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. semper fi

    find the poll you like to make your point. Then make it a headline.

    October 9, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. gerry

    Anyone dumb enough to believe left wing pollsters who over sample and use outdated and ridiculous models is too dumb to intrroduce to reality supported by facts.....On election day we'll know who the real pollsters were.

    October 9, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. bill

    it's going to be close, but mitt and the GOP still have plenty of time to disenfranchise more of the voters....

    October 9, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Zahra

    Can we just get rid of the Electoral College please and let a vote count as a vote instead of letting the elite do it for us?

    October 9, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. MajorRumpRoaster

    Will Obama apologize to the Taliban for the girl speaking against their ways and exercising her own free speech?

    October 9, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Jason

    So now the Ohio voters are like "We love Romney because he looked and performed better on one night and we forget about having jobs because of the President saving the auto industry!"......mmmmm. Don't think so. 52% of the country voted for the right person in 2008 and we will do the same in 2012. Obama 2012!

    October 9, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. PJ

    The polls in Ohio are within the margin of error for the CNN poll and the other poll has Romney at 48% and Obama at 47% its a tie right now.

    October 9, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. ernie

    We gave him a chance. A 4 year chance. Our current President couldn't do it. Time for CHANGE Mitt need a try.

    October 9, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. joan

    let's just hope the next debate has a moderator that truely controls the debate, so it doesn't turn into a verbal slug fest. Give them both a specific amount of time to answer and NO CUTTING IN OR TALKING OVER EACH OTHER.

    Debates have rules...hold them to them.

    October 9, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Jason

    The 45th President of the United States: Etch-A-Sketch!

    October 9, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. phearis

    I actually laughed when I saw that this obviously lie of a poll shows Washington, Hawaii, California, Illinois and Minnesota as "Red States". BAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!! Good one CNN.

    October 9, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Brian Hartman


    You should read the article more carefully. With the margin of error, Ohio is essentially all tied up right now. And more importantly, the numbers are trending in Romney's direction nationally.

    I'm not saying Romney's going to win, but it's not the long shot it was a few weeks ago. Romney's odds are looking about even right now.

    October 9, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. jon

    Do we really need a new poll EVERY 35 MINUTES????

    October 9, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. thatsawrap

    Yeah!! GOOO ROMNEY!!! You can do this.......A weary nation needs YOU!! And Biden doesn't stand a chance against a tough talking, extremely intelligent Paul Ryan. We're ready for a little (alot) of R&R

    October 9, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Rj

    So, 47% support Romney. Oh the irony.

    October 9, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Khaleeshi

    My vote is for President Obama.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 9, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. NoTeaForMe

    If Romney wins, we all lose.

    October 9, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. JohnRJohnson

    What person 65 or older would vote for Romney and Ryan?

    What person caring for an elderly parent would vote for Romney and Ryan?

    What person who works in or knows anybody who works in the auto industry would vote for Romney and Ryan?

    What person who has ever lost their job would vote for Romney and Ryan?

    What woman would ever vote for Romney and Ryan?

    What member of the armed forces would vote for Romney and Ryan?

    What member of the middle class would ever vote for Romney and Ryan?

    The fact that this race is even close is a total mystery.

    October 9, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. flavoter

    Many people never learn. If you play with a snake and it bites you is it the snakes fault. If you hire a thief and he robs you blind should you be suprised.

    If you put people who make their money off of wars in charge should it be a suprise when they send your kids off to fight while there kids are safe at home..Again no suprise there either.

    Wealthy people donot get richer by sharing the wealth!!

    October 9, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Too Much

    Its funny CNN that your poll gives Obamney 98% of the vote, yet every poll with Gary Johnson and other 3rd party candidates included gives them at least 5-6% collectively. Try conducting a non-biased poll you sorry excuse for a news agency.

    October 9, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. january2454

    This is a great day to be an American!

    Romney will be elected. And even those who didn't vote for him will benefit. The economy will improve even before he's sworn in because business people will get an instant boost in morale.

    It's a win, win. A rising tide raises all boats. Prosperity will be good for EVERYONE - even though who are die-hard Obama fans now.

    October 9, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Sheik Yer Bouti

    Who would believe a CNN poll?

    If Obama is "leading" per the CNN poll, Romney will win Ohio.

    America is coming out of its 4-year trance.

    October 9, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. TJ

    This race is over.....bye bye Obama....

    October 9, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Jack Roses

    Actually, it didn't show that the race is tightening. They just changed the polling model. Way to show your Romney bias.

    October 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. GG

    I hope Romney beats Obama in Ohio on the election day so that Obama can go back to Hollywood and partying with celebs.

    October 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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