President Barack Obama continues to lead presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the key battleground state of Ohio, but by a slightly narrower margin. The latest Rasmussen Reports
statewide telephone survey of likely voters shows Obama with 46 percent support to Romney’s 42 percent. Five percent prefer some other candidate, while eight percent are undecided.
In late March, Obama held a 48 percent to 40 percent advantage over the former Massachusetts governor in Ohio, and the president had a 45 percent to 41 percent lead in early February.
Forty-eight percent of Ohio voters have a favorable opinion of Romney, up from 42 percent last month. Forty-six percent view him unfavorably, down from 52 percent in the previous survey.
The latest findings include 14 percent who have a very favorable opinion and 23 percent with a very unfavorable one.
Obama beat GOP nominee John McCain by a 52 percent to 47 percent margin to carry Ohio in 2008. Fifty percent of voters in the state now at least somewhat approve of the job Obama is doing as president, and 48 percent disapprove. These figures include 23 percent who strongly approve of Obama’s performance and 39 percent who strongly disapprove. That's roughly the same level of the president's approval among voters nationwide.
Meanwhile, Ohio’s U.S. Senate race continues to be close, with incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown now inching slightly ahead of Republican challenger Josh Mandel.
The economy is the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds this election, and just 8 percent of Ohio voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent. Fifty percent give the nation’s economy a poor rating.
Obama is the heavy favorite among those who give the economy positive ratings, while Romney holds a sizable advantage over the president among the much larger group who feels the economy is in poor shape.
Thirty-two percent believe economic conditions in the country are getting better these days, in line with the level measured nationwide. Thirty-six percent thinks the economy is getting worse.
Romney leads the president 49 percent to 38 percent among male voters in Ohio, while Obama holds a 52 percent to 36 percent advantage among women. Most voters ages 18 to 39 support Obama, while the majority of their elders prefer Romney.
The two candidates are virtually tied among voters not affiliated with either major political party.
In combined polling of the key swing states Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, the president now holds a three-point lead over Mitt Romney.
The president also leads Romney in Wisconsin, Nevada, Virginia, California, Florida, Massachusetts and New Mexico. He is nearly tied with his GOP challenger in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, but trails him in Missouri, Montana, Arizona and Nebraska.
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