Poll: Obama up by five points in Ohio
September 23rd, 2012
04:53 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Obama up by five points in Ohio

(CNN) - One day before Mitt Romney's campaign starts a three day bus tour in Ohio, a new poll indicates the Republican nominee is behind President Barack Obama by five percentage points in the Buckeye State.

Just over half - 51% - of likely voters back the president, while 46% support Romney, according to a new survey released Sunday and conducted by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research.

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The survey was taken September 13-18, mostly before video emerged of controversial comments Romney made at a May fundraiser, in which he argued nearly half of Americans are "victims" who are "dependent" on the government because they don't pay federal income taxes.

While he has since said he could have stated his remarks "more clearly," Romney has largely stood by his message that Uncle Sam spends too much on entitlement programs.

The September 13-18 time window, however, included a separate round of criticism surrounding Romney's decision to blast the Obama administration's handling of the consulate attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The 5-point margin comes within the poll's sampling error and falls in line with CNN's Poll of Polls in the state. As of Sept. 20, Obama had 49% and Romney had 44% of support in Ohio, according to the CNN analysis.

It includes an NBC/WSJ/Marist poll and a Fox News survey, which each have the president holding a 7-point lead, as well as an American Research Group survey, which shows Obama with a 2-point edge, well within that poll's sampling error.

READ MORE: Battleground polls seem to give Obama upper hand over Romney

With the state's early voting start date just around the corner (October 2), Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will make an aggressive blitz across the state between Monday and Wednesday.

Obama, meanwhile, has made Ohio a frequent stop on his campaign itinerary, visiting the state 12 times this year alone and 29 times since becoming president. At an event Monday, he announced his administration had filed a recent a trade complaint against China's auto industry subsidies. Ohio is a major automotive industry state.

The new poll Sunday indicated more voters trusted Obama on improving the economy than Romney - a number that used to favor the Republican nominee. According to the poll, 49% believe the president is better able to improve economic conditions in Ohio, while 44% feel the same for Romney.

"Clearly, how Ohioans view the two candidates in terms of their ability to improve Ohio's economy over the next four years will go a long way in determining who wins Ohio's 18 electoral votes," Eric Rademacher, co-director of the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Interestingly, while nearly 60% of respondents have a positive opinion of the so-called auto bailout, more than half-54%–said the federal loan program would have "no influence" on their vote, according to the poll. The auto bailout is a big calling card on the campaign trail for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and was a central theme of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Biden especially likes to remind voters of one of the campaign's mottos: "Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive."

But Rademacher, the institute's co-director, cautioned anything could happen before November 6.

"This snapshot in time shows an early advantage for the president. However, any candidate would trade this advantage today for an advantage in momentum and energy on Election Day," he said.

The University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research surveyed 861 likely voters by telephone. The poll, commissioned by major Ohio newspapers, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 points. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they were Democrats, 42% identified themselves as Republicans and 10 percent said they were independents.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. gep1955

    Look and the endless articles about Rmney all designed to raise doubts about him as a leader and questions about his past. We now have a four year track record on Obama and everything is rosey and bright. The press has become as arrogant and elitist as the democrats and rino republicans. Both are about to receive a severe blow to their egos in November. The future of the country depends on it.

    September 23, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. 200 TON HAMMER

    Hey mitt I heard the good news on november 7th you be buying the whitehouse with the koch brothers money
    the whitehouse in northern seattle washington state congratulations in advance sorry you was not president brotherhood material smile mittens you be ok with your $300,000,000 dallors off shore
    bank account safe and sound tell rafulaca the break dance fighting horse I said howdy thanks mittens

    September 23, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Indy

    The more Mittens meows the better it gets for Obama and the entire country.Everything the Democrats said Romney stood for was proven true by none other than Mitts himself

    September 23, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  4. deangarr

    I am sick of Mr. Romney.
    Sick of hearing him.
    Sick of hearing about him.
    Sick of seeing him.

    I am part of Mr. Romney's 53%.
    I have worked hard all my life.

    I have never received food stamps, but never begrudged helping those who needed them. I have never needed to use unemployment insurance, but never thought it "wrong" to use something that individuals pay into for just such emergencies. I have never used Medicare, but believe it is a good system I have paid for and that, with careful management, will be there when I need it. I have yet to take social security, but have paid into it my whole working life and expect and demand that it be there for me and for my children and grandchildren.

    I am sick of Mr. Romney.
    His vision of America is NOT mine.
    And want him to go very far away very very soon.

    September 23, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Frank

    People of the United States of America,
    With President Obama's actions during his first term,I feel he will some how bypass Congress that may end up going Republican to install his polices/programs via Executive Orders and through his Czars and DOJ etc.If this happens,my fear is the Government will fall into chaos and there will be major Civil Unrest through out the United States.I also fear if we continue the downward path in Domestic,Economic and Foreign Policy indicators,it would not suprise me if say in 2 years or less a Military Coupe over throwning the Government Could take place as crazy as that sounds,anything is possible.God help us all!

    September 23, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. Joan

    Since all of the state and national polls are showing the President ahead either by a large or small margin, everyone should be very vigilant about EVERY national and international event in the next few weeks. Don't forget it was a radical right film maker who caused this last round of violence and death. It was a radical right blogger who exaggerated and blew up the "mosque at Ground Zero" debacle. It was a radical right pastor who burned the Quran. It was Republican Peter King who last week tried to get out a bogus story about the administration freeing a terrorist prisoner. It was Republican Michelle Bachmann who accused innocent American citizens of trying to infiltrate Islam into the administration. How absurd. It seems they are bound to stir up controversy any way they can. Probably Rove and his Super Pac cronies are staying awake at night dreaming up new "smear and fear" strategies. They probably thought the protests in the Middle East would have caused more problems for the President but Romney spoiled that. Thanks to modern technology, it is almost impossible for any conspiracies to go undiscovered now.

    September 23, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. TheTeacher

    Random sampling would determine the makeup of the respondent pool, and nationwide there are more registered Dems than Republicans

    September 23, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. Doug

    Ohio is the pivotal state in this election for Obama. If he wins it, the election is his. Bailing out the auto industry should be the key component for him winning this state. Goegraphically, Ohio is also the lynch pin that connects all the North East blue states with most of the midwest blue states (exception, Indiana and possibly Iowa). I don't really see New Hampshire as a "swing" state. Also less likely as a swing state is Wisconsin. It is pale blue. These other 5 are in play...Fla., Virginia, Iowa, Colorado,and Nevada. (North Carolina should go red, New Mexico should go blue).

    September 23, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Steve

    It only takes the majority of one single vote to collect all the electoral college votes of Ohio.

    September 23, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. GBfromOhio

    As long as the likely voters do turn out it appears that you can stick a 14 carat gold fork into Governor Romney.

    September 23, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Harkers

    In November when CNN polls are reveilled to be left propped maybe their already flakey viewer share will drop proportionally!!?

    September 23, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Romney is way ahead in American Samoa

    September 23, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. the situation

    48% of those questions are Dems and 42% for the GOP?! I have no doubt the President is in the lead in Ohio, but I doubt there is going to be a 6 point advantage for Dems vs. Republicans, and VERY highly doubt nearly half of the voters will be Democrats.

    September 23, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |

    Fox News has Obama out by 7 points last week. I guess that a Left Wing conspiracy that the mouth piece of the GOP has Mitts trailing. Mitts loses Ohio, the election is over.

    September 23, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  14. Tom

    I have noticed many polls have a D+ spread, even in Virginia, where R;s have a 3+ registration advantage. Would like this explained

    September 23, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Romney's path to victory is difficult and is getting more so with this poll. I don't think that he is really going to get it; that is what the middle class needs from a Romney administration and what needs to be done.

    September 23, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. fryuujin

    anywhere near auto, Romney is viewed as a jerk with his let them go bankrupt solution. He cares about nobody. He can't relate to anyone.

    September 23, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. Are you kidding me?

    Now I can only wish the people of Ohio sent the speaker of the house packing.

    September 23, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  18. Name

    Sad that mitt will loose the election. He really doesn't connect with average American and never live middle class or poor life before. Obama came from a middle class family, so he relate well. mitt grew up in wealth and have no clue about middle class or poor folks..

    September 23, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  19. User-301

    Just a quick note to say Thank You to you 212 Republicans that have promised to make the switch to Real America. We have had a bit of a struggle over the last few years but the more Republicans we get to cross over, the easier it will get for The President to achieve the goals needed to get he country on the right track. Thanks again and may God always Bless the United States of America.

    September 23, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  20. Russ

    The next polls, which include Romney's comments that 47% of the people are takers from the government, will put him further behind. Those should be out during Romney's road trip, taking the spotlight off his message again.

    September 24, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. luke,az

    It's more than 5 points.

    September 24, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  22. Harry From Pa

    I think Obama is up more than the polls suggest, and if Mitt keeps sticking his foot in his mouth, he is going to be in a hole even more once the debates come.

    September 24, 2012 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  23. n

    People are starting to, not just see, but except the fact that Romney is a wash and his presidency would be a total disaster for this country. The people who dislike President Obama are not yet ready to cut off their nose to spite their face. They are not ready to throw out the baby with the bath water. If there are going to be any replacement going on in November, it's going to be replacing the do nothing congress and the obstruction practices plotted by this republican leadership. Period.

    September 24, 2012 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  24. GI Joe

    I have relatives in Ohio and they say everyone is "Fired Up, Ready to Go" for Obama/Biden 2012.

    September 24, 2012 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  25. Greg

    Maybe the buckeye state is starting to realize which side is for the working class and which side is for the 1%. I mean how long are you going to be able to fool people that tinkle down economics is good for them when their paycheck gets smaller and smaller and rich people get really really rich. After 8 years of Bush they might have learned a thing or two.

    September 24, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
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