Battleground Ohio: Obama leads by 2, but has huge “favorability” advantage

clee October 24, 2012 1

Earlier today we saw USAction’s first battleground state poll. The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, found President Obama with a three-point lead over Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.

Now we’re out with our second battleground poll, this one covering Ohio and also conducted by Lake Research Partners. This poll finds Obama ahead of Romney in Ohio by two points. But the most significant finding – the hidden gem, if you will – is the huge likeability gap between the two candidates.

The survey, conducted Friday, Oct. 19 through Tuesday, Oct. 23, found Obama leading Romney 46 to 44 percent with nine percent undecided. It found that 52 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Obama, and 44 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Conversely, Romney was underwater on the favorability question, with 49 percent holding an unfavorable opinion and 47 percent holding a favorable opinion.

The poll also found a pronounced gender gap. Women favor Obama over Romney 49 to 41 percent, while men favor Romney 47 to 43 percent, within the poll’s margin of error of four points. More ominously for the Romney campaign, 56 percent of women polled have a favorable impression of Obama, compared with 39 percent of women who have an unfavorable impression. Conversely, 42 percent of women have a favorable opinion of Romney, compared with 53 percent who have an unfavorable impression.

Here’s pollster Celinda Lake’s take:

“The Obama campaign has the winning formula for closing in these battleground states. With the help of people like Richard Murdock in next-door Indiana, Obama is winning women more than he is losing men, and maintaining a strong public image while Romney’s is upside-down.”

The New Hampshire poll released earlier today included 400 respondents and has a margin of error of five percentage points. The Ohio poll included 600 respondents and has a margin of error of four percentage points.

The Ohio and New Hampshire polls were released today as part of a series of battleground state surveys being conducted between now and Election Day. USAction will be hosting a series of briefings with expert pollsters over the next 12 days to discuss the results and related landscape.

The Ohio poll also queried likely voters about a range of issues, including Medicare, Social Security, job outsourcing and job creation through infrastructure projects.

It found:

  • 59 percent oppose privatizing Medicare, with 22 percent in favor.
  • 89 percent oppose cutting Social Security benefits. Five percent favor.
  • 52 percent favor ending tax credits for businesses that ship jobs overseas. 39 percent are opposed.
  • 80 percent favor creating jobs by investing in repair of roads, bridges and schools. 16 percent are opposed.

Survey toplines are available by visiting here via Lake Research Partners: Memo on Ohio and Ohio toplines.