Obama Losing Grip In Ohio
Most pundits and analysts will readily admit that if Obama loses Ohio, it’s extraordinarily unlikely he’ll be able to squeak out a win. Odds are that if Obama loses Ohio, he’s likely to also lose Florida and Virginia. If Obama can’t win in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, how will he win in Colorado and Iowa?
He can’t. Not if he can’t win Ohio.
Ohio, in my view, is more reflective of the “middle” as a state than most others in the battleground column. Ohio is somewhat unpredictable, going to Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2008. What most media talking heads do not include in their “Ohio is Obama territory” narrative is that Ohio wasn’t a crushing win for Obama like some others were last time around. Take Michigan, for example, where Obama won by 16%. Or Wisconsin, where Obama won by 14%. Granted, Wisconsin and Michigan are more liberal in general, but also keep in mind that collective bargaining overhaul legislation was defeated in Ohio, yet survived in Wisconsin.
In other words, Ohio is all over the map and has a very diverse (politically) electorate. What happens in momentum and political energy in Ohio tends to repeat itself in other battleground states. So, not only is Ohio important in that it comes packaged with 18 electoral votes… it’s also critical because what happens there helps us understand what very well could happen in other battleground states.
There are two tracks of data that paint a troubling picture for the Obama campaign. Unskewed polling data and early voting numbers. Both are beginning to look particularly awful for Obama.
Unskewed Polling Data
American Research Group is, without question, a polling firm with a solid grasp of reality when it comes to properly sampling the electorate for polling. ARG finds an Ohio Obama lead of just 1% with a 4% margin of error (among likely voters).
While vintage media trumpets the idea that Romney is getting crushed in Ohio, reality suggests otherwise. But let’s not just take it from unskewed data. Let’s look at the RCP average of mainstream polls.
Mainstream Poll Averages
According to the Ohio average of possibly skewed mainstream polls, Obama is up by just 3.1% BEFORE post-debate polling data is obtained. It appears the average margin of error is 3%, meaning even the average of most mainstream polls has Ohio in a statistical dead tie.
And now for the most damning piece of data yet… early voting numbers.
2012 Early Voting Numbers
This is likely to cause a few heart attacks within the Obama camp.
In a remarkable reversal of fortune for President Obama in Ohio, the GOP has closed the huge gap in absentee ballot requests used by early voters that favored the Democrats and the president in 2008, setting up what one state analyst said could be a Mitt Romney blowout on Election Day.
While in 2008, 33 percent of the 1,158,301 absentee ballots went to Democrats and just 19 percent to registered Republicans, a 14-point gap, this year 29 percent are being requested by Democrats and 24 percent by Republicans, a five-point gap.
Check out the total number of votes to each candidate in 2008.
- Barack Obama – 51.5% – 2,940,044
- John McCain – 46.9% – 2,677,820
So in 2008 John McCain fell 262,224 votes short of success in Ohio. See where this gets messy for Democrats?
It’s clear already Democrats don’t have their turnout advantage of 2008. Obama has had campaign infrastructure in Ohio since 2007, is outspending Romney (that will change) in the state to date, no longer has a voter advantage based on early voting, and is in a statistical tie as it stands today.
Tell me again, how is it that Obama is in the lead in Ohio?