November 2nd, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama 50% – Romney 47% in Ohio

(CNN) - With four days to go until the presidential election, a new poll indicates the race for arguably the most important battleground state remains very close.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday, President Barack Obama holds a three point advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the contest for Ohio's much fought over 18 electoral votes.

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Fifty-percent of likely voters questioned in the poll say they are backing the president, with 47% supporting the former Massachusetts governor. Obama's three-point edge is within the survey's sampling error. The survey was conducted Tuesday through Thursday. The poll's release comes on the same day that the president holds three campaign events and Romney holds two events in Ohio.

"The race in the Buckeye State has remained essentially the same throughout October, with all three CNN/ORC polls taken in October showing President Obama at 50%-51% and all three showing Governor Romney at 46%-47%," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The CNN poll is in the range of the three other non-partisan, live operator surveys of Ohio likely voters also conducted entirely after last week's final presidential debate. The University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll and an American Research Group survey both indicated Obama with two-point edges and a CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll indicated Obama with a five-point advantage. All of those margins were within the sampling errors of those polls.

The gender, generation and income gaps that CNN polls have indicated in other states are readily apparent in Ohio as well, with Obama winning women by 16 points, lower-income voters by 30 points and those under age 50 by 15 points, while Romney leads among men by 13 points, and holds the advantage with older voters by 6 points and those making more than $50,000 per year.

"The president's prospects are boosted by a strong showing among white women, support in the northern parts of the state as well as the Columbus area, and a big margin among early voters," added Holland. "Romney's chances in the state rest on white men and a good showing in the central part of the state as well as the southwest corner, home to Cincinnati and Dayton."

"It's so close the president will need to run up the margins in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland and its suburbs) and in Columbus, and Governor Romney needs to win Hamilton County (Cincinnati and its suburbs) and elsewhere in southwestern Ohio. It's not an accident he is in that part of the state tonight," said CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

"Base versus base, in a fairly even divided state," added King, who is reporting Friday from Ohio.

According to the poll, 63% of those who say they have already voted early or who plan to cast a ballot before next Tuesday say they support the president, with 35% backing Romney. But Romney has the 55%-42% advantage among those who plan to vote on Election Day.

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 from the presidential candidates and ad spending that has flooded the airwaves. The two presidential campaigns, the party committees, and the super PACs and other independent groups backing the two candidates combined have spent over $134 million to run ads on broadcast TV in Ohio since the start of the general election in early April, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which tracks ad spending for its clients. Just in the past week, nearly $14 million has been shelled out to run spots.

"Ohio is a very different place than four years ago. Our numbers show that and you feel it and see it when you visit here," adds King. "The GOP offices have much more energy than late 2008."

The question is, is it enough?

"There is no question the auto bailout helps the president here, but also no question Governor Romney has a more motivated base than John McCain did," says King.

For months the Obama campaign has touted the bailouts and they were giving prominent prime time placement during the Democratic National Convention in early September. It's a strategy that the Obama campaign thinks could be the difference in Ohio, a major base for the auto industry.

"The American auto industry is back on top," said Obama early Friday at a rally in Hilliard, Ohio.

The bailouts were started under President George W. Bush in 2008, but the next year Obama grabbed the keys to the program, managing and funding the bailouts.

Romney opposed the government bailout and pushed for a privately financed, managed bankruptcy of the two automakers. The Obama campaign and other Democrats have attacked Romney over his opposition to the federal assistance.

And they've highlighted pushback by General Motors and Chrysler to a Romney TV ad and a radio spot this past week that claimed that both domestic auto makers were sending U.S. jobs to China.

With four days until the election, the poll indicates that more than nine in ten have made up their minds, with 7% saying they could still change their mind on their choice for president.

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 47%, Romney 44%, with Johnson at 5%, Stein at 1% and Goode registering less than one-half of one percent.

"As always, keep in mind that the poll does not, and cannot, predict the outcome of the election," cautions Holland. "Close elections are inherently unpredictable."

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from Oct. 30-Nov. 1, with 1,000 adults, including 919 registered voters and 796 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Ohio • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Mciver3

    Real Clear Politics Polls are still showing Ohio as a complete toss up state. Romney will take it. And then our country can start to heal from the last 4 years.

    November 2, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Dan Jackson Sr.

    As we all saw during the three-way debate (Obama, Romney, Crowley), CNN is so biased toward Obama that no one with a lick of sense would believe their poll. Watch Soledad OBrien in the morning and you will see Obama's #1 cheerleader. Whatever happened to objective journalism? Why is CNN openly supporting Obama?

    November 2, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. BO

    Good to know Obama is up big in Ohio and my vote isnt needed to make sure O stays in for another four years!...i was going to vote Tuesday but i'm going duck hunting instead! Have a good time weeping on Wednesday!

    November 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Wow

    Lol al gore had the popular vote and bush still became the president. Polls don't mean as much as the electoral college

    November 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Dave

    Nice school you got there, Hunter. Keep it classy!

    November 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. bill pike

    CNN is a bunch of cowards who will not report LIbya-thank God we had real reporters when Nixon covered up watergate. Do what? How many died at watergate? NO ONE> Not supporting our troops and then the cover up is grounds for IMPEACHMENT-start seeking the truth CNN and see who leads every state.
    signed: bill pike, vets for Romney

    November 2, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. frogman

    How funny...Rasmussen just reported the opposite....these polls are a joke...

    November 2, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. babak

    With obama more American will loose thier job!

    November 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. bill pike

    and again today CNN reported what about Libya? the cover up? you guys make me sick.

    signed: bill pike, vets for Romney

    November 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Michael

    As a native Ohioan, I am embarressed that so many Ohioans would vote for a serial liar such as Romney.

    November 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Elizabeth

    The fact that the President has been polling at 50 percent or better in ohio in the most recent polls tell me that the President is going to win Ohio.

    November 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Congress Works For Us

    Where's the link to the poll itself? How many Democrats did you over-sample by this time?

    November 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Dennis

    Standing with Republicans is like Standing with the Flat Earth Society.

    November 2, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Petra

    Again and again, when you listen, see and research the candidates-President Obama has better plan to move America in a forward direction.
    The jobs market shows that we are creating more jobs. Each month, more jobs are created. Despite the GOP not working on creating even more jobs. President Obama 2nd term, you will even see more jobs being created.
    Listen, to be quite honest-I know that some people refuse to vote for President Obama because he is seen as Black. Remember he is 50%white, so don't feel to bad or unsettle because he is also part of your race (his mother a 100% Kansan White women).
    Some people want to vote for Romney because of what! He is white and does not necessary have the interest of all 100% of Americans. Romney by his own admission believes in only 53% of American. How can such a man represent all American. Despite the lies he love to tell and keep flip flopping and telling his constuents what he thinks they need to hear is just wrong. We are not back in the years of slavery-stop your nasty way of thinking-this is not a way to move this country forward-You know who you are!
    THERE ARE MILLIONS OF DECENT WHITE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT and we as American respect them! But again, I hear some saying they will not vote for the president because of .... that is wrong!
    President Obama is the only one to continue moving America. The American economy is stronger than it was 4 years ago, more jobs have been created than 4 years ago; why stop now! let us keep moving forward.
    Remember that Mit Romney has only provided 1 year of his tax return-no one jealous of his wealth. For a candidate running for the highest office in this land to hide his money in Swiss and Cayman islands account is just wrong. Mit Romney does not believe in America and the laws and banking systems. Mit Romney Lied under oath when providing testimony for this Staples buddy's divorce case-shameful!! Mit should be indicted for providing false statement under oath!! Mit Romney wanted to break down FEMA- he said let the States be responsible and even the private section-where would those victims of NY, NJ, PA and other states victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters be if they have to way on the states to decides, especially when some states would favor certain groups over the next. THESE are what American do not need and this is only a few reason of the many why Mit Romney and Paul Ryan is wrong for America. 4 more years to President Obama and Joe Biden!!! We are continuing to more forward!! Please Mit go sit in a corner!!

    November 2, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Heard from behind closed doors at the Mittens campaign: "GOD D-MANIT!!!! We should have been trying to suppress women's votes, not minority votes!!!"

    November 2, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. wes

    benghazi is only on fox news for a reason. It is an imaginary conspiracy for right wingnuts. Washington post reported today that the CIA acted immediately in sending in support for the mission. I am not even sure what you fox "news" people are doing on here... oh ya they disabled comments because they dont want everyone to realize what nut jobs are supporting their political evangilizm masked as news. Canada has banned fox becuase it is not news. Time for the US to force them to be labled as the politics they are.

    November 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Janine Turner

    So interesting sublties from CNN. It's very suble, but notice how on the My Vison for America pieces, the photos of Obama and Romney. Romney's is photographed with lighting from above, causing shadows on his face and a hooded appearance to his eyes, whereas Obama's is photographed with lighting from below, causing no shadows, and an enlightened appearance, looking outward i and upward instead of downward. The subtle message, Romney is looking down on the reader, whereas Obama is looking out toward the horizon and I suppose that we are supposed to want to look to the horizon with him.

    November 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. I Voted Early In NC

    I guess you Romney supporters are living in fantasy land. Romney has yet to lead in any of the battleground states. In our state early voting is not looking good for Romney because Republicans are not voting early percentage wise to Democrats. Only 30% of Republicans have voted, 57% of democrats have voted. As of yesterday over 2 million people have early voted. We have Liberterians and Independents representing the other 13%. I don't think Romney will win NC.

    November 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. The Situation


    Sure. Name a CNN poll in which Romney has been shown to be ahead. There aren't any. Notice any real CNN coverage of the murders of our consular staff in Benghazi? There is none. CNN is so obviously in the tank for Obama that it will say ANYTHING to get this guy re-elected o rnot do its job to get this guy re-elected. Romney is tied or leading in Ohio, leading in Florida, leading in North Carolina, leading in Virginia, tied in Iowa, leading in New Hampshire, leading in Colorado, leading in Missouri, ahead in the national popular vote and leads in the early voting in Pennsylvania. Why do you think Biden was shipped off to that state, one once solidly blue? The Dems are running scared. But now there are reports of Dem cheating at the polls – Romney voters are being told that they voted for Obama(!) when touch-screen voting machines are used. Now the feds are involved. Ah, another typical Dem ploy to steal votes. Anyone see this story on CNN? Thought so.

    November 2, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |

    Actually, go ahead and name any poll from Ohio that had Romney ahead in the past 3 weeks. According to RCP none and don't even bother including Ramussen. Everyone know they lean toward the right anyways.

    NBC Wall Street/Marist Poll comes out later this evening and a Ohio Newspaper poll comes out on Sunday. If those 2 polls show the same results that Obama is winning, Mitts is done and so is his bid for the White House!

    November 2, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. ed

    time for Mitt and the stepford wife to go back to Utah

    November 2, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Matt

    Close elections are also ripe for fraud, as we're already seeing in Ohio. Numerous complaints that votes for Romney registered by the computer as votes for Obama.

    November 2, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. tuckermom

    Y'all should just not bother coming out then Nov.6, since your boy Obama has it in the bag!
    Translation: you're kidding one else is fooled.

    November 2, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Jharris

    The same people that argue that CNN polls are biased and bad wouldn't saying a doggone thing if it showed the person they want ahead in the polls. Ok, fine if you say CNN is left leaning, but Rasmussen is right leaning.

    November 2, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. us_1776

    Ohio knows who buttered their bread.

    It was Obama and his baililng out the US auto industry.

    Mittens just ships jobs to China and then doesn't want to talk about it.


    November 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. curt

    id like to see the percentage of dems to republicans that were polled. i do think cnn is pretty much in the tank for obama tho. i have lost total trust in our meda sources.

    November 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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