The Washington Post

Obama holds slight lead over Romney among likely voters in Ohio, CNN poll shows

President Obama holds a slight four-point lead over Mitt Romney among those likeliest to vote in the crucial swing state of Ohio, a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday shows -- an advantage that is slimmer than polls showed the incumbent holding in the Buckeye State before last week’s debate.

Obama leads Romney 51 percent to 47 percent in the poll of likely voters, with one-in-eight saying they could change their mind before Election Day. Among registered voters, Obama's lead is 10 points, 53 percent to 43 percent. Obama holds a wide advantage among women (60-38) while Romney leads comfortably among men (56-42). Independents are evenly divided, with 50 percent going for Obama and 46 percent choosing Romney.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll conducted several days before last Wednesday's debate showed Obama leading Romney in Ohio 51 percent to 43 percent. (NBC/Marist/WSJ is set to release more polling in Ohio -- as well as Virginia and Florida -- Thursday morning.) Late September polls from the Washington Post and the Columbus Dispatch showed Obama leading by comparable margins in the Buckeye State.

The Ohio poll is among the first live-caller, non-partisan surveys of a swing-state to be released in the aftermath of last week’s debate, which was widely viewed as a victory for Romney. The poll was conducted Friday through Monday. 

In national surveys, Romney also appears to have enjoyed a post-debate bump. A Pew Research Center poll released Monday showed Romney jumping out to a four-point lead among likely voters after trailing Obama by eight points in mid-September and Gallup's lastest tracking poll puts the race at Romney 49 percent Obama 47 percent among likely voters.

No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio, a prize which brings with it 18 electoral votes this year. Both Obama and Romney are in the state on Tuesday – the deadline to register to vote there. Romney is enlisting the help of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will stump with him in the state on Wednesday as well.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Democrats debated Thursday night. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Chris Cillizza on the Democratic debate...
On Clinton: She poked a series of holes in Sanders's health-care proposal and broadly cast him as someone who talks a big game but simply can't hope to achieve his goals.

On Sanders: If the challenge was to show that he could be a candidate for people other than those who already love him, he didn't make much progress toward that goal. But he did come across as more well-versed on foreign policy than in debates past.
The PBS debate in 3 minutes
We are in vigorous agreement here.
Hillary Clinton, during the PBS Democratic debate, a night in which she and Sanders shared many of the same positions on issues
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.