Firewall Ohio

A new CBS/Quinnipiac Ohio poll shows the Barack Obama lead in Ohio diminishing, dropping from 10% down to 5%. Obama leads in Ohio by a 50% to 45% margin, with 3% undecided. The September margin had Obama in the lead at 53% to 43%, with 3% undecided. What lies under the hood? The numbers please!

As with other key states early voting is showing some evidence of a strong Obama ground game. 20% of Ohio voters reported already having voted, and in that group President Obama leads by a 54% to 39% margin. With voters planning on going to the polls on election day the President leads by a 49% to 47% margin. Early voting is having a big impact, and with polling evidence showing more Republican enthusiasm than Democratic enthusiasm there is some real question about whether the President’s turnout operation will be able to match what was achieved in 2008. His election fortunes may in fact rest on that issue.

A big national battle has occurred over women, with both parties fighting hard over this big group of votes. This survey has President Obama winning with women by 55% to 40%, which might seem impressive, but which is down from a 60% to 35% margin in September. Another interesting piece is the elderly demographic (65+), where Romney leads by 7%. The September survey had President Obama with a 1% lead. We have not heard much about Medicare lately, and the Romney campaign seems to have blunted the Obama attack on that issue, at least in Ohio.

The Romney team is citing “momentum”, with some of his surrogates talking about a 300 vote electoral college victory. I have to say that that victory dance seems a little bit premature. I had contemplated moving Ohio out of the Obama column on the Manzi electoral map, but the Quinnipiac poll has dissuaded me. I leave the map as I had it last Thursday evening, with President Obama at 277 Electoral Votes, Mitt Romney with 235, and toss-up at 26. As mentioned earlier my map gives FLA and NC to Romney, and leaves Virginia as a toss-up. Giving Virginia to Romney (which would comport with the David Paleologos prediction of several weeks ago)would still only bring Romney to 248. Ohio remains the key. I can’t wait for the Suffolk numbers out of Ohio.

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