Tags: Quinnipiac | Ohio | Obama | women

Quinnipiac Ohio: Obama Leads by 5 as Women Shift

Monday, 22 Oct 2012 09:28 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Women voters have helped President Barack Obama hang on to a five-point lead over Mitt Romney in the crucial swing state of Ohio, where he leads the Republican nominee by 50 percent to 45 percent among likely voters, according to the latest Quinnipiac University/CBS News poll.

The poll of 1,548 likely voters taken Oct. 17-20 indicates a widening gender gap in the state favoring Obama 55 percent to 40 percent among women, while Romney holds a 51 percent to 44 percent advantage among men.

Romney also holds an advantage among Ohio independent voters by a margin of 49 percent to 42 percent, which may account for some of the surge the former Massachusetts governor has enjoyed since his first debate performance against Obama.

Urgent Poll: Obama or Romney? Who Won the Second Debate?

Before that debate on Oct 3, Obama held a 53 percent to 43 percent lead over Romney in a similar poll conducted Sept. 26.

"The good news for Gov. Romney is that he has sliced President Obama’s lead in Ohio in half in the last month,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“The bad news for Romney, and the good news for Obama, is that no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio, and the challenger is running out of time to make up the remaining difference.”

The latest poll found the economy more than any other issue appears to be driving the opinions of most Ohio voters. For example, the survey indicated that voters in the Buckeye state are more optimistic about how things are going, with 46 percent to 22 percent saying they believe the state's economy is improving. When asked about the national economy, however, they split 37 percent to 36 percent on whether things are getting worse or better.

“It’s more difficult for Romney to come into Ohio and say the economy is doing poorly and it’s Obama’s fault when voters there think things are getting better by more than two-to-one,” said Brown. “When things are going well, voters tend to support incumbents just as they punish them in bad times, as is happening in much of the country which is struggling economically.”

Still, Romney and Obama tied at 48 percent when voters weighed in on which candidate could best handle the economy. Romney was also viewed as a strong leader by 64 percent to 32 percent, while 58 percent to 40 percent saw the president as a strong leader.

But voters gave Obama higher marks for caring about their needs and problems by a 60 to 47 percent margin, compared to 50 percent to 45 percent who said Romney doesn't care.

Urgent Poll: Obama or Romney? Who Won the Second Debate?

Ohio voters by a 48 percent to 27 percent margin felt Obama turned in a better performance than Romney in the second presidential debate, the poll found. And 85 percent of those surveyed said they plan to watch the last debate on foreign policy on Monday and expect by 40 percent to 31 percent margin for the president to win.

The poll also found that incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown holds a comfortable 51 to 42 percent lead over his Republican challenger, State Treasurer Josh Mandel. The Ohio Senate race has been closely watched by both parties as a possible factor in determining whether Democrats maintain control of the chamber next year.

Both Obama and Brown appeared to be doing well among early voters in the state. Among those who identified themselves in the survey as early voters, the president held a 54 percent to 39 percent lead over Romney. Brown held a 57 percent to 36 percent lead over Mandel.

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