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. Cliff

    Because it's not tied Breta. Obama leads and has all along lol. And we are more energized.

    June 1, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. John


    You're wrong regarding registered voters. It's the likely voters that determine the elections. According to this poll people favor generic Democratic candidates by 3 points when if fact it is tied at 44. That element probably takes away the 3 points away from Obama. The using the RV model some pollsters take 2 points away from the D candidate and add 1 point to the R candidate.
    In short the poll is closer to a Romney 3 point lead at 47-44.

    June 1, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  3. Cliff

    WT probably because prior to this month the Jobs report wasn't that bad. It had a plus 120k jobs and unemployment ticked down. What the heck is bad about that? I suppose you'd rather move the clock back to G.W Bush and 2008 when he was losing 4.7 million jobs and a monthly total loss of 750 thousand a month?? LOL No thanks. I'll take Obama thank you. Maybe if Republicans stopped saying no to all of Obama's proposed Jobs bills, we wouldn't be in this mess.

    btw 1 month won't decide this BUT i do agree that a few more 2 more months like this will tilt the election to Romney.

    June 1, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. El Kabong

    As long as all these polls are conducted via land line they will continue to show a close race. Bring in the cell phone users without land lines and Obama will have closer to a double digit lead.

    June 1, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Ramesh

    As long as the hero worship continues and people are blind to the real role of the President as the Chief Executive of the country , there will be a tie.

    June 1, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. ron

    This is GREAT news for the president. It means people are finding out for themselves how the republican party has done all it could "to make him a one term president". Even going so far as to try to "divide and conquer" the American people. IT WON'T WORK! Republicans have blocked just about everything the president has presented to help our country. They think the average American is an idiot because republicans keep trying to cut education funding and keep attacking teachers. Obama will blow the doors off the GOP in Nov.

    June 1, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Atna

    Yesterday there was a poll that said the exact opposite from independants. I cant find it today, for some reason it just mysteriouly disappeared! Also I have been wondering why doesn't Romney ever hold press conferences or be interviewed on CNN or MSNBC? Oh yeah, its because he would be asked hard questions that he would have no clue how to answer!! What is his plan for the economy and job creation? Instead of always saying that he will repeal Obamacare I want to know what is his plan for healthcare. OBAMA 2012!!! HILLARY 2016!!!

    June 1, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Woody

    Before Obama care and after a car accident my medical insurance company dropped me in the middle of a procedure and from people I talked to it was happening even more often than anyone was telling . To me it is a question of do I want my medical insurance to be able to drop me when they just decide they don't want to pay . All it takes is a car accident to put you in a hospital . Do you really want insurance companies to be able to drop you at the drop of a hat ?

    June 1, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. NCIndependent

    "In the battle for crucial independent voters, the poll indicates Romney holds a 51%-39% advantage."

    And that, my friends, is the tie-breaker. This election will be determined by the independents.

    June 1, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. bbrooker88

    Definitely sticking with Obama. Personally I don't think any president causes a global recession and shouldn't be credited for the recovery of one either. Placing blame on a president is ridiculous. I like Obama's policies. I don't like Romney's policies. The recovery is going to continue regardless of who wins. However, if Romney wins, going to war with Iran isn't going to help.

    June 1, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Scott

    It's not that Obama's done great; it's simply that everything Romney has promised would be so much worse, as proven by recent history. Romney economic plan =Bush Sr./Bush Jr. plans=economic crater. Obama economic plan=Clinton plans=economic boom times.

    June 1, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. insight iowa

    And we all know next week the polls will be different... right. I'm not sure who they are polling but I can see a landslide taking place in November... not only for president but for House and Senate.

    June 1, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. namseer

    I wish everyone would PLEASE take a look at how the Electoral College is shaping up. It will take an ABSOLUTE MIRACLE for Mitt Romney to get to 270. He would have to practically run the table winning ALL of the swing states East of the Mississippi. That AIN'T going to happen. President Obama has a MUCH easier route to 270, and he can achieve 270 in numerous ways, unlike Mitt.

    June 1, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. The REAL TRUTH...

    And let's not forget that Ron Paul is going totally hose the RNC preecedings in August.. It's going to be one heckuva circus.... hahahahaha..

    June 1, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. MaryM

    Seniors also pay attention to the legislation being pushed in congress. Like the Paul Ryan budget plan. Seniors do not like the repub budget plan and neither does the AARP. Oh and btw, Romney loves the Paul Ryan budget plan.

    June 1, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Romney is smiling all the way to the bank . He and the GOP are doing everything possible to derail any long or short term economic recovery.

    How do you feel when somebody hedges on failer ?

    Welcome to Romney's world !

    June 1, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. imputt

    With a strory like this coming from the most slated reporting you will ever find, you can bet Obama is dropping like a rock. How can anyone support this socialist bully who does nothing to lead, who simply gets in the way except to run up debt and give money away to friends and potential voters. Join the band wagon and vote this dork out before he ruins the country for you.

    June 1, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Michael Golden

    Scary. Mitt in the WH.

    June 1, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. go

    do you want to build bridges in iran or america

    June 1, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Dan

    This means nothing unless we are going by the popular vote this time. You need to look at it state by state.

    June 1, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. george

    I cant believe anyone would vote for romney. I agree the GOP has lost touch...they all take turns saying how extreme conserative they are. Obama is not great but he is way better than the other choice

    June 1, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. amf140

    Come November you will see energy from the Silent Majority (Conservatives) like you have never seen before. This POTUS and his political cronies have made the very wrong assumption that they could steamroll their radical agenda and no one would notice. Well, notice has been taken and hundreds of thousands that never cared are now very savvy politically and are on to what the Progressives want to do to this country – and it ain't sellin.

    June 1, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. jack

    Last night, even Bill Clinton says that Romney did good things at Bain. Sounds like even Dems are jumping this sinking ship.

    June 1, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. jerry

    Can Mitt Bot 3000 just step aside and let someone who actually has a backbone run for prez? Gary Johnson 2012!

    June 1, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. joyce

    Just keep in mind that the republicans would not go along with any of his job plans but it is all his fault because unemployment is up.

    June 1, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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