Romney, Obama tied up in three swing states
August 23rd, 2012
08:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney, Obama tied up in three swing states

(CNN) – The latest polls in three critical battlegrounds – Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin – indicate President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney continuing to run neck-and-neck, though Obama has a slight edge in each of the three states.

The Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times surveys indicated Obama with the backing of 49% of likely voters in Florida, compared to 46% who said they supported Romney. In Ohio, 50% of likely voters backed Obama and 44% backed Romney. And in Wisconsin – the home state of Romney's running mate Paul Ryan – Obama had support of 49% of likely voters, compared to 47% who supported Romney. The president's margins in Florida and Wisconsin are with in the polls' sampling error, and in Ohio Obama's margin is just outside the sampling error.

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The numbers reflected only a tiny boost for Romney since he named Ryan his running mate toward the beginning of August. In Florida, support for Romney ticked up one percentage point from a poll taken before Ryan was added to the ticket, and in Wisconsin Romney inched up two percentage points. The Ohio numbers remained identical to a Quinnipiac University survey taken prior to the Paul Ryan announcement.

Thursday's poll in Wisconsin was the third survey since Romney announced Ryan as his running mate showing a tight race in the Badger State. On Wednesday, a Marquette Law School poll showed Obama at 49% and Romney at 46%, and last week a CNN/ORC poll indicted Obama at 49% among registered voters in Wisconsin while Romney was at 45%.

"Gov. Mitt Romney's pick of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has made some small difference in Florida and Wisconsin, at least at this point, when voters in these three key states are asked about their presidential vote," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, wrote in a statement accompanying the poll's release.

Compared to Vice President Joe Biden, Ryan was seen in a more favorable light. In Florida, the House Budget chairman had a 29% unfavorable rating, compared to 44% for Biden. In Ohio, 27% of voters had an unfavorable impression of Ryan, compared to 40% for Biden. And in Wisconsin, Ryan's home state, the GOP vice presidential candidate had a 35% unfavorable rating, compared to 42% for Biden.

Forty-one percent of voters in Florida said Biden was qualified to become president, compared to 37% who said the same of Ryan. In Ohio, 43% said Biden was qualified, compared to 32% who said the same of Ryan. Forty-one percent of Wisconsin voters said Biden was qualified, compared to 44% who thought Ryan had the qualifications to be president.

"Voters…see Ryan in a more favorable light than they do Vice President Joseph Biden," Brown wrote. "And when voters assess the two running mates' qualifications to become president, Biden is only slightly ahead in Florida and Ohio and slightly behind the seven-term congressman in Wisconsin. In fact, Ryan's qualified/unqualified ratio is better than Biden's."

Medicare, the government-run health care program for senior citizens, is popular in all three states. The issue surfaced as a major issue on the presidential campaign trail when Romney named Ryan as his running mate, since Ryan has proposed a plan in the House that would allow private insurers to compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange.

Ryan says the plan would save Medicare from insolvency, but Democrats say it would amount to a "gutting" of the program that would result in higher costs.

Thursday's polls showed a majority of voters in the three battleground states saying they thought Medicare should continue operating they way it currently does, with the government providing insurance to seniors. Strong majorities also said they thought Medicare was worth the cost to taypayers.

"By more than 4-1 margins, voters in each state say the health care program for the elderly is worth the cost and six in 10 say they favor keeping the current Medicare model," Brown wrote. "But 10 percent of voters in each state would support 'major reductions' in Medicare to reduce the deficit and almost 50 percent would support 'minor reductions.'"

The Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll was conducted by telephone between August 15 – 21. In Florida, 1,241 likely voters were polled; in Ohio, 1,253 were polled, and in Wisconsin, 1,190 were polled. The sampling error in all three states was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

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Filed under: Florida • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Polls • Wisconsin
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Dtd

    Man, we are all screwed if these are the two candidates, we really need a third option

    August 23, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  2. don

    "The president's margins in all three states are with in the polls' sampling error."

    In other words, the President is still leading in all three states... by as much as 6% in Ohio.

    August 23, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    I do not even worry of what polls say. I am voting for OBAMA. Period. This nasty "FLIP-FLOP". Idiot sells this nation to CHINA and SAUDI for one dollar and bring in CHEAP-LABOR into USA. Obama12.

    August 23, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  4. charlesName

    Leave my S.S. and Medicare alone!!! That $$ is the workers $$$ not the goverments. We the workers pay our $$ in there for the working so when we retire we have a small net of help. Leave my $$ alone!!

    August 23, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  5. Pete

    Hey republicans wait till next week it'll change,its like weather in Florida,give it five minutes it'll change also.You'll see how these polls go,they're not votes,you hypocrites know that and millionaires with one vote aren't as strong as millions with many votes,smart asses,all the same .Never were winners,just look at your past presidents ,losers all and you know it!!!

    August 23, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. mikey

    Obama has already accused Romney of killing a guy's wife, being a felon, being a tax cheat, being a money launderer, closing factories just to abuse families, being a draft dodger, torturing a dog, and assaulting a fellow student. The Occupy Wall Street movement is the best illustration to date of what President Barack Obama's America looks like. It is an America where the lawless, unaccomplished, ignorant and incompetent rule. It is an America where those who have sacrificed nothing pillage and destroy the lives of those who have sacrificed greatly.. The left is using any event as a distraction as it pursues the Saul Alinsky tactics of community organizing. Obama's game plan is to divide the community into the Haves and the Have Nots, make the Have Nots believe they are unjustly treated by the Haves, build resentment against the American social and economic system, use church congregations to mobilize street agitators, and lobby government for higher taxes and big-spending welfare programs in order to confiscate the wealth and power of the Haves and turn it over to the Have Nots.

    August 23, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. radgo

    Tied up? HA, what a misleading headline he's very decently ahead in all 3 states.

    August 23, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. Peace

    CNN, can you be realistic? In Ohio, Pres. Obama's margin is just outside the sampling error and still you write in your heading they are tied in three swing states!!!!!! What kind of reporting is this one?

    August 23, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. Christopher

    These swing state polls reflect two things- (1) that Obama has governed better than what some would have us believe and (2) that Romney just does not pass the gut check.

    August 23, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. Obama Rapes Social Security to fund Obamacare

    With Obamacare raping Social Security to fund itself, and every other family having a cost increase of over $2000 a year, I'm betting those numbers will swing in Romney's favor. I'm amazed that anyone can seriously look at Obamacare and believe that those several thousand pages of text are in the best interests of all Americans.

    August 23, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Amused

    It's fascinating how pretending that it's a "tight race" tends to get more air time, when anyone who really watches the electoral college, and does their numbers correctly knows that Romney really has a pretty poor chance of actually winning. He needs to win ALL of the states that CNN defines as 'toss up'. (most of which he won't, he's too far behind in PN, OH, and CO. He might take Florida, but I doubt it. Romney loses OH, it's over.

    August 23, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. Jason

    How is the title "Romney, Obama tied up in three swing states" when the article itself says FL and WI are within the margin of error (i.e. tied) and Ohio is outside the margin of error (i.e. Obama leads)? What has happen to CNN journalism.

    August 23, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. Suzi S

    Did these polls include all viable candidates for President? I highly doubt they included any but the 2 main parties, ignoring Gary Johnson who is on all ballots. To me, polls are a sham when they restrict the voice of the people. To me, presidential debates are a sham when they usurp the voice of a viable candidate. If a candidate has the mathematical potential to become POTUS, they should be included. Thumbs down to every organization, media outlet, and commission who tries to stifle the opposition of the bogus 2-party system.

    August 23, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. gt

    ck your 401 k ,,your home value...your job...then vote..easy....

    August 23, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Bootstomper

    Romney,Ryan,Akin, the new republican party.

    August 23, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Larry L

    Those states need to carefully consider Romney's lies about Medicare – all proven to be "pants-on-fire" lies by every reputable fact-checking site. Make no mistake – the Romney/Ryan plan would hand Medicare over to CEOs of insurance companies and HMOs – just like what happened with the Bush plan for reduced pharmaceutical costs. Their plan for Social Security is equally deceptive – talking about "private investment options" to give Wall Street a chance to dupe seniors out of their Social Security investment. These states need to realize it was Republicans who started the recession and it's Republicans who've been obstructing the recovery for political gain. Turn off Fox News and get the truth!

    August 23, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens began his payback to the Kochs with an energy program right out of the 1950s. He has been wrong on immigration, Detroit, taxes, foreign policy, medicare, social security, medicaid, college loans, women's rights, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Russia, and now energy. And the right wingnuts call his stupidity, "Spot on."

    August 23, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. kakaraka

    Give me a break. Romney is trailing President Obama badly in spite of the economic slow recovery and all the negativity from the right wing. Romney/Ryan are in trouble. There is no tied here. Be objective CNN.

    August 23, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |