Dueling polls: Obama lead narrowing or expanding in Ohio?

posted at 9:21 am on June 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In one corner — Quinnipiac, by way of National Journal:

Brown leads Mandel 50 percent to 34 percent in the poll. In the previous survey, released on May 10, Brown led 46 percent to 40 percent over Mandel, who is also an Iraq War veteran.

Mandel has attracted a lot of negative headlines in the local press but he’s been the beneficiary of over $8 million in outside spending aimed at attacking Brown, which has kept him in the race. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is keeping a close eye on the race, and has already reserved fall ad time in the state.

President Obama leads Mitt Romney 47 percent to 38 percent in the Ohio survey.

In the other corner — PPP, by way of Politico:

President Obama‘s lead in Ohio has narrowed, according to a new survey.

Obama leads Mitt Romney 47 percent to 44 percent in the Buckeye State, according to the latest poll by the Democratic-leaning firm PPP.  But that’s down from a seven point lead that he maintained in the last two PPP surveys of the state.

Obama is clinging to his lead based on his strength with three demographic groups: black voters, young voters and women. Obama leads among African-Americans 93 percent to 6 percent, and he beats Romney among young voters 54 percent to 36 percent. Women support Obama over Romney 52 percent to 41 percent.

So which one’s right?  National Journal takes a peek under the hood of the Q-poll:

Quinnipiac’s sample is slightly more Democratic-leaning than the previous poll. In the latest poll, 34 percent of voters said they generally consider themselves Democrats, compared to 26 percent who say they are Republicans. In the early May survey, 31 percent of voters were Democrats, and 29 percent were Republicans.

In the 2010 midterms, exit polls showed the D/R/I in Ohio as slightly Republican at 36/37/28.  The sample in the Q-poll now looks more like the 2008 model, where Democrats had an eight-point advantage, 39/31/30.  I doubt that we’ll see either model exactly as it was, but I’m inclined to think that Republicans are going to turn out more enthusiastically to oppose Obama than Democrats in Ohio will to support Obama, especially if we see a couple of more jobs reports like we did for May.

PPP’s sample looks a lot more reasonable, at 39/37/24.  It might be oversampling both Democrats and Republicans, but it gets the relationship between the two correct.  Undersampling independents helps Obama a bit, though, as his job approval rating among indies is a disastrous 37/53, although Obama and Romney tie at 42/42 among them.  However, that looks like a high-water mark for Obama as long as his job approval rating is that poor, while Romney would have more upside.  Let’s not forget that an incumbent should be scoring at 50% or higher at this stage of a race, and the close race with Obama at 47% in both polls is an indicator that he’s going to have a lot of trouble making the sale.

In this case, I’d take PPP over the Quinnipiac poll, although I generally consider the Q-poll more reliable overall.

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Wolfmoon on June 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Why is it 90% of people you know are racists?

gsherin on June 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Nope, that’s the easy way out. Here’s the question to refresh your recollection.

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Nope, here’s the easy way out: instead of showing a scintilla of political courage, blather on about states’ rights every time a sticky issue comes up, and have your little ‘bots coo “Brilliant, Mitt! Don’t give ’em anything to use against you!” in the background. Here’s a radical idea: enforce the damn laws that are on the books. Satisfied?

ddrintn on June 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Like with Ohio, the unemployment rate has fallen rapidly to 7.2%, jobs are being added at over twice the national rate, and in 2011 Ohio became the #1 state in business expansions. The first time Ohio has done this well compared to the nation in decades. Rather than talk this up and how he would bring what Kasich is doing here to the nation, Romney talks doom and gloom and it’s all Obama’s fault.

Romney responded to concerns that his all doom and gloom all the time message wasn’t working well in swing states by saying something like he’s running to be president not governor of one state. So, hope it works for him.

jarodea on June 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Very true.

Mitt’s Problem in OH is Kasich is getting zero credit, yet, it’s all because of his policies.

It’s the Wisconsin boomerang one more time. The Pubic Sector, with teacher’s at the heart, despise Kasich. Romney has to break through that, which is not going to be possible if Walker goes national.

budfox on June 27, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Why is it 90% of people you know are racists?

gsherin on June 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

ROFL! Assuming a /sarc tag there.

Wolfmoon on June 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

In NC, once you go outside of the metropolises and look into suburbia and rural, you find a lot of old-fashioned solid-south conservative “D’s” I think the term used for them is “Jessie-crats,” meaning they were Jessie Helms(R) voters when he was senator of this state. While they are diminishing, they still make up a substantial portion of the NC voting Dems.

Turtle317 on June 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

That heat island effect is why I don’t bother asking anyone in urban areas what their opinion is. It almost always is heavily (d) with government union, freebie-fare program recipients, or the eternal ‘victims’ being the larger part of the population.

Michigan is showing a slight uptick in the economy, but that has nothing to do with odumbo or the non-work of the senate. It’s all the doing of the fiscal conservative majority and governorship of this state. I’m sure odumbo will try to grab credit however.

Wolfmoon on June 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I got you linked up, Ed, and we’re pretty much in agreement.

See: ‘Quinnipiac’s Swing State Ohio Poll is Huge Outlier’.

Donald Douglas on June 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM

47%!?! Are there that many really REALLY STUPID people in Ohio??? Talk about sado-masochists!?!?!

Colatteral Damage on June 27, 2012 at 3:04 PM

The Pubic Sector, with teacher’s at the heart,

budfox on June 27, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I hope that was intentional. If so, bravo, sir. Bravo.

Dunedainn on June 27, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Rasmussen has Romney ahead of Obumbler in Arizona by 13 points. Some “experts” call Arizona a swing state.

VorDaj on June 27, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Is “Obama lead narrowing or expanding in Ohio?” Yes. I mean, both, actually. A media poll, like the United States Constitution, is a living and breathing thing. Neither are fixed or dependable. Both are in permanent flux. So hold onto your butts, kids. Here we go.

minnesoter on June 27, 2012 at 7:45 PM