September 13, 2012
9/13: Obama Leads Romney by 7 Points in Ohio
NBC News/WSJ/Marist Poll
In the presidential contest in Ohio, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are ahead of Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, 50% to 43%, among likely voters in Ohio including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. One percent backs another candidate, and 6% are undecided.
“The Buckeye State could again be make or break on Election Day,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Right now, Obama is better positioned to carry Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.”
- Party ID. 93% of Democrats likely to vote support the president while 92% of Republicans are behind Romney. Among independent voters, 44% are for Romney compared with 41% for Obama.
- Enthusiasm. Just 58% of likely voters are very enthusiastic about this November’s election. When it comes to enthusiasm, there is little difference between the president’s supporters and Romney’s backers. Among likely voters who are for Romney, 62% express a high level of enthusiasm compared with 61% of those who are behind Obama.
- Intensity of support. How strongly do likely voters in Ohio support their pick? 83% are strongly behind their choice while 14% are somewhat committed to their selection. Two percent might change their mind before they cast their ballot, and 1% is unsure. 84% of likely voters who support the president are strongly committed to him. This compares with 82% of Romney’s backers who express a similar level of support.
- Gender. 54% of women who are likely to vote support Obama compared with 38% for Romney. Men who are likely to vote divide. 48% are behind Romney while 46% back Obama.
- Age. President Obama has the backing of 55% of likely voters younger than 30. This compares with 40% for Romney. Among those aged 30 to 44, 49% are for Obama while 43% are behind Romney. The race tightens among voters 45 to 59. 48% support the president while 45% back Romney. The president — 51% — has a 9 percentage point lead over Romney — 42% — among likely voters 60 and older.
Looking at registered voters in Ohio including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, 50% support Obama while 41% are for Romney. One percent backs another candidate, and 8% are undecided. When NBC News/Marist last reported this question in May, Obama received the backing of 48% of these voters compared with 42% who supported Romney. At that time, 2% were behind another candidate, and 8% were undecided.
A Tale of Two Contrasting Impressions
51% of likely voters have a favorable opinion of President Obama. 44% perceive him unfavorably, and 5% are unsure.
It’s a different story for Romney. Half of likely voters — 50% — view him unfavorably. However, 40% think well of him. Nine percent are unsure.
Perceptions of the Running Mates
How does Vice President Joe Biden fare among likely Ohio voters? 46% have an unfavorable impression of him while 45% see him in a favorable light. Nine percent are unsure.
Turning to Paul Ryan, 42% of likely voters in Ohio have an unfavorable opinion of Ryan while 41% have a positive impression of him. A notable 17% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
Obama Viewed as Better on Economy, Even More So on Foreign Policy
48% of registered voters believe Obama is the better candidate when it comes to the economy. 43% disagree and think Romney will do a better job on this issue. Nine percent are unsure. Likely voters follow suit. 48% of those likely to vote view Obama as better able to guide the country’s economy while 44% think Romney is. Seven percent are unsure.
In May, 45% of Ohio registered voters thought Obama was better prepared to deal with the economy while 42% believed Romney was. Twelve percent, at that time, were unsure.
When it comes to foreign policy, 52% of registered voters in Ohio think the president is the stronger candidate while 38% say Mitt Romney is. 10% are unsure. Similar proportions of likely voters share these views. 52% report the president will handle foreign policy issues better compared with 39% who believe Romney will. Nine percent are unsure.
In an NBC News/Marist Poll four months ago, 50% of registered voters said the president would better handle foreign policy compared with 37% who believed Romney would be the stronger candidate. 13% were unsure.
Obama Approval Rating at 49% in Ohio
What do registered voters in Ohio think of President Obama’s job performance? 49% approve while 44% disapprove. Seven percent are unsure.
There has been little fluctuation since May when 49% of voters gave the president high marks while 45% did not. Six percent, then, were unsure.
Slim Majority Thinks Nation Needs a Course Correction
51% of registered voters in Ohio report the country is moving in the wrong direction. 44% say it is moving along the correct path, and 5% are unsure.
In May, 55% of voters said the country’s compass was broken while 41% thought it was pointed in the right direction. Four percent were unsure.
Brown Leads Mandel in U.S. Senate Race
In the race for U.S. Senate in Ohio, Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown leads his Republican opponent, Josh Mandel, 49% to 42%, among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. Nine percent are undecided.
Among registered voters including those leaning toward a candidate, Brown receives 48% to 41% for Mandel. 11% are undecided. In May, 51% of registered voters supported Brown while 37% backed Mandel. 12% were undecided.