would be better than the man child Obama

    June 1, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. Cliff

    Wade, dude what map are you looking at? Co is on Obama's colum as is Nevada. Iowa is tied in one poll, another Obama leads by 10 points. And Wis, PA and VA are not tossups. DUDE LOL you smokin crack. PA is solid blue. Obama leads by 6 to 10 points in PA. AND VA he leads by 4 to 6. As it stands, Obama has a solid 285 to 225. With about 5 swing states that Romney needs to win all and steal a couple. BTW WIs is trending heavily toward Obama.

    June 1, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Bob

    Romney on Trump- "I don't agree with him but I need his support."
    Romney on scrapping viable companies to make a quick buck- "It's too bad they lost their jobs, but it was legal for us to liquidate the company to make a profit."
    Romney, what won't he do for a buck?

    June 1, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Sue

    From the CNN article above........."In the battle for crucial independent voters, the poll indicates Romney holds a 51%-39% advantage.".......For liberals that cannot read or do math--this means Romney has the support of Independents by 12% over Obama!! The Independents are the largest voting block in our country, and they will decide this election. All state/national polls show that the Independents are supporting/planning on voting for Romney, not Obama!!

    June 1, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. jh

    If this CNN poll was taken next week. Romney would be slightly ahead of Obama due to the May jobs report. I believe the year Obama spent on healthcare, the debt ceiling debacle, and extending the Bush tax-cuts could all lead to his loss in November. Republicans keep saying there is uncertainty and the healthcare law Obamacare is effecting job growth. No it is not. There is lack of demand from consumers and the housing market is weak. This might to be soft patch, but the way things are going in Europe it might not be.

    June 1, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Leo

    I find it amazing that so many think that we can recover from this depression so quickly, especially when you consider the Republicans in congress are committed to my way or the highway politics. So the other side argues for yet another round of tax breaks for the rich – that really worked for Bush didn't it. Obama has had more jobs created in 3.5 years than Bush did in 8 years – fact. I am not ready for the rich to trickle down on me again, I am not ready for more wars of choice that we cannot afford and that shed our precious blood, I am not ready for more Medieval theocratic social policies, and I am not ready to return to the 'good ole days' where seniors died early because they could not afford health insurance, thank you Paul Ryan. Yes, Romney will fix everything, just as Bush did.

    June 1, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. greg

    I have not always been happy with President Obama. However, the GOP has drifted so far right, abandoned any pretense of wanting to compromise for the sake of governance (the reason we have a House and a Senate is to force consensus through compromise), and is fixated on cutting taxes that are already at historic lows for the very wealthy, that Obama by comparison looks really good. By the standards of just a few years ago, he's a centrist. And centrist looks very good against a party hell bent on moving away from its historic roots.

    Whether GOP wins or loses, the party loses. The GOP will either try to deliver its platform or do nothing. Either way, they will lose; in the end, only a few people benefit from their platform; and their social wedge issues are ultimately positions that will cost them support.

    June 1, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. mark trought

    I guess that is why Romney says he is sure to win because he is white. Being white should tip the scales in his favor eh

    June 1, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Captain Obvious

    Why are we unable to view the demographics of the Poll?
    How Many Democrats were Surveyed vs Republicans? I'm sure it was a healthy majority of Democrats surveyed..............................Let's see the figures, CNN.

    June 1, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. hemplover

    Obama had an excellent jobs bill that the Republicans in Congress refused to pass.

    June 1, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. bluntstick

    unfortunately there really is no presidential race here the only choice is between bad and worse, you pick who is who. Myself and %50 of the American voting public who are so disillusioned and disgusted with our political process will just stay home hoping for a miracle or revolution.

    June 1, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. NudeTruth

    Why are they showing two pictures of the same guy? How about we put a picture of someone different that would actually make a positive difference in the lives of all American's and the world, Dr. Ron Paul.

    June 1, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. Cliff

    Wade, maybe you should review a few Electoral maps because you'll see Romney is actually the one who needs the second coming.

    http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2012-colorado-president-romney-vs-obama?gem Note here that Obama already has a solid 270 with 6 swing states, 3 of which Obama leads in the very latest polls. Note Wis now trending heavily Obama. Note VA remains steady Obama though close. Nevada and Oregan are close but then Obama also leads in a recent poll in MO. This means not only does Romney have to win ALL 6 swing states he has to take at least ONE of the others leaning Obama like Oregon or Nevada. And this is in fact, a very conservative EV chart.

    Here is another that updates daily. http://electoral-vote.com/ In yjis map you will see a much more bleak picture for Romney. Not only does Obama have 289 EV, he leads in CO and MO and Wis trends heavily Obama. This means not only does Romney have to win every single state leaning his way (3 of them and Ohio has only had 1 poll in 6 months favoring Romney and the latest by Republican leaning Rasmussen) but he also on this map must win Nevada, CO and another state leaning Obama like VA. ALL of them. The odds of Romney winning stand at 20% according to latest statistical polling. Who needs the second coming? LOL

    June 1, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Matt

    Who the hell has a landline anymore? This poll was done over the telephone with old people who still have a landline. Old people are Republican. A bit biased.

    June 1, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. WT

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

    June 1, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Cliff

    Sue, actually, Senior Citizens are the largest voting block if you ever actually read you'd know that. Then Women, then Independents.

    June 1, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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