Obama Still Holding On In Ohio

Mitt Romney has managed to cut significantly into the President’s lead in the polls in several important swing states, including most significantly Florida and Virginia, but the President seems to be managing to maintain his lead in the Buckeye State: 

PPP’s newest Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading 51-46, a 5 point lead not too different from our last poll two weeks ago when he led 49-45.

The key finding on this poll may be how the early voters are breaking out. 19% of people say they’ve already cast their ballots and they report having voted for Obama by a 76-24 margin. Romney has a 51-45 advantage with those who haven’t voted yet, but the numbers make it clear that he already has a lot of ground to make up in the final three weeks before the election.

We’ve found a major improvement in Mitt Romney’s image in most of the states that we’ve polled since the Presidential debate, but Ohio is an exception. His favorability now is a 45/51 spread, showing no improvement from his 45/49 breakdown two weeks ago. Obama meanwhile has seen a small spike in his approval rating, from 48/49 to 50/48.

The Vice Presidential debate may have given Obama at least a small boost as well. 46% of Ohio voters think Joe Biden won it to 37% who believe Paul Ryan was the victor. Biden’s advantage is 44/32 with independents. 62% of both Democrats and Republicans say they’re ‘very excited’ to vote this fall, reversing a trend we saw in some post-Presidential debate polling of GOP voters expressing more enthusiasm about the election this year.

One thing clear from our poll: Republican efforts to make a big deal out of Libya aren’t succeeding. By a 51/43 margin, voters trust Obama more than Romney on dealing with that issue. Obama also has a 51/46 advantage on dealing with the economy that mirrors his overall lead.

One reason Romney might be struggling to get traction in Ohio even as he surges elsewhere is his record on the auto bailout. Voters in the state support it by a 54/37 margin, including 58/35 with independents. They think Obama would be better than Romney for the auto industry 50/43, and 79% of voters consider it to be an important issue including 42% who say it’s ‘very important.’

The early voting number mirrors what was reported by last week’s NBC News/Marist poll and, if it’s even close to accurate, it may be the thing that makes winning Ohio an impossible goal for Romney this year. Four years ago, the Obama campaign’s ground operation won the early voting phase in several states, including Ohio, and they appear to be doing it yet again.

As for Ohio itself, the RCP average shows Obama with a 1.7 point lead. That’s below where it was before the October 3rd debate, but it seems to indicate that there’s a level of support for the President here that makes it difficult for Mitt Romney to break through.If that continues, then that’s 18 Electoral Votes that the Republicans will have to try to find elsewhere.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. jukeboxgrad says:

    then that’s 18 Electoral Votes that the Republicans will have to try to find elsewhere

    The easiest path for Obama is probably WI, IA and OH (and of course PA and MI). That means he wins (271-267) even if Mitt gets FL, VA, CO, NH and NV (and of course NC).

    Of those states that Obama needs, Mitt has never had a lead (or even a tie) in the RCP average. Of those states that Mitt needs, he currently trails in the RCP average in VA, NH and NV. In VA, the last time he had an RCP lead was January. In NH, the last time he had an RCP lead was February. In NV, he has never had an RCP lead.

    So it still looks like an uphill battle for Mitt. To win he has to pull ahead in several states where he is currently behind, and has been behind for a long time.

  2. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Mitt Romney has managed to cut significantly into the President’s lead in the polls in several important swing states, including most significantly Florida and Virginia, but the President seems to be managing to maintain his lead in the Buckeye State:

    PPP’s newest Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading 51-46, a 5 point lead not too different from our last poll two weeks ago when he led 49-45.”

    Ahhhh, Just what the doctor ordered: A PPP poll on OH at a time when the Obama campaign seems to be bumbling itself into oblivion. After this blog suggested for weeks that Obama had this election in the bag, in the midst of a campaign that apepars to be floundering due in part to mishandling of Libya etc, along comes DailyKOS’ pollster to save the day so that Doug M and OTB can keep their “Obama has it in the bag” meme from not that long ago from collapsing altogether.

    PPP and OTB would have us believe that while Romney is surging in FLA, VA & NC, and takes the lead, albeit narrowly, in the most recent CO, NV, NH polls, that Obama is running away in OH. Quick, what’s the partisan breakdown in this poll: Dem 50%, Rep 20%, Ind 30%??? Do you care what the partisan breakdown is and, most important, would you care enough to share the partisan breakdown with your readers so they can make their own assessments regarding the credibility of this poll – especially given the fact that GOP enthusiasm has surged in OH as Romney drew 40,000 – 50,000 in total in a few rallies in OH last week.

    Look at the bright side: For the first time in a weeks, you have a post that will excite and animate the OTB community, namely the left wing members that own this blog nowadays.

  3. jukeboxgrad says:

    and takes the lead, albeit narrowly, in the most recent CO, NV, NH polls

    The last time Mitt showed a lead in any NV poll was April (link). On what planet is it the case that Mitt “takes the lead” in NV?

    There is only one poll (ARG) which shows a lead for Mitt in NH (link). Rasmussen calls it a tie. The RCP average shows Mitt behind in NH.

    Inventing your own facts and ignoring all the polls you don’t like is a good way to get a result that will make you feel good.

  4. jukeboxgrad says:

    Ahhhh, Just what the doctor ordered: A PPP poll on OH at a time when the Obama campaign seems to be bumbling itself into oblivion.

    Here is what Rasmussen says about OH, on the following dates:

    10/10 Obama +1
    10/4 Obama +1
    9/12 Obama +1

    It’s not just PPP that says Obama is not falling in OH. That’s also what Rasmussen says. You need to ask Rasmussen to explain why their OH results do not reflect your claim that “the Obama campaign seems to be bumbling itself into oblivion.”

  5. Eric Florack says:

    Perhaps you need to update yourself before writng these Obama cheer leading headlines. Example.

    President Obama and Mitt Romney descended on the key swing state of Ohio on Tuesday, facing an election turned upside down.

    A new Gallup poll showed Romney pulling into the lead, energizing Republicans and demoralizing Democrats — a dramatic reversal of fortunes following Obama’s disastrous debate last week.

  6. That’s not a poll of Ohio, and it’s from almost a week ago

  7. mattb says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Actually that final Rassmussen Ohio poll was released this past Thursday:
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/ohio/election_2012_ohio_president

    The result is still Obama +1

    @Doug Mataconis, you’re saying that Eric is characterizing the material he links to? I’m shocked. Next he’ll cite Dick Morris as a reliable source.

  8. Smooth Jazz says:

    “It’s not just PPP that says Obama is not falling in OH. That’s also what Rasmussen says. You need to ask Rasmussen to explain why their OH results do not reflect your claim that “the Obama campaign seems to be bumbling itself into oblivion.”

    LMAO, You’re comparing a 5% – 6% lead from PPP with a 1% lead from Rasmussen that can be made up in a flash when Romney is surging nationally. Also, ARG had Romney up 1 at least check. My point is DailyKOS/PPP is hosing the sample to get a 5% lead for Obama – during a week when enthusiasm surged for Romney with 10,000+ crowds at his OH events in recent days. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again: If Romney is leading by 2pts nationally, as the 2 big national trackers suggest, Obama isn’t leading OH by 5. That’s just pure propaganda from PPP.

  9. mattb says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    If Romney is leading by 2pts nationally, as the 2 big national trackers suggest, Obama isn’t leading OH by 5. That’s just pure propaganda from PPP.

    Fair, however the steadiness of 1% lead that Rasmussen has been reporting suggests that Obama has at least a 1% lead in Ohio. In other words, that cannot be dismissed as a margin-of-error issue when it holds steady.

    Obama may not be running away with Ohio, but Rasmussen’s data strongly suggests it’s still his race to lose. And given that early voting has begun there, every day that Obama remains ahead is a further threat to a Romney win in November.

  10. Eric Florack says:

    @Doug Mataconis: so the report quoted is an accurate? it says Ohio.

  11. Mr Replica says:

    @Eric Florack:

    It says Ohio because the article is talking about what state the campaigns are focusing on.
    In the link you offered it says this:

    President Obama and Mitt Romney descended on the key swing state of Ohio on Tuesday, facing an election turned upside down.

    A new Gallup poll showed Romney pulling into the lead, energizing Republicans and demoralizing Democrats — a dramatic reversal of fortunes following Obama’s disastrous debate last week.

    The shifting landscape raised the stakes for Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, leaving Democrats suddenly hoping Vice President Biden can turn things around.

    Obama and Romney stumped in Ohio with just 28 days until the election, the final day for residents there to sign up to vote.

    The way the article is written it can be misconstrued that the Gallup poll is talking about Ohio, but, it’s not.

    From Gallup’s website. I see no mention of Ohio.

    Romney 49%, Obama 47% Among Likely Voters
    Registered voter trend suggests Obama is recovering from post-debate drop
    by Frank Newport

    PRINCETON, NJ — Mitt Romney holds a slight edge over Barack Obama — 49% to 47% — in Gallup’s initial “likely voter” estimate, encompassing interviews from Oct. 2-8. Preferences tilt the opposite way among registered voters, 49% vs. 46% in Obama’s favor.

    Presidential Preferences of Registered Voters and Likely Voters, October 2012
    Neither result provides a candidate with a statistically significant lead, but together they do underscore the competitive nature of the election and indicate that Romney at this point benefits from turnout patterns, given the five-point swing in his favor when the transition is made from registered voters to likely voters.

    As is almost always the case in recent elections, likely voters at this point are more likely to support the Republican candidate than are all registered voters. Gallup’s estimate of the vote choices of likely voters shows that Romney gains three percentage points among likely voters compared with the total registered voter pool, and Obama loses two points.

    The calculation of likely voters is based on registered voters’ responses to a seven-question series that — with some revisions along the way — Gallup has used since 1952 to calculate voters’ likelihood of voting. In some years, such as 2008, there was only a marginal difference between the vote choices of registered voters and likely voters. In others, such as 1996, there was a much more substantial difference.

    At this point, Romney voters are somewhat more likely to respond that they will definitely vote, that they have thought a lot about the election, and that they are more familiar with where people in their local area vote. These attitudes indicate that Romney at this juncture will benefit from higher turnout on Election Day among his supporters than will Obama. These patterns could change closer to Election Day as more voters become engaged or if Republicans’ or Democrats’ enthusiasm for voting is altered by campaign events.

    Gallup started tracking likely voters’ preferences on Oct. 1 and will continue to report daily both registered voter and likely voter results in seven-day rolling averages leading up to the election.

    Obama Coming Back Among Registered Voters

    Obama’s slight 49% to 46% seven-day lead among registered voters is just about where it was in the seven days prior to the debate. This trend suggests that Romney’s impressive debate performance — 72% of debate watchers said he did the better job — may not have a lasting impact. Additionally, Friday’s generally positive jobs report from the government, showing that unemployment fell below 8% for the first time since January 2009, may have helped Obama’s standing.

    Although Gallup’s main focus is on seven-day rolling averages, a breakdown of interviewing over shorter periods can be helpful in understanding the short-term impact of events like conventions and debates. As Gallup reported Monday, Romney gained ground among registered voters in the immediate aftermath of his Oct. 3 debate, moving from a five-point deficit prior to the debate to a tie in the three days that immediately followed. Most of that gain was driven by substantial Romney leads in the Thursday and Friday tracking.

    Since Saturday, however, Obama has regained a 50% to 45% edge among registered voters in interviewing conducted Sunday and Monday — the same as his margin in the three days prior to the debate. Although these two days of interviewing involve relatively small sample sizes, they suggest that Romney’s debate “bounce” may be fading.

    Comparison of Registered Voters’ Presidential Preferences, Before and After First Presidential Debate

    Implications

    Several things are apparent from a careful analysis of Gallup Daily tracking of voters’ views of the election. First, the registered voter trends suggest that Romney’s initial gains from his strong performance in last week’s debate may be short-lived. Second, Gallup’s inaugural likely voter results suggest that Romney at this point appears to have a turnout advantage, meaning that Obama will need to develop a strong lead among all registered voters in order to be assured of winning the actual popular vote. All in all, if the election were held today, Gallup’s analysis suggests that the race would be too close to call.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/157955/romney-obama-among-likely-voters.aspx

  12. jukeboxgrad says:

    matt:

    Actually that final Rassmussen Ohio poll was released this past Thursday

    Yes, we’re talking about the same poll. It was done 10/10 and released 10/11. I used the former date, which is also how it’s listed at RCP.

  13. jukeboxgrad says:

    smooth:

    You’re comparing a 5% – 6% lead from PPP with a 1% lead from Rasmussen that can be made up in a flash when Romney is surging nationally.

    According to Rasmussen, Mitt is not “surging” in OH. He’s steady in OH, staying at the same level for weeks. As usual, you’re ignoring all inconvenient facts.

    Also still waiting for you to explain why you said this:

    and takes the lead, albeit narrowly, in the most recent CO, NV, NH polls

    Mitt is leading in this many NV polls: zero.

  14. Scott O says:

    @Eric Florack: If you just read down a bit further in your example it says this:

    ” Obama campaign officials said they were not worried about the President’s standing in the race.

    They could take solace in a new CNN survey, released Tuesday, of likely voters in Ohio. It found a tighter race — but Obama still leading in the Buckeye State, ahead 51%-47%.”

  15. Smooth Jazz says:

    “The early voting number mirrors what was reported by last week’s NBC News/Marist poll”

    And BTW, That OH early voting canard that you keep pushing from PPP and MSNBC/Marist is pure propaganda at this point. Below are some incovenient facts you may want to share with your readers. I’ll focus on CUYAHOGA county because that is the largest DEM county in OH, the county that Liberals need for Obama to winbig to compensate for all the Reps in other counties in the state who are fired up and ready to vote him out.

    1. TOTAL REGISTERED VOTERS in Cuyahoga County: 928,798, That is DOWN almost 200,000 from 2008 – Registration deadline has passed in OH so that number will not grow
    2. Of this total, 229,794 have requested absentee ballots. Of this total, 31,233 have returned them, 13% of the total requested. As other bloggers have been pointing out, that is a major red flag right there
    3. Even more significant, as of a few days ago, the OH Sec of Sate said 59,000 people have voted out of 8M OH registered voters and some subset Likely voters. How PPP & MSNBC/Marist can infer that 20% of OH has voted, naturally overwhelmingly for Obama, when the SOS says not even 60,000 have voted is beyond me. Here is the OH Sec of State press release from the other day:http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/mediaCenter/2012/2012-10-09-a.aspx

    This spreadsheet has a nice compilation of OH Dem & Rep absentee ballot requests versus 2008. As you can see, DEMs are way down versus 2008 and Reps are way up versus 2008:

    https://docs.google.com/a/salespad.net/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvEOdIaw0fPNdHVOZnFENDdDYVFTRi1UMlgxQ0F4OVE#gid=0

    If you continue to buy PPP’s spin without caveats and introspection, you guys are not going to come out of this looking good no matter how much you try to shill for Obama.

  16. David M says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    2. Of this total, 229,794 have requested absentee ballots. Of this total, 31,233 have returned them, 13% of the total requested. As other bloggers have been pointing out, that is a major red flag right there

    Major red flag unlikely, misunderstood or abused data set much more likely. If you compared the number of ballots returned on this date in 2008 and 2012 that might mean something, otherwise, not so much. Unless we know whether 13% is more or less than expected, it’s a meaningless statistic.

  17. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Do you care what the partisan breakdown is and, most important, would you care enough to share the partisan breakdown with your readers so they can make their own assessments regarding the credibility of this poll

    I think the partisan breakdown argument is a stupid one, but since you ask, this poll’s partisan ID is entirely plausible. In 2008, Ohio had D 39, R 31, Ind 30. This poll has D 40, R 36, Ind 24.

  18. KariQ says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    LMAO, You’re comparing a 5% – 6% lead from PPP with a 1% lead from Rasmussen that can be made up in a flash when Romney is surging nationally.

    Given the the 2008 results of PPP in Ohio compared to Rasmussen, if I was forced to rely only on one of them, I’d take PPP.

    In 2008, Rasmussen had the Ohio race tied at 49-49. PPP had Obama ahead by 2 50-48. The final result was Obama 51.5, McCain 46.9. I see no reason not to take PPP’s poll at least as seriously as Rasmussen.

    Since I don’t have to rely on just one poll, I go with pollster.com average which currently has Obama leading by about 2.5 points.

  19. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Major red flag unlikely, misunderstood or abused data set much more likely. If you compared the number of ballots returned on this date in 2008 and 2012 that might”

    The OTB poster backed up PPP’s canard suggesting 19% of Ohioans already voted, favoring Obama 3 X 1 which was backed up by MSNBC/Marist earlier. I posted 3 data points that suggested that was BS:

    1. The OH Sec of State stated only 60,000 people have voted as of a few days ago, out of a state with 8M registered voters and some millions likely voters. 60,000 divided by a few million barely gets to 1%
    2. Of the approx 230000 absentee ballots requested in the DEMS largest county in OH, approx 13% have returned them
    3. Dem early voting absentee ballot requests in OH is WAY down from 2008

    How PPP & MSNBC came up with 19% of OH already voted based on those data points is beyond me. Most likely, PPP is trying to buck up Liberals with bogus poll data and phony early voting numbers perhaps hoping that nobody checks their assumption – knowing full well that OTB and other Liberal blogs will publish their data without caveats.

  20. jukeboxgrad says:

    The OH Sec of State stated only 60,000 people have voted as of a few days ago

    That’s not exactly what he said. His carefully worded statement was this (link):

    More than 59,000 Ohioans have already voted in person across Ohio … more than 59,000 Ohio voters have already cast their ballots early at their local board of elections or designated absentee voting centers … 59,353 Ohioans have already cast an absentee ballot in person

    I highlighted some important words. In OH, there are two ways to return your absentee ballot: in person, and by mail. For some strange reason, Husted decided to make a statement about the former and not the latter. Maybe you should find out why. If you try really hard, you might be able to guess his motivation.

    By the way, also notice this:

    Information provided below is based on an informal survey of county boards of elections as of Friday, October 5, 2012

    That is now 10 days ago. Why hasn’t he made more current information available? And why did you describe 10/5 as “a few days ago?” 10 days ago is not “a few days ago.”

    The OTB poster backed up PPP’s canard suggesting 19% of Ohioans already voted

    This is what PPP said:

    19% of people say they’ve already cast their ballots

    If I have submitted my absentee ballot by mail, I will be part of that 19%, but I will not be part of Husted’s 59,353. Husted is specifically excluding ballots submitted by mail.

    If I am voting absentee, why would I bother submitting that ballot in person? Why not just mail it? Don’t you think most people would do the latter? What is the historical ratio? Let me know if you can find out.

    This is aside from the long gap between the two reports. Husted’s data is from 10/5, and PPP collected their data on 10/12 and 10/13. A lot of people probably voted during that interval.

    Most likely, PPP is trying to buck up Liberals with bogus poll data and phony early voting numbers

    The one presenting “bogus” and “phony” data is you. You’re presenting Husted’s number (59,353) as if it’s current and comprehensive, when in fact it is neither. The number is from 10 days ago, and it specifically excludes ballots submitted by mail. This is important because the number of ballots submitted by mail probably exceeds, by a large margin, ballots submitted in person.

    And speaking of “phony” data, I’m still waiting for you to explain why you said Mitt is leading in NV. There are zero polls supporting this claim you made.

    Only a fool would take any of your claims seriously, because they fall apart upon examination.

  21. jukeboxgrad says:

    This spreadsheet has a nice compilation of OH Dem & Rep absentee ballot requests versus 2008. As you can see, DEMs are way down versus 2008 and Reps are way up versus 2008 … Dem early voting absentee ballot requests in OH is WAY down from 2008

    Did you bother trying to understand where that data came from? Here’s the key thing to understand, from that spreadsheet:

    Ohio does not have partisan registration. The “D” and “R” are identified by the board of elections by the last primary the person had voted in at the time of the election.

    If I am a D and I registered in OH anytime subsequent to the 2008 D primary (and didn’t vote in any subsequent D primary), I would be listed in this data as Independent (this column does not appear, but this category is part of the underlying numbers). Why? Because “Ohio does not have partisan registration.” So if I have never voted in a primary, in this data I will be listed as Independent.

    In 2012, there was a highly contested R primary, but no comparable D primary. This is probably the main reason for the difference you’re so excited about.

    Also keep in mind that many or most voters don’t vote in the primary, ever. These voters are listed as I in that spreadsheet, even though they might have a strong partisan lean. That lean will be picked up by a pollster, but it’s masked in that data you’re presenting.

    As is often the case in this type of situation, it’s hard to tell if your problem is dishonesty or ignorance. Probably both.

  22. Smooth Jazz says:

    “If I have submitted my absentee ballot by mail, I will be part of that 19%, but I will not be part of Husted’s 59,353. Husted is specifically excluding ballots submitted by mail.”

    You can spin and prattle and shill all you want. Whether 60,000 voted in person and more voted by mail, to suggest 19% of Ohioans have already voted is partisan spin and propaganda – not fact. OH has 8M registered voters. Let’s assume 4M – 5M are likely voters, 19% would mean approx 1M of OH has already voted. Where is the evidence of that in all the numbers you referenced??

    What may be possible is PPP targeted a small sub sample of primarily Liberals. Who knows? Their suggestion that almost 20% of OH has already voted, and 3/4 of those folks support Obama is BS and propaganda – and I think you are smart and pragmatic enough to know that.

  23. jukeboxgrad says:

    Where is the evidence of that in all the numbers you referenced??

    The evidence is in a reputable pollster reporting what respondents told them.

    Where is the evidence against it? You have none, which is why you make dishonest claims. Why did you take an old and incomplete number (“59,000 people have voted”) and present it as if it’s current and comprehensive?

    What may be possible is PPP targeted a small sub sample of primarily Liberals.

    “What may be possible” is that you like to make shit up. And this isn’t just “possible.” It’s proven. When are you going to tell us why you said Mitt is leading in NV?

    What never ceases to amaze me is how people like you think you have any credibility left when you cite phony facts and then play deaf when you’re caught. What a surprise that a candidate who lies is supported by other liars.

  24. Smooth Jazz says:

    “The evidence is in a reputable pollster ”

    Reputable pollster??? You trying to tell us that a pollster sponsored by DailyKOS & SEUI – a pollster with dubios results in recent years most notably a pollster that missed the WIS enthusiasm surge for Gov Walker as recently as last year – credible? Give me a break. You Liberals are delusional I see. Yeah, keep relying on PPP. That’s the ticket. They have this election figured out. LOL.

  25. The Q says:

    Smooth Jazz can’t believe that with Romney’s upswing nationally , there’s no way he should be losing in Ohio.

    Then what about California? I guess his 15 point deficit is poll propaganda as well since Mitt is up in the rest of the USA, so the polls are lying about Obama’s lead in California too according to the idiot wing of the dumbshiite party.

  26. David M says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    1. The OH Sec of State stated only 60,000 people have voted as of a few days ago, out of a state with 8M registered voters and some millions likely voters. 60,000 divided by a few million barely gets to 1%
    2. Of the approx 230000 absentee ballots requested in the DEMS largest county in OH, approx 13% have returned them
    3. Dem early voting absentee ballot requests in OH is WAY down from 2008

    You actually have little to no evidence supporting these claims compared to the PPP poll.

    1. The list of voters is out of date and relatively useless, and it’s not clear it even says what you claim.
    2. Again, this isn’t useful without data to compare to, by itself it means nothing.
    3. I’m not sure you actually have evidence of this, as the numbers reported now are being compared with the final 2008 numbers.

  27. jukeboxgrad says:

    smooth:

    a pollster with dubios results in recent years

    What “dubios results?” There you go again, inventing your own facts. According to WSJ, they were one of the most accurate pollsters in 2008 (link).

    Still waiting for you to explain your various false claims that I’ve pointed out multiple times. When are you going to tell us why you said Mitt is leading in NV?