The Corner

Mittmentum: New Ohio Polls Better Than They Appear

Two new Ohio polls came out yesterday after my Ohio post, from from Gravis Marketing and PPP, both of which point to a razor-thin race in the most coveted swing state. A closer look at each poll shows just how much Romney has gained since the debates, and why he would be absolutely thrilled if these polls were accurate on Election Day.

The poll from Gravis Marketing shows Obama and Romney tied at 47 percent. But that’s as good as it gets for Obama. Among the most interesting tidbits from the poll:

Romney leads Obama by 19 percent among independents, 52–33, and holds 92 percent of his base compared to Obama’s 87 percent. Obama is underwater in job approval, 44–50, and independents disapprove of him overwhelmingly, 31–58. And the poll has a Democratic advantage of 9 percent, which is a 4 percent jump from 2008 — no one believes that Democrats can match their 2008 turnout advantage, let alone almost double it.

PPP (a Democratic firm) released their new poll yesterday showing Obama only up one point, 49 to 48. Just a week ago PPP had the race at 51–46 for Obama. But the four-point gain for Romney is even more impressive when you look at the poll’s findings:

This week’s poll has a Democrat sample advantage of 8 percent; last week’s advantage was 4. Romney gained four points on Obama in a week despite the sample’s having four percentage points more Democrats. Romney leads with independents by 7 percent, up from a 5 percent last week. Obama’s approval is underwater at 48–50, and independents disapprove of him by a 41–54 margin. Last week Obama was in positive approval ground at 50–48, and independents disapproved by a much smaller 45–50 margin. Romney’s favorability has gone from a minus-6 margin last week (45–51) to a plus-2 this week (49–47). Trust on the economy went from Obama plus-5 last week (51–46) to plus-4 in Romney’s direction this week (51–47). Independents jumped from Romney plus-5 last week to Romney plus-15 this week.

These two polls highlight what many saw in the second debate: Romney may have lost the overall debate, but he won handily on the issues of the economy, debt, and taxes. While Democrats were riding high this week after Obama narrowly won the face-off, Romney was quietly solidifying support from voters by commanding the issues that matter most. Based on these two polls, the only way Obama can win Ohio is if he finds a way to greatly surpass 2008 turnout with Democrats, which at the moment seems like an impossible task. If these polls hold, it won’t be long before the state Romney was declared dead in knocks down the last pillar of inevitability that Obama has left.

— Josh Jordan is a small-business market-research consultant. You can follow him on Twitter @Numbersmuncher.

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