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. Chris

    What's pathetic is seeing Obama get drilled in the debate for finally having to answer to his horrible policies, then convincing the koolaid drinkers that Ronney was telling lies. The truth is, the only hope and change we have is hope for change!

    October 9, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. mikey

    Obama is collecting hundreds of millions of dollars thru the prepaid credit card scam. 68% of the "hits" are from overseas, most of it thru a chinese campaign bundler. Who is Obama going to represent, the american people or the donors in China?

    October 9, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. anne

    Oh really Obama has really good plans to move this country forward like makes us bankrupt.... Go Romney!!!

    October 9, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. mike

    DON'T BUY THIS!!! Romney is going to win, and win HUGE. 1980 all over again!!!!

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

    lets back the guy Who write an article let Gm go Bankrupt brilliant!!!!!!!!

    October 9, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. rosey

    I'm honestly afraid. We thought Bush was bad, but Romney is going to finish us off. I've lost my optimism about this election. I think a year from now the headline will read "Happy Now America?"

    October 9, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. The REAL Truth...

    @ernie – We gave him a chance. A 4 year chance. Our current President couldn't do it. Time for CHANGE Mitt need a try.
    We did, he is and he can.
    In spite of
    – EVERY opportunity the Grand Obstructionist Party has taken to blame Obama for the failed trickle-down policies of Dubya and prior GOP administrtions
    – Blocks, filibusters, anti-abortion and Defense spending riders on EVERY piece of legislation
    – blaming Reid/Dems for not working with them on legislation (see line above)
    – Taking the "individual mandate" portion of ACA to the SCOTUS in a ridiculously expensive attempt to repeal a piece of Republican legislation (yes, look it up.. the mandate was something the Repugs wanted in Clinton's health plan)
    – opposing their own candidates MA-modeled health care plan because it came from the Obama administration
    – Mitch McClueless and John Boener stating that their Congressional goal for 4 yrs was to make Obama a single term President
    – the clueless right wingnuts who believe the sound-bite propaganda from foreign-owned Faux Noise Entertainment
    – the VoteID laws introduced by Red states when voter fraud is a solution looking for a problem and a thinly veiled excuse to suppress votes likely to tally in the Dem column

    in spite of all that the Grand Obstructionist Party has done to block Obama, things are improving. Do your own research.. don't believe what you hear on these "news" outlets.. they are ALL biased. Do your own research, and after that if you believe that Obama is bad for the country, then by all means, please crawl back under your rock!

    October 9, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. DEMS that vote for OBAMA Again make me laugh

    I am excited to watch the debates coming up. if we want a nanny goverment we vote obama. if we want real growth we lower taxes accross the board. that creates jobs. Obama wants to raise taxes on the small bussiness man that employs me. well i can kiss my bonus for this year goodbye. Obama care is not free people, it imposes a tax if you care not to buy any type of insurance.
    Less than $9,500 income = $0
    $9,500 – $37,000 income = $695
    $50,000 income = $1,000
    $75,000 income = $1,600
    $100,000 income = $2,250
    $125,000 income = $2,900
    $150,000 income = $3,500
    $175,000 income = $4,100
    $200,000 income = $4,700
    these rates double every year you dont carry your own. dont get me wrong i believe we need to care for our poor but letting the goverment tax me doesnt pay for the poor it goes into a larger goverment.

    Read more:

    October 9, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. inkandtears

    Wait, you mean having to show and ID, something you have to have to drive, or cash a check, or get into an Obama rally, is somehow disenfranchising voters? BS. Go grasp for straws elsewhere or help more Dem raise the dead to vote for them, the living are voting Republican or Libertarian.

    October 9, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. dscon

    CNN "IS" a laugh...........
    its gonna a be a blowout AND...............that little school girl shot by the Taliban article has been sequestered by eveyones favorite MSM again.

    October 9, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. GG

    I live in Ohio and my vote will go to Romney. Obama can go back to Hollywood and all the celebs.

    October 9, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Mr. Reality

    If Ohioans believe a fraction of the BS that Mitt Romney has been spewing, then they are very naive, and I have some bridges and swamp land they might be interested in purchasing.

    October 9, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. DENNA

    I will be early voting in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait to vote for President Obama again. Yes, again. I am not disappointed in how he has run this country. I am, however, disappointed in how rude and uncooperative the GOP has been. Their only target was to make him a one-term president. Not help America, just screw up Barack Obama's first term, no matter the cost to America. The GOP don't deserve a chance this time.

    October 9, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Jake

    America better wake up and see Romney is pulling a "slick used car salesman" on them. Look beyond that and you'll see this is the same Mitt Romney of before. Don't let his "makeover" fool you. He's still the same guy, who's interest has nothing to do with Real America. Hard working Middle Class America doesn't need a guy who has NOTHING in common with them, Nothing.

    His whole life has been a pampered one, never knew what a working man and woman had to do for a living and how to budget themselves to make it from paycheck to paycheck. And Seniors and Retirees should know by now what the Romney/Ryan plan is for them, it's no secret...vouchers. Vouchers with health benefits dispensed by the insurance companies will mean you cannot spend the amount alloted to you by the insurance company and the voucher. That means limits and caps. Don't let them double talk you with something that vouchers are not. YOU will see the end of Medicare with vouchers. And once you reach your limits...YOU WILL PAY. This is why insurance companies are in support of vouchers and are supporting Romney. Don't play into their game, Medicare is too valuable to you to let them get their hands on it.

    And Social Security...what kind of nonsense is this that if you're 54 and under, you will receive less in retirement benefits when you retire than someone 55 and over. You paid all your life into Social Security, you didn't pay less than others, yet they are ready to treat those 54 and under as second class working citizens. Shame on them for trying to rob Paul to pay Peter. This is not the solution, this is a problem. And that's just for beginners, these guys will privatize Social Security putting you at risk to the ways of Wall Street and the Banks. We know only too well what happens when they gamble with people's money and IRAs as they did before.

    Say NO to this grab by these worms. They have their pensions well protected and secured, they are not worried. You should be, it's your Social Security they have their target on.

    October 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. ImWEBSPY

    A sitter (Places People) in Ohio at Mr. Romney's Rally, saw a African American man "Ted Siddle" and told him he could sit in the front row.
    The man said thanks I will after my wife gets back from the bathroom.
    A little while later the Mr. Siddle in the front row was talking with his wife when the sitter came and apologized, those seats were already reserved, and if they wouldn't mind sitting in the back row. Mr. Siddle noted the seats remained empty for the remainder of the speech and can only guess they were asked to sit elsewhere because his wife is white!

    October 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Back To The 1950's

    Most people did not pay atention to the republican primary unless they were republican. If they did they would know that Romney lied during the first debate. I respect a person more if they stick to their beliefs even if I disagree. Character matters when you want to lead the most powerful nation on earth. Romney is like fool's gold, looks like the real thing on the outside but hollow on the inside.

    October 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. tubacharlton

    CNN i sso hungry for a horse race, they will NEVER let the "race is tightening" rhetroic die down. Some slight tightening, but why isn't the headline "OBAMA LEADS BY 4 IN OHIO!!!!!"

    John King – what a useless shill trying to keep any race seem more exciting. He actualyl thinks Ryan has a prayer against Biden because he's younger? Mark my words, it's gonna be a 50 ton sh!tstorm raning down on Ryan.

    October 9, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. rick

    mitt can say anything he thinks an idiot will listen to but no matter how many times he changes his stance on ANY issue, the past will not disappear. He's had no use for those with little or no money and will say anything to get their vote. He's the worst thing to possible to help straighten things out. Remember george sr........"READ MY LIPS". romney with his feeze-dried hair could help ease our dependence on oil if he'd only squigy it off his scalp.

    October 9, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. dragonfire77

    The GOP was for the individual Mandate, until the Democrats did it
    The GOP was for reducing Medicare Spending until the democrats did it.
    The GOP was for reductions in the deficit, until a Democrat proposed it
    The GOP was for sanctions on Iran, until a Democrat did it.
    The GOP was for stronger work restrictions on welfare, until a Democrat did it.
    The GOP was for allowing children of illegals to stay, until a Democrat did it.
    The GOP was for massive spending reductions, until a Democrat proposed it.
    The GOP was for an increase in military action in Afghanistan, until a Democrat did it.


    Anyone else noticing a pattern here?

    October 9, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. T. Lee

    Worst thing that can happen to America is to put another Republican back into the White House.

    On just about every charge the Republicans and their candidates make against Obama – they had a DIRECT HAND IN BRINGING ABOUT with their "making Obama a one term president".

    They have blocked virtually EVERY proposed piece of legislation that would have repaired the debacle the Bush Administration brought on – and the voting public is SOOOOOO STUPID as to believe the same ones that got us into this mess that CANNOT be fixed in just four yeras are going to go in and fix their own mess???

    Not going to happen !!!

    October 9, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. ash

    This can't be true...the media said that this election was over and Romney had no chance to win!!!

    October 9, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. tepeters

    CNN Obama still has 51% as you reported last time. Romney has increased his margin but that does not make it automatically in play if Obama himself has not lost ground.

    October 9, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. AqChicago

    There is only one Obama to vote for, but many Romney's to vote for. Which Romney is the voter going to be voting for????

    October 9, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Daniel

    That's why I moved from Ohio and never looked back. Most of them are idiots and too stupid to realize it. They are happy to be referenced in anything even if it means being called a victim. I will tell you one thing. If Ohio elects RomneyDick they get exactly what's coming to them, and I will never visit that state again. They are happy rolling around in dirt and feeling sorry for themselves. When I visit now, it makes me depressed. The whole state is oppressive. It sucks the life out of me!

    October 9, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Lives in the Buckeye state

    The race is so close here I think it comes down to weather. If the weather is somehow bad around the Ohio St. campus in Columbus or across heavily Democratic Cuyahoga county Romney will win the state.

    I live in southwest Ohio and yes the President made some in-roads in Butler and Hamilton counties in 2008. However I can tell you first hand the enthusiasm of the previous election is not as strong. Less Obama bumper stickers, yard signs, t-shirts out in public etc.

    October 9, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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