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. Jerome

    The auto industry was saved in Ohio. The economy is strong and thriving in Ohio. Obama has 50% to 51% of the projected voters in Ohio. These are the facts. Ohioans know the score. I am encouraged and hopeful that our President will carry this great State. Do not be misled, the democrats are excited about this election and we will rally behind our commander-in-chief.

    Obama/Biden 2012! FORWARD

    November 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. shane 0401

    obama will win

    November 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Curry B Taylor

    How about including the candidate for the 3rd largest party in the USA, Gary Johnson, in a poll for once, CNN?

    November 2, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Petra

    For those of the above comments, when Romney is up in a particular poll-you tend to believe that now the President is up the poll is not accurate!
    For those of you who want to see President Obama for 4 more years moving this country forward, please go and Vote early or on Election Day!!
    For those of you who don't like CNN-go and sit in a corner. Why are you commenting on this CNN site. Go sit in a corner with Mit Romney!!

    November 2, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Mark

    Yes all you Republicans everything is a conspiracy. The liberal media, a myth. The #1 news organization Fox and there bias is not even bias, it is full of out an out lies and distortions.

    Right down to the hosts pretending to be common folk, simple people. I remember the blonde fool on fox and friends looking up the word ignoramus in the dictionary for some jab at a democrat, she is a Harvard grad.

    As for the polls, prior to polling newspapers used to depend on bookies, and bookies then and in the past 15 years ( since online bookies) have gotten every election bang on.

    Here comes the bad news, Obama is -340, and moving 40 points a day.

    Translation , it's all over for mittens but the crying.

    I guess a billion does not buy what it used to.

    And I have to congratulate the American people for not falling for the lies in the conservative mainstream media.

    Yes mainstream, Fox always says the mainstream media, referring to others, they are #1, so they are the mainstream.

    Sorry Fox, it's all over.

    And in another 4 years with changing demographics , the republicans will have to move to the center.

    What a kick the $%^, all that work for not. All those lies, all that work and mittens and his magic underoohs, get boned.

    November 2, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. The Situation


    On Thursday, just five days before the national election, Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney receiving support from 49% of the nation’s voters to Obama’s 47% for the third day in a row. One percent of those responding to the poll is currently favoring another candidate while 3% are undecided as to who they will support on Election Day.

    November 2, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |

    Newflash son, your precious Rasmussen has the race dead even at 48 today!

    November 2, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. RoryM

    From wikipedia:
    Use of paid actors posing as callers

    Clear Channel, through its subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, auditions and hires actors to call in to talk radio shows and pose as listeners in order to provide shows, carried by Clear Channel and other broadcasters, with planned content in the form of stories and opinions. The custom caller service provided by Premiere Radio assures its clients they won't hear the same actor's voice for at least two months in order to appear authentic to listeners who might otherwise catch on.

    So you can stop believing all the crap spewing from Rush, Hannity and Beck's callers too.

    November 2, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. judith

    I'm so proud that it's women who are going to reelect President Obama. Frankly, I don't know any women among my friends and family who doesn't support the President. The Republicans are bad for women, and most women are smart enough to realize it.

    November 2, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. The Situation

    How funny is it to see all the rethugs posters here whinning and crying about CNN Poll, this Poll, that Poll is fake! Yeah, when it was going Mitts way it was believable but now Mitts is losing, to which he has never been up in Ohio, not including foolish Rasmussen, since the 2nd week of October shortly after the 1st debate when both Gravis and ARG gave him both 1% advantage.

    Keep crying because you will be needing alot more tissue come Tuesday Night!

    November 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Independent Voter

    Obama will win Ohio and be re-elected....
    I don't see any reason that Romney wins..

    November 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. The Situation

    BTW, Rethugs, Obama approval rating in OHIO is near 50%. Choking on that!

    November 2, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. John

    Romney is getting dirty in Ohio!!..Desperate in Ohio by Mitt Romney!..Jeep to china lie will put the final nail in the Romney Campaign!! Bush playbook. When you need votes just scare people. Enough is Enough!

    November 2, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. patient1

    hmm too bad the exit polls for early voting are not exactly reflecting these poll numbers.... I believe the actual exit polls for ohio are 34 dem 28 repub 38 indy. yet according to cnn 63 percent of the early voters have cast their vote for the president therefor ethey are asking us to believe that 76%of independants have cast their early cotes for obama. CNN is sampling too many democrats as are NBC/NYT and CBS/WP. Come on guys we know you want obama to win but do you have any sense of integrity? (probably a stupid question)

    November 2, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Phil Thomas

    talk about an uninformed electorate, heal from the last four years ? are you kidding me, we’ve been healing from decisions made by Bush/Chaney slowly look at the job numbers, death tolls from the wars, the collapse of the auto industry, financial, housing sector. The audacity of you idiots that watch fox news and then expect the Media to perpetuate their lies, the media is not biased. CNN sure as heck is not on the Obama band wagon, they just do their job. Sorry your party picked a liar the nation does not want in the oval office. Hopefully they do a better job of vetting the candidate in 2016, and you make it clear to your party you don’t want Millionaire’s to buy candidates. The RNC trolls its so easy to tell when they take over a thread, always the same uninformed idiotic comments and mad the misinformation they feed on is not being spread like zombies

    November 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. The REAL TRUTH...

    @Dan Jackson Sr. – Why is CNN openly supporting Obama?
    You must not come here much.. if you had done so lately – or for about the last year (or so), CNN has been propping up the R&R campaign for some time with its own polls and aggregated polls and a LOT or Romney coverage. That's hardly open support of Obama.

    November 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Russell

    Why is it that when I visit over 20 news sites a day, I get to CNN and they always seem to have some abstract foreign matter story as their headline? Yesterday it was about China's election,and the other day it was about Syrian refugees, then nutrition? Now don't get me wrong, it was all news worthy stuff, but nary is there a word of any domestic current news, unless it involves one of their shabby BO polls. CNN exudes an anemic tone and lacks solid stories reporting current events, policy/political trends, or any relevant subject matter. I feel like I went back in time 25 years when I read the content on this website. That being said, nothing stated in this poll makes a lick of difference. You will likely see after the election a host of polling firms fired for negligence and propoganda spewing. The whole media is on trial right now for bias, propoganda, tampering, and flat out lying to the American electorate about what is happening with this election and this disgraced president. Don't be surprised if in the next few years you see CNN and MSNBC drop off the radar and cease to exist. Americans have had it with the corrupt media.

    November 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. mike271828

    In Romney’s world, it hums
    For those with incredible sums.

    The rest are defined
    In his plutocrat mind

    As pikers, parasites and bums.

    November 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. RoryM

    Use of paid actors posing as callers

    Clear Channel, through its subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, auditions and hires actors to call in to talk radio shows and pose as
    listeners in order to provide shows, carried by Clear Channel and other
    broadcasters, with planned content in the form of stories and opinions.
    The custom caller service provided by Premiere Radio assures its clients
    they won't hear the same actor's voice for at least two months in order
    to appear authentic to listeners who might otherwise catch on.

    So you can stop believing everything spewing from Rush, Hannity and Beck's callers too.

    November 2, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. andrew

    It's so funny when these polls show Romney losing, GOP is so quick to say how inaccurate the polling is, but then brag about the same polling in Florida, where Romney is up by even less than Obama is in Ohio. GOPocracy.

    November 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. ex-Republican-20814

    By blocking compromise and blocking substantial cuts offered by Obama, in order to hurt Obama's changes at reelection, today's Republicans have showed they put their personal interests above that of the country and its citizens - despite their oath of office. That is close to treason.

    November 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    Right now, I'm just taking all poll numbers in stride because NOTHING matters exceptTuesday.

    Lately, when I'm watching MSNBC and they show Willard, I just mute my television until he and his overdressed wife disappear. For me, Tuesday can't come soon enough, so I can FINALLY show the Romney's what I REALLY think of them and their lies.

    Go Mr. President!

    November 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. rs

    truth hurts-
    And which party again has been trying to restrict Americans voting rights?

    November 2, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Amanda Wolf

    I think many moderate "republicans" and centrist Independents will hear the voice of their conscience and vote for President Obama 🙂 AND IF RALPH NADER IS A REAL ENVIRONMENTALIST, HE WILL GIVE HIS VOTES FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA, NOT TO AN ENEMY OF NATURE LIKE REPUBLICAN ROMNEY AND HIS ALTER EGO,, RYAN.


    November 2, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Get used to hearing the following from the GOP/Teatrolls: "We swear...nothing untoward happened at the's just that all of the polling was wrong all along."

    November 2, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. crp

    The people of Ohio have the Speaker of the House sitting in Washington. I do mean sitting because he did very little for the people of his state or people in the country. He just said no to everything that the President suggested and then would not compromise or even try to work together. WE paid for his office staff, we paid his salary, his health care insurance, and his trips home, we paid for his office which is very plush, we paid for his meeting space, we paid for the staff attached to the Speaker's office, and whatever else. Did he earn this money? Did he fight for the people of Ohio? Did he push his party to work with those across the aisle for the good of the American people?

    If you are in the 47% then Mr. Romney and Mr. Boehner will not be on your side. The money spent by Republican PACS was influential. People who gave millions want something in return. Believe me that does not include bringing jobs back from overseas because their profits will be less.

    November 2, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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