New polls increase stakes for VP showdown
October 11th, 2012
08:24 AM ET
10 years ago

New polls increase stakes for VP showdown

Danville, Kentucky (CNN) - Hours before the only vice presidential debate this campaign, six new polls provide more evidence that the race for the White House is extremely tight.

The surveys were all conducted after last week's first face-off between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney, and they indicate the Democratic and Republican tickets are all knotted up in the battleground states of Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Colorado.

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The bump in the polls for Romney and the closeness of the race will further raise the stakes of Thursday night's showdown between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee.

In Virginia, a poll from NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist indicates Romney at 48% and Obama at 47% among likely voters, basically a dead heat. In the previous NBC/WSJ/Marist survey, released just before last week's debate, Obama was at 48% and Romney at 46%.

According to a new CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll, also released Thursday morning, the president holds a 51%-46% advantage over the former Massachusetts governor in Virginia. But the margin is within the survey's sampling error.

Thirteen electoral votes are at stake in Virginia. Four years ago Obama became the first Democrat to win the state in a presidential contest in four decades. But Republicans won back the governor's office and three House seats from the Democrats in the 2009 and 2010 elections.

In Florida, it's also all tied up in the NBC/WSJ/Marist poll, with Obama at 48% and Romney at 47%. Obama had 47% and Romney had 46% in their poll from early last week. Twenty-nine electoral votes are up for grabs in the Sunshine State, which Obama turned from red to blue in the 2008 election.

And in Ohio the NBC/WSJ/Marist survey indicates Obama with a 51%-45% advantage over Romney. The president had an eight-point lead over Romney in their pre-presidential debate poll. A CNN/ORC International survey released on Tuesday indicated Obama with a 51%-47% edge. According to polls conducted in Ohio in mid-September, Obama had a seven to 10 point lead.

Ohio was the state that put President George W. Bush over the top in his 2004 re-election, but Obama won the state four years later. Eighteen electoral votes are at stake in the Buckeye State.

In Colorado, the CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac poll indicates Romney at 48% and Obama at 47% among likely voters. According to an American Research Group survey released earlier this week, Romney had a four-point edge. Surveys conducted last month, before the Denver debate, indicated the president with the slight advantage. Colorado is another state Obama turned from red to blue in 2008. Nine electoral votes are up for grabs in Colorado.

And in Wisconsin, the CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac poll puts Obama at 50% and Romney at 47%. Pre-debate polls suggested a lead for Obama in the state that is home to the Republican running mate. Ten electoral votes are at stake in Wisconsin, which the GOP has not captured in a presidential election in nearly three decades.

In the NBC/WSJ/Marist polls in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, voters overwhelming said they made up their minds before last week's presidential debate. But Romney won the small sliver of voters who said they decided on whom they'd support for president after the debate.

Other takeaways from the NBC/WSJ/Marist polls: Romney made gains with independent voters in Virginia and Ohio, and made gains with his favorable rating in all three states, although he still trails the president when it comes to favorability.

The CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac polls indicate that likely voters in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Colorado see Romney as a stronger leader than Obama, but they also feel that the economy is improving, which will help the president.

The CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac polls were conducted October 4-9, with 1,288 likely voters in Virginia, 1,327 likely voters in Wisconsin and 1,254 likely voters Colorado questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points in Virginia and Wisconsin and plus or minus 2.8 percentage points in Colorado.

The NBC/WSJ/Marist polls were conducted October 7-9, with 988 likely voters in Florida, 994 likely voters in Ohio, and 981 likely voters in Virginia questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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Filed under: 2012 • Colorado • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Polls • President Obama • Virginia • Wisconsin
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah, yes. The polls ... where Obama has now lost the African American vote, the hispanic vote, the womens vote, and - we are now being told - every other vote still up for grabs. Because Democrats do consistently vote for that other guy because - you know - that other guy stands for EVERYTHING they are against, and, yes, because in the minds of the media, their guy (President Obama) didn't jump up and holler and throw a tantrum on the debate stage because that other guy did what we all knew he would do ... lie through his teeth and disavow everything he'd said the past ... for, oh, I don't know ... the last decade or so.

    GOPers didn't coin the Romney ticket as an Etch a Sketch campaign for nothing. Funny how GOPers don't know that guy "stands" for anymore than Democrats do, but will take him at his word ... whatever that word is from day to day; hour to hour; minute to minute.

    October 11, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  2. Tina Steele

    Mitt Romney will not get my vote and it appears he doesn't want it anyway. My reasons are plentiful, but the main ones are his overseas bank account ( a president of the United States should NOT try to cheat on taxes), investments in Chinese oil companies (this shows his only loyalty is to the dollar), and the worst of all is his 47% remark (his true colors are shining through). I am a registered independent and I will vote for President Obama. My vote is not for sale. I am one of the few who don't believe Mitt did all that well at the debate. The biggest impression of Romney I walked away with was that of a spoiled child about to have a hissy fit. In contrast President Obama looked like the only adult at the podium. Many Americans would like to see these debates as a form of wrestling, but this is not the WWF, this is our future and I believe Romney would not hesitate to sell America to the highest bidder. Romney is a puppet and his strings are showing (if you care to look at them).

    October 11, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Once again, the candidates will be on live TV, where the media cannot alter their words, and manipulate the things they say, to mislead and deceive the public.

    That is the real reason that Obama lost the first debate, and that is why Biden will lose this debate.

    It is the media, themselves, that have been influencing this election, in a most troublesome manner.

    October 11, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. Marylou

    Just depends on who is a better cheater.

    October 11, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. ST

    I have to laugh glancing polls whenever I can get them. It looks like a game. Who are these people who don't have a stable decision, changing their mind according to the news which props up.

    October 11, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. rosco

    Two-thirds of voters call Libya response 'troubling,' as 53 percent say Obama failed on economy

    America deserves a working president, not a rock star in the Whirehouse

    October 11, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Mike

    There's nothing for the president, his team and his supporters to be worried about. Obama will win by at least 300 electoral votes. These polls albeit tight just indicates the obvious: the country is evenly divided.
    Obama Biden 2012

    October 11, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  8. CBR

    Hype, hype and more hype. Will all of this hype bring more viewers to this debate?

    October 11, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |

    The fact that these polls continue to fluctuate proves to me that right now the two candidates are competing for the stupid, the ignorant, uninformed undecided voter.
    ANYBODY who has been paying even the slightest bit of attention KNOWS who they are voting for by now and they now why they are voting for that person.
    Only someone who has not been keeping up with current events, only someone who lacks the intelligence to understand our political arena is still undecided.

    I pity the fools

    October 11, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. Mary Ann

    We all know what will happen,Ryan will lie just like Romney and hope there are enough stupid people who will believe him.

    October 11, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Lisa Wilson

    This picture is inaccurate....if you remember from the debate, Obama refused to look Romney in the eye! Goes to show you how much the media really does prop him up.

    October 11, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |