CNN Poll: Race tightening up in battleground Ohio
October 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Race tightening up in battleground Ohio

(CNN) - On the day that both presidential candidates are campaigning in Ohio, a new poll indicates a close contest in the race for the Buckeye State's 18 electoral votes.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll (PDF), 51% of likely voters in Ohio say they're backing President Barack Obama, with 47% supporting Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Obama's four point advantage is within the poll's sampling error.

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The survey, released Tuesday, was conducted October 5-8, entirely after last Wednesday's first presidential debate. Since non-partisan, live operator polls of likely voters in Ohio conducted prior to the debate indicated Obama with a 7-10 point advantage over the former Massachusetts governor, the new CNN survey suggests that Romney got a bounce following the debate.

The CNN poll indicates a wide gender gap, with Romney leading by 14 points among men and Obama ahead by 22 points among women voters.

"Independent voters, suburban voters, and older voters are all evenly divided, indicating a close race right now," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But that's not a prediction of what will happen in November. With one in eight likely voters saying that they could change their minds between now and November, and several crucial debates still to come, there is every reason to expect the race to change in Ohio."

American Research Group is also out Tuesday with a poll in Ohio, with Romney at 48% and Obama at 47% among likely voters. ARG's previous Ohio survey, conducted in mid-September, had Obama at 48% and Romney at 47%.

"The new polls are a huge boost for Republicans, coming just a couple weeks after a string of polls made them wonder if there was any way to win without Ohio," says CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Three national polls released in the past 24 hours also indicate the race knotted up among likely voters. And two of the surveys, from ARG and Pew Research Center, also suggest a post debate bounce for Romney.

"There is clearly movement in Ohio similar to what we see nationally. You see it in our numbers. It's a very close race in Ohio and you feel it talking to people on the ground," adds King, who is reporting from the Buckeye State.

Ohio was the state that put President George W. Bush over the top in his 2004 re-election. Four years later Obama carried the state by five points over Sen. John McCain. But the Republicans performed well in the Buckeye state in the 2010 midterm elections, winning back the governor's office and five House seats from the Democrats.

This cycle Ohio is seeing an outsized amount of campaign traffic. Obama's Tuesday rally in Columbus is his 12th visit to the Buckeye state since the unofficial start of the general election campaign in early April. For Romney, his event Tuesday in Cuyahoga Falls is his 15th visit to Ohio in the same time period.

Overall, the campaigns, party committees, and super PACs and other independent groups have spent nearly $92 million to run ads on broadcast TV in Ohio since the start of the general election, with more than $20 million of that coming just in the last two weeks. Those figures come from Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising for its clients.

"The governor still has problems here, especially with working women in the critical suburban areas. And the president benefits from an improving Ohio economy," says King. "But our numbers reinforce why there has been $90 million spent on presidential campaign TV ads the past six months: This is the battleground of the battlegrounds."

Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode are also on the presidential ballot in Ohio. When their names were added to the poll, Obama is at 48%, Romney 45%, with Johnson at 3%, Stein at 1% and Goode registering less than one-half of one percent.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 1,020 Ohio adults, including 888 registered voters and 722 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


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Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Mitt Romney • Ohio • President Obama
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. charles bowen

    One thing you can count on from a Republican, if his mouth is moving he is lying, and if you vote for him ,he will swear he never made the promise and never never honor his lies to you . And this my friends is from a Recovering Republican... The Taliban could take a few Lessons from the Republican party Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 9, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. PaPilot

    CNN Polls show Obama still ahead by 3. *Legitimate* polls show Romney ahead by 1 to 3.

    October 9, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. ann west

    A vote for any Republican , Rommey. Senator , House member is a vote for tea party, most signed Norquist'S pledge not to raise taxes on millionaires so Ryan's Budget 2011 which all republicans in senate and house voted for to make medicare a voucher system, cut 17 billion from veterans, give 5 trillion tax cut to wealthy, cut medicaid which pays for nursing homes for disabled, seniors and healthcare for low earner/unemployed's children if Rommey had been president , he would have signed it, it supports his 47%, do not believe him, he will say anything to get your vote as will Bachman. walsh, atkins. cantor mcconnell etc

    October 9, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Ram

    Out of the two devils I will pick the know devil – Obama.

    October 9, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. marinedad05

    Heal Care seems to be a big thing among voters.

    While Romney is lying is $$s off about what he would give, one hopes votes don't vote against their own interests.

    Some examples:

    Romney says pre-existing condidtions will be covered: Really?
    Look at what he says: Say you lost or quit your job, and are looking for a new one. You can take COBRA during the transition period that will cover pre-existing.
    This already exists, and Romney is not saying anything NEW.
    Further, COBRA is very expensive. Viruallly impossible to pay, unless you are loaded.
    Contrast this to ObamaCare. Insurance companies are prohibhited from denying coverage because you had a pre-existing coverage.

    Another, many young people 26 and younger are will be covered under Obamacare. Not so in Romney Care.
    Romney will first wipe ObamaCare out completely, and then pick and choose what Right Wing nuts want him to.

    These are just 2 examples in health care. There are many more – like his and Ryan's blatant lie about the 14 billion that are taken from Medicare.
    Obama takes the money out of the Providers (companies), while Ryan and Romney take steal the SAME from amount too.
    Only Romney and Ryan want to so badly give the money to whatever the providers overcharge at the expense of Medicare seniors.

    October 9, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. noway

    I can't believe it, who in their right mind would support this lying S.O.B. (Romney) If he's elected you deserve what you get, but the rest of us don't.

    October 9, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Claude Croteau from Canada
    May I suggest you change the channel?
    And could you teach "Name w. bullock" French? They make French to English dictionaries but they don't make "Name w. bullock" to English dictionaries!

    October 9, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. noway

    I can't believe it, who in their right mind would support this lying SOB. (Romney) If he's elected you deserve what you get, but the rest of us don't.

    October 9, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. MaryM

    repost: "I meant what I said, when I said it." Remember those words, Romney will say anything, lie, pander, and shamelessly obfuscate the facts to reach his objective. He stood on that stage and walked back every policy position he'd taken over the last eighteen months and completely lied to the American people about his tax proposals. His ability to lie and believe those lies, is breath taking on an Orwellian scale

    October 9, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. RobmeTAXRETURNs

    Show your tax returns for the past 10 years Mittens.

    October 9, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. VoiceofReason

    My Logic....if the people of the US are DUMB enough to repeal The Affordable Healthcare Act by voting on Romney..the FIRST real consumer rights bill for consumers and their health insurance...then they dont deserve it. If Republicans win..they will ruin the economy so bad that they wont get re-elected for a long time. Bummer to have Republicans at a point where we need Democrats.

    October 9, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. DENNA

    @ dragonfire77: Well put. The Republicans don't have a real platform. Their platform is to disagree with anything the Democrats propose. That is not a platform at all. Mittens and Lying Ryan are both airheads.

    October 9, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. Mary


    It hurts many voters.. From thier own lips, they said it would help romeny win..
    So on the one hand you give kudo's to the republicans for being the great party.. On the other hand you say this will not alter the votes???
    Which one is it?
    Either they are lying about it helping..Or they are not..?
    Which is basically the story when it comes to republicans..
    Just say anything they please and those like you buy it.. Hook like and sinker..

    October 9, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. jbird68

    I cant believe that thousands of voters would endanger their way of life, letting corporations enslave them, all because Obama had one bad night. Is it worth it?!

    October 9, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Logan44

    May the best lying shyster politician win. Only the regular Americans will lose. : )

    October 9, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. NYKnows

    Why would so many people in Ohio even think of voting for Romney when he will just sent their jobs abroad and tax the few who are still working? The guy raided Dunkin Donut for hundreds of millions that they are still paying off – so if he'll steal from the donut people, is anybody safe from his ways???

    October 9, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Henry

    Yay! One step closer to victory! Gooo Romney!

    October 9, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Logan44

    @RAM – I love the comment about the lesser devil. : )

    October 9, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. Rob

    Sorry Dems, the race is over. Your boy got whipped in the first debate and Ryan is going to make that buffoon Biden look like what he is.. We need some real leadership and real diplomacy back in the white house. Its been an embarrassment for 4 years to say that Barack Obama is our President. Im so thankful we finally saw what he is during that first debate. If youre a liberal voter and you still want Obama, well, we cant fix stup1d now can we? Romney/Ryan/GOP 2012. We love our Country and our Kids, thats why we're going to go ahead and just fix it.

    October 9, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. daveab

    Go Romney! The only candidate in the race with a proven record of creating jobs, turning around an Olympic games and have executive experience making tough decisions. I cannot fathom how people could vote for Obama have his dismal record these past 4 years. He even admitted he can't change how things are done in Washington!

    October 9, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. marvin thomas

    So what ever happened to Ross Perot???

    October 9, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. JD

    To the dems on here – what do you think BO will truly accomplish in the next 4 years? Are you assuming the dems will have a majority in the house and senate as well?

    October 9, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Jeff Cox

    Romney is proof positive that one can tell a lie enough times that people will finally believe it. Of course, that's the simple motto the Republicans have been following for the last umpteen years. Way to pander to the ignorant, fearful, bigoted, selfish and just plain stoopid!

    October 9, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. facts please

    1. TRUTH IN POLLING – CNN and any other polsters should include the sample used to obtain the results / % dem, republican & independent WITH THE PRESENTATION OF THE POLL RESULTS... THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!!... CNN is currently one of the worst at over sampling one demographic over another...
    2. TRUTH IN VOTING – Take a look at the actual candidate... their actual record, their actual personal life, their actual past, what do they stand for in their own words, what have they done with their lives, how have they impacted their actual local community in their past before forming your final opinion... IGNORE THE TALKING HEADS, PAID POLITICAL HACS, TV SOUND BITES, YOUTUBE VIDEOS, SOCIAL MEDIA BIAS, WEBSITE NUTJOBS ETC... Do your own research and form your own opinion... THEN MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT

    October 9, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. njket

    Romney is Mormon- his word should be enough for America because it's good enough for Mormons and they don't question.Just follow because taught and raised to do so. Wonder what else Romney has in his hat? Americans learn about the Mormons.... I couldn't go to family weddings and so many others too because we weren't Mormon –if not Mormon you can not attend. Some Americans have become cattle–don't question and believe and stay with the party your parents taught and brought you up to believe -- that's not freedom!

    October 9, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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