Battleground Ohio

A new Public Policy poll has some very interesting data from Ohio. Just about everyone agrees that the road for Mitt Romney is much more difficult if he loses Ohio. Romney would really have to run the table on the other “swing” states if he loses in Ohio. The value of the Buckeye State is shown by both campaigns pouring money into the state, as well as Virginia and FLA. Time and resources mean that we have found something that both campaigns do agree on. Ohio is critical.

With the first Presidential debate seeming to move the overall dial in favor of Mitt Romney the impacts of “early voting” are very important. In the PPP survey 19% of respondents reported having already voted, and those folks have broken out in favor of President Obama by a 76% to 24% margin. It is evidence of the superior Obama ground game in Ohio, but it is not over. Among those who have not voted Romney leads Obama by a 51% to 45% margin. As PPP points out Romney has some ground to make up before election day. The numbers please.

The President leads Romney by a 51% to 45% margin overall in Ohio. Obama’s favorability rating, in this survey, is at 50% (50%-48%), while Romney is slightly underwater at 45% favorable, 51% unfavorable. Ohio voters thought Joe Biden won the Vice Presidential debate by a 46% to 37% margin, with independents thinking Biden won by a 44% to 32% margin.

In the Senate race incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown leads Republican Josh Mandel by a 49% to 42% margin, consistent with polling throughout the race. I am ready to chalk up the Senate race in Ohio to Brown at this point.

So why has Mitt Romney not been able to move the numbers in Ohio? Well what about the auto industry and the Obama led bailout of the Big Three. I think it is a major factor, and the poll numbers seem to bear that out. Ohio voters support the auto bailout by a 54% to 37% margin, and with independents that number is 58% to 35%. 79% consider it to be an “important” issue, and 42% consider it to be a “very important” issue. Think it is impacting this race? The President used his weekly address to talk about the reemergence of the American auto industry. I am sure that is just a coincidence!

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