Sunday, as conservative and liberal political animals try to live their lives between the seconds of one poll following another, finally, for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a poll shows what Romney’s team has been praying for, movement in Ohio. According to a poll group formed of a consortium of the state’s eight largest newspapers, the Ohio News Organization, their survey’s finding was that with a margin of error 3.1 percentage points, Romney and Obama are tied at 49 percent.
Following a Friday CNN poll which showed President Obama leading in Ohio at 50 percent, a confident Ohio Republican, Senator Rob Portman, claimed that “momentum” was on Romney’s side as he participated in an interview on FOX News Sunday. No doubt the Romney team is immensely grateful to the men of Ohio, who are primarily responsible for the surge. FOX News reported: “The biggest movement since the group’s poll in September is Romney’s lead with male voters, from one percentage point to 12 points.”
Rich Heldenfels, of the Akron Beacon Journal, published an informal announcement of the poll results in his Sunday column:
“Dead heat. This close. And with almost no voters saying they’re undecided. That’s how things look in the presidential race, according to the most recent Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio Newspaper Organization poll. President Barack Obama, 49 percent. Republican challenger Mitt Romney, ditto.”
Apparently, as in four Iowan newspaper endorsements, the catalyst for the shift to Romney is Obama’s failing economy. According to the poll, what isn’t significant is Romney’s 47 percent remark.
Following are interesting results of the poll that fill in some of the blanks about why Obama is now at risk to lose Ohio:
- 51 percent of those surveyed responded that Romney would do a better job of handling the economy.
- On the same issue, Romney led by Independents by 18 points.
- Near half of those surveyed responded the auto bail-out would not influence their vote.
- 62 percent of those surveyed responded debates were not a factor.
In Ohio, the president has continued to pummel Romney on the auto bail-out, continued to adopt a more forceful tone to make up for what many consider a weak debate performance, and he has not pushed the details of his own plans for an economic renewal. Once Obama’s team sees the results of this poll, perhaps they may want to change their strategy, again.
Ohio may have been the toughest egg for Romney to crack, but it is also spotlighted as perhaps the most vital swing state for either candidate, Romney or Obama, to capture. However, election analysts continue to say as the presidential race tightens, there remain ways for both candidates to win, without Ohio.