Poll: Romney, Obama in dead heat at 49-49

Voters are evenly split between President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney on the eve of Election Day, according to a new poll from CNN/ORC International.

The poll finds that 49 percent of likely voters support the president, with 49 percent backing Romney. The president posts a wider lead among registered voters, at 50-48.

Ninety-six percent of likely voters say their mind is made up, with 4 percent saying they might change their mind before casting a ballot. 

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The CNN/ORC poll is the latest in a number of weekend polls to show the candidates in a dead heat. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll Sunday showed Obama up 1 point, at 48-47, with an ABC/Washington Post poll giving him a 49-48 edge. A Pew Research survey gave Obama a wider lead at 50-47, but that was within the poll’s margin of error.

A USA Today/Gallup battleground survey also showed voters in swing states split 48-48 between the two candidates.

Both candidates are making a final blitz Monday in key swing states to shore up support, and many state polls suggest both candidates are in striking distance in the battlegrounds that will likely decide the contest.


The CNN/ORC poll finds Obama has a net positive favorability rating, 52 percent favorable, 46 unfavorable, with Romney also in positive territory at 51-45. 

The Democratic Party, though, bests the GOP on favorability ratings, with 52 percent saying they have a favorable view of the party to 45 percent unfavorable. Republicans are under water with a 47-49 split.

The president also holds a positive job approval figure, with 51 percent approval to 45 disapproval. 

Congress scores a 17-74 disapproval rating, with Republican leaders in Congress at 28 percent approval, 66 percent disapproval. Democratic leaders in Congress receive a negative 37-59 rating from voters.

Obama also holds a slight edge on leadership, with voters agreeing he has the qualities a president needs by 56-44, compared to 55-45 for Romney. 

At 44 percent, voters said a candidate’s leadership and vision were most important to them when deciding whom to back. Forty-one percent said a candidate’s stand on the issues was paramount, with 14 percent saying the qualities were equally important.

CNN’s final survey of the election season also finds the largest gender gap in its polls since 1996, with 53 percent of women backing Obama to only 44 percent of men.

Voters continue to give Romney the edge on the economy, which 61 percent say is important to their vote.

Forty-three percent of likely voters said the economy would get better only if Romney is elected, to 34 percent who forecast improvement only with an Obama reelection. Thirteen percent saw improvement regardless of who is elected, with 5 percent saying the economy would not improve.

But voters also believe Romney has a tougher path to the presidency, with 57 percent saying they believe Obama would win, to 36 percent for Romney.

Registered voters from both parties, though, are eager to vote in the presidential race, with 87 percent of Democrats saying they are enthusiastic against 11 percent who were not enthusiastic. Eighty-seven percent of registered GOP voters express similar enthusiasm, to 13 percent who are not enthusiastic about their vote.

The poll, which was conducted from Nov. 2-4, has a 3-point margin of error.