Tuesday, September 25, 2012
A new Washington Post survey shows Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in Ohio, 52%-44%.
If you've been dubious of polls this cycle, you're going to immediately ask what the sampling is like, so let's get to that first.
The poll breaks 35% Democrat, 35% Independent, and 26% Republican.
Meanwhile, in 2008, turnout was 39% Democrat, 31% Republican and 30% Independent. So it looks like Republicans might have been undersampled in this survey, but the pollster sampled Democrats below their '08 numbers so that seems fine..
Also, keep in mind: Democrats have noticeably closed and even, possibly, erased the enthusiasm gap we saw for most of the past year, and Ohio Democrats have been especially energized ever since the state GOP's disastrous bid for collective bargaining reform.
So, let's get to the key stats from this Ohio survey:
a. Obama's job approval is 53%/46%. That's a comfortable number for him and should be enough to win him reelection in a state he carried last time.
b. Obama's favorable rating is 59%/39% while Romney's is 47%/50%. That's a net +23% lead for Obama. Just overwhelming.
Meanwhile, Obama is at +18% with indies, while Romney is at -3%.
c. Both parties get +90% of their bases, but Romney actually leads among independents, 47%-46%. The problem for Romney is that there aren't as many Republicans in Ohio as Dems, and he needs a bigger lead with indies to close things.
d. Crucially, Obama wins on the economy, 50%-43%. If that's an accurate lead, then Romney has no chance of carrying Ohio.
Also, Obama leads on this issue with independents, 44%-43%. Romney needs to do much, much better with that group.
Why does the president lead with indies on the economy? It's because they approve of the job he's done on the issue, 52%-46%.
e. Obama also leads on military spending (+7%), Medicare (+19%), Medicaid (+19%), immigration (+8%), helping the middle class (+16%), social issues (+31%), taxes (+17%), foreign policy (+23%), and economic empathy (23%).
Note that lead on taxes. Normally, that's a GOP bailiwick, but it's actually a disadvantage this time. Probably something about Romney being a gazillionaire, and Obama pounding away on his tax returns -- a trivial and petty attack, but nevertheless, one that seems to be working.
Making matters even worse for Romney, independents prefer Obama on taxes, 56%-38%.
OVERALL: Obama has now led in 10 straight polls of Ohio, and Romney has only led in two surveys of the state since June -- those were from Purple Strategies and Gravis Marketing.
The president has held a stubborn lead here for the past few years, and now he appears to even be adding to it.