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Obama Ahead of Romney in Swing State Poll

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 2:04 PM

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A new poll shows President Barack Obama opening a double-digit lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in two of three key swing states.Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler looks into the numbers in Ohio.

President Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in Ohio has grown to 10 points in the latest Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times swing state poll. Mr. Obama leads Gov. Romney 53 percent to 43 percent. That’s a four point gain for the president since the last poll in August. Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown puts it simply.

Brown: “Obviously the president’s had a good period and Mr. Romney’s not.”

Brown notes the poll was taken last week, as the tape of Romney’s comments about 47 percent of Americans not paying income taxes came out. Obama has a 25-point lead among women who are likely to vote, with Romney holding an eight-point lead with men. Independents are almost dead even – 47 percent for Romney and 46 percent for Obama. And this is a state that went solidly red in 2010. But Brown says voters who turn out in presidential election years tend to be younger, more racially diverse and less conservative than in off-year elections.

Brown: “Off-year elections like 2010 tend to have a smaller turnout, but the group that turns out is whiter, older and a little bit more conservative than normally turns out in a presidential election year.”

Political scientist David Cohen is at the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron. He says the results of 2010 came from an energized Republican base coupled with unenthusiastic Democrats. And he notes that there are two stats buried in this poll that are tough for Romney.

Cohen: “One of the challenges that Romney has is the fact that there are so few undecided voters. Only 7 percent are undecided, and the ones that have decided to go for either Romney or Obama at a 92 percent clip, they said they have made up their mind and they’re not going to change it.”

Brown notes that there is more than a month left in this campaign, and there are three high-profile presidential debates ahead. And Cohen says Ohioans shouldn’t expect that either candidate has concluded that the state is no longer up for grabs, so there should be no let-up in ads and campaign visits.

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Government/Politics, Statehouse News Bureau

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