President Barack Obama continues to maintain a marginal lead in Ohio just a week before this year’s election, according to the latest poll commissioned by Due Diligence American Edition.
The president can currently claim 48 percent of the electorate with 46 percent of likely voters saying they will vote for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Ohio remains a key swing state and a traditional bellwether state, having given its vote to the winner of every presidential race since choosing Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964. (In 1960, the state preferred Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy.)
Host Carmen Russell-Sluchansky spoke with Afi Scruggs, a journalist in the greater Cleveland area, to discuss the poll results:
The poll also found Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown leading Republican challenger Josh Mandel in the race for U.S. Senate, a key race in the Republican effort to win a majority of seats in the U.S. Senate.
The Due Diligence commissioned Illumination Multimedia, a non-partisan public polling and media consulting firm to survey likely voters in Ohio. Illumination used an automated calling and response system to poll a sample size of 913 likely voters in the swing state. The overall results were calculated to have a margin of error of plus/minus 3.3 percent. Calling started on Monday, Oct. 29 and ended Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The Ohio unemployment rate currently hovers around 7 percent, slightly below the national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent though voters still cite the economy as a key consideration for their choice of president.
Still, Obama’s job approval rating is now about 1 percent above the number of voters who do not approve of his job performance (48 to 47 percent). Additionally, Obama and Romney tied at 48 percent each for who is best equipped to handle the economic situation, the poll found.
Meanwhile, the president scores considerably higher marks in foreign affairs with a majority (50 percent) trusting him in that arena more compared to only 43 percent who say they trust Romney more.
The poll also introduced third-party nominees Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green party by name in a separate question, though neither appeared to greatly move the numbers.
While Romney lost one percentage point (mostly to Johnson), dropping him to 45 percent of the overall vote, the vote for Barack Obama only negligibly moved, remaining at 48 percent of the vote. Either way, Obama appears to maintain a 2- or 3-point lead with or without naming other candidates. Likely, voters planning voting for another candidate already expressed their support for the “Other” choice in the earlier test.
Ohio’s voter breakdown by race appears equitable with other states with 57 percent of White voters planning on voting for Romney and 87 percent of African-American voters saying they support Obama.
Obama’s popularity among younger voters also falls in line with other states with 54 percent of those between 18 and 29 years of age saying they will vote for Obama. Romney, however, appears more popular with the next youngest age group, those between 30 and 49 years old, earning 46 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Obama (and 11 percent still undecided or voting for a third-party candidate).
Unlike in other states, half of voters in Ohio aged between 50 and 64 plan on voting for the president, 6 percentage points more than those who would vote for Romney if the election were held today. Retirees and others 65 years old and older are bigger fans of the former governor of Massachusetts, polling 53 percent for Romney and 44 percent for Obama.
Women in Ohio choose the president by a wide margin with 54 percent of female voters planning on voting for the president and 41 percent voting for Romney. Men in Ohio heavily favor Romney by 9 percentage points (50 to 41 percent).
In Ohio, Democrats enjoy party enthusiasm on par with the Republicans. Both 91 percent of Democrats and 91 percent of Republicans plan on voting for their respective party’s nominee.
Romney, however, continues his popularity among independents and members of other parties, with 46 percent preferring him and only 39 percent choosing the president, leaving a considerable number of independents undecided.
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