Obama Getting Apparent Convention Bounce In Ohio

I noted almost two weeks ago that Ohio was shaping up to be the state that may decide who wins the election in November. Based on the first post-convention poll coming out of the Buckeye State, then, the Romney campaign should be concerned:

PPP’s first post-conventions poll in Ohio finds Barack Obama with a 5 point lead over Mitt Romney, 50-45. This is the largest lead PPP has found for Obama in an Ohio poll since early May. Last month Obama led 48-45.

Both candidates have seen their images improve with Ohio voters in the wake of the conventions. Obama now breaks even in his approval rating at 48%, after being under water with 46% of voters approving and 51% disapproving of him a month ago. Romney’s numbers are up from a 41/52 favorability rating a month ago as well, but he still remains unpopular. Only 44% see him favorably to 49% with a negative opinion.

Romney actually leads 46-44 with independents but Obama has the overall advantage thanks to a more unified party base. He leads 86/11 with Democrats, compared to Romney’s 83/13 advantage with Republicans. Obama’s 75 point lead within his own party is up from 70 points a month ago, suggesting that his party has coalesced around him a little bit more in the wake of a successful convention. By a 47/35 margin Ohio voters say they think the Democrats had a better convention than the Republicans.

Obama’s leading in Ohio because he’s not as weak there with some large voter blocs as he is in other states. He trails only 48-46 with men and 50-46 with whites, and actually leads 49-47 with seniors. His performance with those groups is far better than it is nationally- Romney would need much wider leads with them if he was going to take Ohio.

It also appears that Ohio voters are giving Obama high marks coming out of the convention:

Despite chatter that Obama’s convention speech was not up to his normal standards Ohio voters still say by a 60-31 margin that Obama gives better speeches than Romney. His position in the state may also be helped by the fact that the folks who gave the major convention speeches Tuesday night are more popular than he is: Bill Clinton has a 57/34 favorability rating and Michelle Obama’s is 57/35. Romney’s wife is an asset for him too- 54% of voters see Ann Romney favorably with 28% holding an unfavorable opinion. But Mrs. Obama wins out in the more popular wife category by a 49/41 margin.

Republicans tend to dismiss PPP as a “Democratic” polling firm, however it has tended to be fairly accurate in recent years, more so that Rasmussen has in any case. In this specific poll, it’s worth noting that the D/R/I breakdown in the poll seems to be fairly reasonable, with only a slight +4 Democratic advantage in that area, which is actually less than the Democratic advantage in the actual 2008 Exit Polls. So, it strikes me as hard for the poll to be dismissed as mere “bias.”  Of course, that doesn’t mean that the poll itself is an accurate measure of the race, we’ll have to wait for other in-state polling to see if that’s the case. For what it’s worth, though, Politico’s Jim Vandehei said that he’s heard from advisers close to the Romney campaign has actually shown Obama’s lead in Ohio larger than 5 points in recent weeks in the campaign’s internal polling.

It’s worth noting that, more than almost any other state, Ohio is the state that has been flooded since the beginning of the summer with a whole host of anti-Romney ads by pro-Obama SuperPACs, most of them focusing on Romney’s time at Bain Capital. The impact of those ads can be seen most clearly in his likability numbers, which are still upside down. Is it possible for Romney to turn the tide here? Sure it is, but it’s not going to be easy, and his best shot to start doing so was at the convention, which is now behind him.

As of now, the RCP Average stands at a +2.2 advantage for the President, which is a far cry from the statistical tie we saw only two weeks ago. If this continues,  then Romney’s path to victory becomes even narrower and more unlikely.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    It looks like the convention helped Obama in the fundraising department as well: http://seattletimes.com/html/politics/2019112762_apuscampaignfundraising.html

    This still won’t make up for the fundraising advantage Republican super pacs have over Democratic ones, but it certainly helps the Obama campaign expand their fight.

  2. superdestroyer says:

    Considering the election will be in 60 days, it will be very hard to wonks and pundit wannabes to keep themselves interested in an election is already over.

    What is odd is that the real issue in 2012 is whether the Democratic Party will retake the U.S. House. But it seems that no pundit or wonk wants to think about Nancy Pelosi returning as Speaker in the House and what such a return would mean to policy and governance.

    My guess most bloggers would rather write about Sarah Palin and other totally irrelevant Republicans instead of finally admitting that the Republican Party is in full collapse and the Democratic Party is fully on its way to being the one relevant political party in the U.S.

  3. Anderson says:

    it will be very hard to wonks and pundit wannabes to keep themselves interested in an election is already over.

    I dearly hope no one on Obama’s team thinks this election “is already over.”

  4. Stonetools says:

    So, Doug, the Democratic convention was good for something?

  5. Jr says:

    Obama could be up 8-9 points if the sampling is closer to 2008 turnout.

  6. swearyanthony says:

    I for one am stunned that an old man arguing with a chair wasn’t a guaranteed vote winner for Romney.

  7. Abby says:

    This is from an article I’ve tried to link too- but it’s keeps getting marked as spam…so heres the important breakdown from it.

    “…..they need then is a public poll to come out favorably for them to shift that reality. Make people think Obama is doing better than he is, and people want to be part of the winning team. That is a fundamental part of politics. There are groups of voters who will vote for the candidate they think is going to win. That may sound crazy, dumb, whatever, but that’s a certain segment of voters. They aren’t bright. They just want to be on the winning team. In a close election, that segment can be the difference between winning and losing for a campaign. ”

    Then it goes on to break the polls down:

    “….You see, that PP poll was taken from a +4 Democrat sample. Right there the poll is hurting credibility wise. But dig a little deeper. That poll was also +9 for women sampled. That’s a huge gap for Ohio. +9 women polled over men? Cross check that data. You realize in Ohio women make up 51.2% of the population. This PP poll tries to alter that # so that it reflects women make up nearly 60% of Ohio population. Which is way off and totally breaks apart the poll’s credibility.” ….” In the poll 5% of voters indicated they were still undecided. Pretty big # this late in the game in a state that has been hammered by advertising and political appearances from both campaigns but especially the Obama team.”

    Google Ulterman Report and get the inside scoop.

  8. The moral godless says:

    It’s a fishy poll.

    This poll oversampled Democrats and WAYYYYY oversampled women (+9)

    Women make up 51% of Ohio’s population not 60%.

    As poster above referenced, google Ulsterman Report for the lowdown on this one.