The race for Ohio’s Electoral College votes remains very close, but now Mitt Romney now has a two-point advantage.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Ohio voters shows Romney with 50 percent support to President Obama’s 48 percent. One percent likes some other candidate, while another one percent remains undecided.
Ohio remains a toss-up in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections. Based on the current projections, Romney would have to win Wisconsin if he loses Ohio in order to move into the White House.
The candidates have been locked in a very tight battle in Ohio since August. A week ago, Romney and Obama were tied in the Buckeye State with 48 percent support each. This is the first time Romney has taken even a modest lead in the race.
Nearly one-in-three Ohio voters (32 percent) have already cast their ballots. Obama leads 62 percent to 36 percent among these voters. Romney has a large lead among those who still plan to vote. The question of who wins Ohio may come down to whether enough Romney voters get to the polls on Election Day to overcome the president’s lead among early voters.
Among all Ohio voters, Romney now has a 12-point lead over the president in voter trust – 53 percent to 41 percent - when it comes to the economy. Last week, he had just a seven-point advantage among voters in the state when they were asked which candidate they trusted more to deal with the economy.
Romney’s also trusted more by eight points in the areas of job creation and energy policy but leads Obama by just two when it comes to housing issues.
National security has been an area where the president has typically had an advantage over Romney this year. But, the Republican challenger now has a 52 percent to 42 percent advantage on the issue.
Obama carried Ohio by a 51 percent to 47 percent margin in 2008, but just 46 percent of the state’s voters now approve of the job he is doing. Fifty-one percent (51 percent) disapprove. This includes Strong Approval from 29 percent and Strong Disapproval from 44 percent, giving the president a slightly worse job approval rating in Ohio than he earns nationally.
Forty-seven percent have a favorable opinion of the president and 52 percent have an unfavorable view. Those figures include 32 percent with a Very Favorable opinion and 42 percent who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.
Romney is viewed favorably by 53 percent and unfavorably by 45 percent, including 40 percent with a very favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor and 32 percent with a very unfavorable one.
Romney leads by 14 points among male voters in Ohio but trails by eight among female voters. Voters not affiliated with either of the major parties prefer the president 50 percent to 46 percent.
Fifteen percent of all voters in the state now rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while 49 percent view it as poor. But 41 percent consider their own finances good or excellent, compared to 17 percent who regard their finances as poor.
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