Monday, September 24, 2012

More Ohio voters think they're worse off, but Obama still winning

The newest Ohio poll gives another reminder of why Mitt Romney continues to flub an historic opportunity.

In the Enquirer/Ohio Newspaper Organization's poll, Obama picks up 51% of likely voters in the state, while Romney scores just 46%.

That's despite a rather glaring statistic that should be hurting the president more than it is.

41% of likely voters in the state say they're doing the same, economically, as they were four years ago, while 36% say they're worse off, and 23% say they're worse off.

Another way of putting it -- 77% of Ohioans say they're the same or worse off than they were four years ago, and in 2008, times weren't exactly booming.

It's hard to imagine an incumbent winning with those cold, hard perceptions plaguing the electorate, but winning he is, nevertheless, and as we all know, the keys to the kingdom lie in Ohio.

So, with that 77% stat in mind, why isn't Romney running a simple, instantly memorable ad, noting that 77% of Ohioans don't think they're better off than four years ago?

You don't need stats on unemployment or job creation or any other endless, cascading economic indicators -- just the 77% and a memorable image.

Yet Romney continues to flail in Ohio. And you know what "flail" is one letter away from? Fail.

UPDATE: Greg Sargent makes a good point on this dynamic as it relates to the national race.

Republicans sneer when Dems argue that things could have been worse and are on track to get better later. And it’s a difficult argument to make. But the voters that count just may prove willing to accept this case. Perhaps they are being realistic about the severity of the crisis and depth of our problems, are willing to give Obama more time to fix them, and are concluding Romney doesn’t have any answers of his own.

Romney’s initial calculation seemed to be that voters have concluded Obama was such a resounding failure that all he had to do was show up with a smile on his face to win the presidency. That hasn’t worked, however.