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. Harv

    There are two reasons to vote for Romney:

    1. You don't remember that the junk economic policies he is pushing are the same ones that created the Great Bush Recession; or,
    2. you don't want to remember that the junk economic policies Romney is pushing created the Great Bush Recession.

    June 1, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. sparky

    so 50% of America are retards and are going to vote for Willard......he saved the auto industry ya know!

    June 1, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Andym

    Since the article says, Romney lead 51- 39% among independents, yet Obama has 49-46 lead. Which means if 24% of those polled are independents or call them independents (reasonable assumption I think) and assuming both guys have 90% of their party each with 5% for their opponent and 5% undecided, this poll has +6 Dem samples. i.e. the distribution of people polled would be somewhere around 41/35/24 for D/R/I – so the poll essentially oversamples Dems and that shows Obama up by 3.

    June 1, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I can't believe that the American public is buying the B.S. that Rommey is saying. I just did some checking on Rommey's record, and he is NOT the man for America, but I guess those who support him is so busy wanting to get power back and the President out of office, they refuse to see the truth. Our President has done the best he could with the party of just say NO.

    June 1, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. wade

    With Bill Clinton stabbing Obama in the back and all but endorsing Romney after praising his record at Bains and the Electoral map going the way of Romney not Obama it is going to start to get very ugly for Obama. He is falling faster than his rise to stardom. The great divider and all his attempts to start wars amongst different classes of Americans has failed and is soon to get a address change.

    June 1, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |

    Romney will be a disaster to the lower and middle classes if he's elected. The economy ALWAYS collapses under a Republican President. His elimination of Social Security/Medicare and his addition of a 25% increase in income taxes on the bottom 50% will send our consumer economy into a tail spin. The Rich will get richer..but how many tooth brushes and automobiles will Bill Gates or Mitt Romney buy in a year?

    June 1, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. scot pederson

    Who are they polling when asking "who understands the economy better?" and they get a Tying result? Hmm, Obama- the Community Organizer, Romney- the Head of Bain Capital and Olympics at Salt Lake City, UT. Guess we either have millions of uneducated voters or some very slick pollsters that want a certain outcome.

    June 1, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. shawn

    I would rather have romney instead of a guy who has admitted to drug use,drinking like a horse,been born in kenya,had a foriegn student scholarship,and was a community organizer who has socialist tendencies.this is all in his book and nobody can deny it.its out there for all to see and read.

    June 1, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. bill

    Wonder who the right wingers going to vote for? Romney is cenrist.

    June 1, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Luke,AZ

    Gov. Robme is at best a mediocre manager,who is the perfect candidate for the 1%. Trump,Adelson and the Koch bros. will spend millions to control the outcome of the November election. This election is between people who work 8 or more hours a day vs guys who fly around in their own jets.

    June 1, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Tao

    I don't believe it. Romney won his candidacy by default. He is the most disingenuous person I have ever seen.

    June 1, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. Bob

    Every other poll I see has Rommey up by at less 10-55 percent to 45 percent–thank goodness–

    June 1, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Bill

    They've got us right where they want us– divided right down the middle.

    June 1, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Informer

    To those saying Rasmussen or Gallup has Romney ahead, today perhaps, but Obama actually has been ahead in those polls more than Romney in the last 10 days. They change by a point or two every day one direction or the other. And literally every other poll shows what this poll is showing, Obama has a 2 or 3 point lead. It's close, but I think Obama has the slight edge now. It's silly to cherry pick one day of a tracking poll and say Romney is leading.

    June 1, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Robert

    What if we have a "BUSH/GORE" debacle this November like we did in 2000? Anyone willing to let the Supreme Court decide this one too?

    June 1, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. joe klizi

    Very soon you'll start hearing the Romney camp reminding the country that the hope and compromise the President promised back in 2008 was eclipsed by a waste of 3 years of Presidential neglect of the country, while he spent the overwhelming majority of the political capital to get Obamacare. He spent and spent, and spent, and we have little to show for it.

    June 1, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. steven

    1,000 adults is not large enough to say there is close to a tie.

    June 1, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. 1olddude

    This is going to be one very close race, unless one of the candidates really messes up.

    June 1, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. I've always voted

    Never once in my 50+ years has anyone ever asked me who I was voting for as part of a "poll".

    June 1, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Patricksday

    American Corporate Greed Merchants vs the American Working Class, who will win in November??

    June 1, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. Name. Tim

    The GOP is allowing Mitt to impale himself, they know he will lose big.

    June 1, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. greatnesslost

    If you quote registered voters opposed to likely the last 6 elections show that poll will be wrong. Likely voters has been accurate with Rasmussen being within a point in the last four elections. Rasmussen has Obama ahead, the Romney ahead as the electorate's opinion moves around. Recent Rasmussen, Gallup, and WSJ Time polling shows this. Moving forward Obama will have a very rough June as he begins to be defined by GOP ads, talk radio, and its talking heads on various news channels as failing economically. With 21 million actually unemployed (people who would want a job in a good economy) this will weigh heavily. This figure is reached by adding Bureau of Labor Statistics official unemployed, about 12 million, to people dropped from the rolls, and US Census data that shows about 6.8 million people were not counted to begin with. This raises actual unemployment to 14.1%. Now consider it is very difficult for a sitting president to win re-election with a rate over 8% let alone 14. No matter how much Lipperman based propaganda is thrown at the electorate, people talking amongst each other will sway sentiment. You can muddy reality, but crap smells.

    FYI with the last job report, 500,000 fewer students entered the official workforce than this month last year. If it had remained the same this report would have shown 431,000 jobs lost. You see, its all a flux, lately with about 380,000 losing work a week, and somewhere between 370 and 410,000 jobs appearing in other areas of the economy. During this point of the 2003 recovery 210,000 were losing work a week, and about 550,000 new jobs were appearing. At this point in Clinton's recovery this number was 190,000 jobs lost, and 610,000 appearing. Reagan the number of jobs lost was about the same as Bill Clinton, but 700,000 were appearing. Reagan's numbers in a nation with 250,000,000 people at the time. Monthly workforce growth was nearly 400,000, Reagan, 350,000 H.W. Bush senior, 300,000 Clinton, 250,000 G. W. Bush ending at 170,000. Obama started at 170,000 entering the workforce on average. Over the last 8 months that number is – 40,000)

    With no doubt Obama had to deal with a mess, not all of G.W. Bush's doing. Mark to Market legislation and removal of the Uptick Rule allowed players like George Soros, or Foreign Sovereign Wealth funds run by Russia to literally attack our system from within. Bush didn't stop it, and Mr. Obama actually has allowed greater foreign influence in our markets. Democrats have a lot to answer for, Republicans have already been hit again and again in the media. Problem for Obama is the banking sector was largely rescued before he assumed office. In addition employer reaction to Obama's election can not be dismissed concerning job losses they accelerated into that 700,000 range from 300,000 after the election. Uncertainty can have a huge impact on business decisions. Today employers face prospect of huge tax hikes, end of the Bush tax cuts, and surtaxes contained in Obama's healthcare legislation – along with its 32,000 pages of new regulations – largely written by those with no business experience.

    This is an Obama influenced economy now. ( on top of demographic trend, and baby boom retirement ). Are his policies wanting? Look north to Canada for your answer. There in a nation with 10% of our population, they saw 58,200 new jobs last month to our 69,000. Center right economics at work. Works there, will work here.

    June 1, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. bill Davis

    How is that Change working, Kill the rich or anyone else with a buck, we all deserve more..so give it to US,,,,

    Obama sure miking it for all it is worth....

    June 1, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  24. AJL

    The dems have lost their edge now that everyone just laughs at their class/race/gender war tactics.....

    June 1, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. jcarter

    Gallup is a far more legit poll than this. Gallup has had them tied for about a month. The jobs report is going to hurt Obama, but Romney has some ground to make up in the key battleground states. If the economy keeps cr*pping the bed though, Romney might actually win this thing

    June 1, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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