Back on Wednesday, we pointed out that President Obama’s polling in Ohio was only slightly worse than where he was at the same point in 2008:

In 2008, Obama’s average in the polls for support in Ohio was 49.2%.   Today, it’s 48.9%.  You read that right.  Obama’s lost only .3% of the support he had in 2008.  Romney is polling a little better than 3 points than McCain was because there are fewer undecided voters this cycle.

But that was Wednesday, and we’ve had even more polling since then in Ohio.  So, where does the race for President stand in Ohio now, just two days out compared to the same point in 2008, according to RealClearPolitics, a conservative polling/political news aggregator?


And boom goes the dynamite.

President Obama has a slightly larger lead over Mitt Romney today than he did at this point in 2008.  Let’s say that again: the polls today say that President Obama is doing slightly better now than he was doing against McCain-Palin.  And there’s plenty of reasons to believe that’s accurate.  First, Romney has been nationally losing whatever bounce he got from the first debate and the race was reverting back to its pre-convention margins.  Second, Mitt probably seriously hurt himself in NWO when he falsely suggested that Jeep was planning to move U.S. production to China, something so outrageous the entire auto industry publicly blasted him.  Third, the President is getting wide approval for his handling of Sandy, which deprived Romney of at least two newscycles in which to try to regain the momentum.

We said on Wednesday that Romney was doing +3 better than McCain was.  But that was virtually entirely erased, as you can see on the chart, McCain had a last week surge in Ohio.  This time, President Obama has the momentum.


Seven out of the ten last polls in Ohio have President Obama polling at or above 50%; Romney is 0 for 7 and only has one hit the 50% mark in one Ohio poll during the entire election.

In virtually all the polling for which crosstabs are available (Quinnipiac being the sole exception we found), President Obama is either tied or has double digit leads with independents.  Obama’s smallest leads come in polls with a +3 or +4 D sample advantage.  That’s half of the Democratic advantage turnout in ‘08.  Pollsters getting a +9 D advantage in their sample aren’t weighing the results to get that sample.  That’s how the respondents self-identify themselves to the pollster.  If you look at the demographics of the average Republican voter, especially in Ohio, you’re seeing someone who is old and white, and slowing dying out and getting outnumbered by other more Democratic constituencies.  If you don’t think that John Kasich and SB 5 didn’t increase the number of Ohioans who now consider themselves Democratic, then you were probably making the same polling arguments in 2011 before the vote on Issue 2.   You were proven wrong then.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”  The arguments being raised by conservatives in Ohio about the polls are the same arguments they made in 2011, 2008, and 2006.

But here’s a good primer from Gallup why the “party sample too Democratic meme” is just wrong.

The other conservative argument is that the polls can’t be believed because Republicans are so enthused about voting for . . . Mitt Romney?!?  Let’s be honest, they’re enthused to vote against Barack Obama and for Paul Ryan, and that’s it.

First, the enthusiasm gap isn’t anywhere close to what it was in 2010 in Ohio.  And second, even an unenthusiastic voter matters so long as they still vote.  And that’s the metric these conservatives keep missing.  The difference between the two parties is that Republicans say they are pumped about voting; Democrats are pumping the vote.  Every poll in Ohio is giving Democrats a double-digit lead on the early vote which is remarkable since the Kasich-led GOP legislature has largely succeeded in reducing most early voting to absentee voting by mail, which historically Republicans have had an edge in turnout votes cast by that manner.   Instead, it appears Democrats have the edge.

On average, the polling shows Obama +2 and Brown +5.  You have to wonder how much the lack of a more competitive Senate race hurts Romney and helps Obama.

Could Romney still win Ohio?  Yes, if you don’t vote like other Democrats failed to vote in 2010.  That’s Romney’s last hope, just as it was McCain and Palin’s in 2008.  We’ve done it before, let’s do it again.


  • teacher in Ohio

    I am voting Forward

  • GN

    Excellent analysis.

  • Charles

    I think Obama could lose Ohio due to disgruntled folks like me that normally vote Democrat. I’m v.p. of my teachers union and a rep for AFL-CIO. Every election cycle dems come in, expect the union/labor vote, then leave us hanging. For me Obama has been too conservative on the issues I value, particularly education and union rights. Romney is no friend to teachers or unions however the candidate that says he supports us doesn’t. The democratic stance on education is almost identical to the republican one for all practical purposes. And where was Obama when Wisconsin workers lost there rights? Not out there supporting them. He kept quiet. What about when we were locked out of our own legislative building in Columbus? Not a peep. Teacher strike in Chicago? One of his pals was fighting the teachers for Pete’s sake. And Arne Duncan wanted to fire all those teachers in Rhode Island. Please. The only way Obama will take Ohio is if people are afraid to vote for a third party candidate that has values closer to their own. Maybe this country needs to suffer even more under right wing neo-fascism before they get it. I’ll vote my conscience, thank you, not out of fear.

  • Christopher Larson

    This is silly logic. Obama is too conservative so I might vote for Romney to punish Obama for not being liberal enough? Do whatever you have to do, but as you are sawing off your finger because your leg hurts, we will just accept that you are just angry in general at Obama and not really going to vote this one based on policy.

    There is a movement against funding of education in this country, but it is being waged by the people that funded Romney’s campaign. So a win for Romney is win for the referendum that the federal government has no place in education.

    Things move slowly in one direction or another. You are not going to reverse 30 years of the public turning against the government. A certain narrative has carried the day.

    It is funny that you expect Obama to pass laws to protect unions in Wisconsin when we cannot even get the Republican house to fund infrastructure.

    Quit whining on the sideline and lets push the narrative back in the other direction. Under Obama, we have started to halt the slide of the public hating everything government related. No matter how you cut it, this is going to be a 10-15 year slog to get to where we want to because of the debts run up, and the general narrative that has been controlled by the right for 15 years. But if you vote for guys like Romney, and Republican house members, you can count on more of this for many more decades.

    I understand wanting to put in the backup QB, so the starter can get a grip. But in this game, you cannot put the starter back in. When the backup throws that pick 6 on the 3rd play, you are stuck with him. I don’t think this is the way you should look at politics. If Romney is elected, he will appoint Supreme Court justices that likely will rubber stamp any laws passed by the states to restrict rights. States that are now controlled often by Republicans.

    This is so much bigger than if you got your laundry list of wants in his first term.

  • Modern Esquire

    I’m sorry, but if you’re the VP of a teacher’s union, then you’d know that Obama’s Organizing for American organization played a major role in the ground game for Issue 2 in Ohio last year. The President also publicly (and repeated) blasted both Issue 2 and Walker’s anti-union law.

    To say he kept quiet and did nothing it is a falsehood. The White House was keeningly aware and involved in the efforts in both Wisconsin and especially here in Ohio.
    Mitt Romney was involved, too. He supported SB 5, endorsed it, and has said in the campaign that his education reform is to get rid of teachers’ union. You can vote your conscience, but to say you’re not voting for Obama over Issue 2 because you’re “disgruntled” tells me you’re not voting with the facts.

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