Poll: Presidential race in dead heat
July 18th, 2012
08:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Presidential race in dead heat

(CNN) – A new poll released Wednesday indicates the presidential race is still locked up between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, less than four months before Election Day.

According to a new CBS News/New York Times survey, Romney holds a slight edge over Obama, 47% to 46%. The margin falls well within the sampling error.

However, not everyone has made up their mind. The poll indicates that one in five voters say they could change their decision by November.

Also of note, most voters say Romney’s wealth and history at the private equity firm Bain Capital will make no difference in their vote. Seventy-three percent said his wealth will not be a factor, while 60% said his time at Bain will not make a difference.

The results come after several weeks of intense scrutiny over Romney’s personal financial portfolio, as well as his tenure at the firm. Obama’s campaign and top Democrats have repeatedly called on Romney to release more tax returns than the two years’ worth of tax information he has already made public, pressuring him to answer questions about his offshore accounts.

Romney, however, has vowed not to make public any more tax returns, saying it will simply give Democrats information for them to “distort” and use against him.

"I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about," he said Tuesday in an interview with National Review Online.

CBS News/New York Times interviewed 1,089 adults over the phone between July 11 and July 16, 942 of whom said they were registered to vote, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Polls
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    With 20 % not finally decided or could change and a sampling errror of+/- 3 % or whatever these things at this stage mean absolutely zilch and is money badly spent/wasted.

    July 18, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  2. Shann

    Obama made so many promises (during his first run) to change America. But what has he changed? He hasn't improved the ecomony – that's for sure. He has implemented a massive health insurance tax – the biggest tax hike in the history of America. – And pushed it through Congress behind closed doors!!! Come on, do we really want 4 more years of this guy????

    July 19, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  3. Debbie

    Obama should be getting pretty concerned by now. A good president would be polling well above 50%. Obama's disapproval ratings are often higher than his approval ratings. I would venture to bet Romney will be our next president.

    July 19, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  4. Roy

    Romney has reluctantly released only 1 year of tax returns.

    That's less than any Presidential candidate in 36 years!

    Obama has released 12 years of tax returns.

    Romney's own father released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for President because he wanted the American people to know that he was an honest man with nothing to hide.

    What's Romney hiding?

    July 19, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  5. RDM3

    I think these poll results are just a ploy by the networks to keep us glued to their website or station. A dead heat? Really?

    July 19, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  6. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    with what Mitt Romney is putting out there, if Obama had blond hair, blue eyes and a name like Smith or Jones this contest would not even be close. And Obama could even keep the same record he has.

    July 19, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  7. lies from obama (and mabye his father)

    The diversionary tactic by the ummer-in-cheif is not working.Lying and charecter exicution doesn't work either. That is because Americans don't live in Obama ads, they live in reality. I am curious to see if Obama ever figures that out. Romney 2012-the fiscally responsible way forward!

    July 19, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  8. citizenvetus

    It's my understanding the incumbent has a -5 on poll numbers per Bill Clinton and Dick Morris. Apparently this is because the undecided voter goes for the new challenger in the voting booth. So Obama's 46 are really a true 41.

    Must be something the in crowd doesn't want to publish while keeping the race polls suspenseful up to Election Day.

    July 19, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  9. 2020

    Well, with Romney billionnaires line up his pocket. He could buy all the zoos.

    or, retired in Cayman Islands as King of the jungle.

    July 19, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  10. viguy007

    So why is Bain important? We must not forget a major contributing cause of the Financial Crisis of 2008 was the filing of false or misleading documents with the SEC. This is no small matter, since 2009 the SEC has collected fines of over 3 Billion dollars for this violation from financial institutions such as, among others: Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, and UBS. Even if Mitt Romney actually left all operational control of Bain Capital in 1999, he sanctioned and acquiesced to the filing of false and misleading documents with the SEC until 2002. While this violation may not rise to the level of these other institutions, it does indicate a certain attitude towards these filings. The complete and truthful disclosure of all facts is not important. This was an attitude all too prevalent in the financial community prior to 2009, and all of us paid the cost.

    Is full disclosure to the SEC one of the regulations Mitt would do away with? What about other regulations overseeing the financial community; Wall Street and the banks too big to fail? If you put a fox in charge of the chicken coop, you have a problem for the chickens. Will Mitt's election be the equivalent of that for the small investor? As a life-long Republican, small investor, and small businessman, I can not take that chance; I have been burnt once by a government that did not believe in regulation, and was asleep at the wheel. The sad thing is that Bain was first brought up by a candidate who wanted to colonize the moon, and the false filing was never mentioned. If this was discovered earlier, I would not have supported Mitt in the primaries and we would have a different candidate. Perjury is perjury. It was ethically and morally equal to saying "I never had sex with that woman" only worse since it was related to a public institution, not sex; and there could be no equivocation since the two official documents Mitt signed exactly contradict each other 100%. He can not flip-flop between these two documents. The only way he can extract himself from this hole is release the 12 years of tax returns, as his father did, and thereby prove he received no direct benefit from Bain after 2000.

    July 19, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  11. JulieFromTimbuktu

    This poll does not appear to be in cink w/ other polls.

    Pres O leads by a wider margin

    July 19, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  12. Palin Power

    This is a clear sign that Sarah Palin will take the nomination away from Mittens and wins the White House over Obama.

    July 19, 2012 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  13. BeverlyNC

    This tax scandal will drop Romney's credibility and President Obama will expose Romney's lack of character, ideas, or solutions for the People when they meet for their debates. Republicans are already talking about trying to replace Romney before their convention in August. None wanted him as their candidate to start with and he has turned out to be a disaster that has no chance of beating President Obama. The more juvenile and negative Romney goes on President Obama with not one statement of he, Romney, stands for, plans to do for jobs and the economy in detail- the more his lies are exposed about Bain (his own reasoning for why he should be President), the more the People will turn the other way. Romney is no leader and does not have the credibility or intelligence to be President. He has self-destructed and the polls will reflect that soon. President Obama is already pulling way ahead of him in the swing states and with ethnic groups President Obama is up by as much as 50 points. Romney was always a loser but Republicans had no one else left. Their VP choices are even worse.

    July 19, 2012 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  14. tammyk tammy

    Somebody please explain whether cell phone #s are included in these polls. EVEN if they are, I bet that the pollsters are still missing the younger demographic groups for Obama who don't pick up calls on numbers they do not recognize. I know I do not answer these calls so that I don't have to listen to some sales pitch. My 67 yr old Repub mother on the other hand picks up all calls even when caller ID shows some area code from who knows where. Maybe between now and Nov the pollsters could work out something with the phone companies so that polling calls could be identified as 2012 Election on caller ID. That way the people might actually pick up and you'd get a more accurate picture of all the demographics who will be voting. I HOPE that the polls are way off and that Obama will win with a landslide.

    July 19, 2012 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  15. tammyk tammy

    How many robocalls had to be made before you got 1,089 retired oldsters who likely never had to deal with outsourcing to pick up their phone? Also, why do all of these polls have such a small sample size? I guess it must have taken all day to get find enough elderly voters (former Bush supporters who nostagically wish for the 1950's) who ignore caller ID. OBAMA supporters – start answering your phones, tell the robocallers from India that you're not interested, and participate in the polls. Maybe the pollsters will then have a larger and more representative sample.

    July 19, 2012 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  16. tammyk tammy

    CNN – how about a compilation Poll of Polls from all of the Internet polls? What are the Internet polls telling you? Different demographic, different results?

    July 19, 2012 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  17. wirius

    I worry when a guy who won't release his past tax returns, because he know it will be bad for him, is tied with the president who killed Osama Bin Laden, and has in his four years worked hard for the middle class.

    July 19, 2012 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  18. LOL

    Half the country is blind and or stupid.......you figure out which half and the battle is won...

    July 19, 2012 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  19. Joshua Wertheim

    Mitt Romney believes that his experience in the private sector will help him in fixing the economy. That's his central theme. But it wont work, for the same reason that President Obama is having such a tough time: In the private sector, if you don't perform you're fired, but Congress is the real reason our government can't get its act together to help the economy, and no President can fire Congress.

    In addition, Romney keeps saying he has a plan to fix the economy, but refuses to give out any details. How un-American is it to believe you know how to help millions of citizens get jobs but keep the solution to yourself for the next 7 months?

    Last, Republicans complain every time Democrats bring up anything negative about Romney, always saying the Dems should focus on jobs. I guess Republicans can't chew bubble gum and tie their shoes at the same time.

    July 19, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  20. Sue

    Wow, it appears that Obama's lies/attacks are backfiring in his face. I would also like to see how many Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents voted in this poll, because usually they poll more Democrats!! In other words, Romney's lead might be even higher, but they polled more Democrats to make sure that his lead does not appear too high. And, just think-there will be another terrible jobs/economy report released in a few weeks as well.

    July 19, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  21. Gurgyl


    July 19, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  22. Larry L

    Where are those tax returns? Are you a crook? Do you even pay taxes?

    July 19, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  23. NameRepublican

    Poor Obama! His real true character is showing! And he calls himself a leader! How sad!

    July 19, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  24. Bjada

    Mitt is actually ahead? This is banannas. I hope money doesn't buy this one for Mitt. If Romney gets elected, it will be a sad day not just for America, but for democracy itself. A platform that buys an election is a norm of an undeveloped country, and should never be the norm of the largest economy of the world. Obama's re election is a victory of the people and electing Romney is extending the gap between the rich and the poor even further. Vote for equality, vote for stability, vote for all, cote your interest, vote for Obama.

    July 19, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  25. Steve- Illinois

    Even Jimmy Carter had a double digit lead in the polls at this stage in the election. For a guy that no one likes, and has no chance of winning, (according to the media, and Dems) Romney is giving an incumbent President a run for his money!
    This election hinges on one issue, the economy. If it doesn't improve substantially in the next few months, Obama will lose!

    July 19, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
1 2