President Barack Obama has lost ground in Ohio under a new poll out today from Quinnipiac University and CBS News but still holds a 50-45 percent lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The poll pegs Mr. Obama’s 50-45 percent standing to the strong gender gap in his favor among women.
The Quinnipiac/CBS poll in late September showed Mr. Obama in front 53-43.
According to the poll, President Obama leads 55–40 percent among women while Gov. Romney leads 51–44 percent among men. Whites back the Republican 51–44 percent while blacks go Democratic 91–5 percent.
Voters with college degrees are divided with 49 percent for Romney and 47 percent for Obama. Voters without degrees back Obama 52–43 percent.
Voters making less than $30,000 per year support Mr. Obama 60–34 percent while voters making more than $100,000 favor Mr. Romney 53–45 percent. Independent voters back Romney 49–42 percent.
“The good news for Gov. Romney is that he has sliced President Obama’s lead in Ohio in half in the last month,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “The bad news for Romney, and the good news for Obama, is that no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio and the challenger is running out of time to make up the remaining difference.”
In Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown holds a 51–42 percent lead over State Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican challenger.
Other polls done at about the same time have put Ohio much closer in the presidential contest.
Public Policy Polling showed a 49-48 percent lead for Mr. Obama and Gravis Marketing, a survey of 1,943 likely voters, had the two candidates tied in a poll that ended Friday.
In 2008, Quinnipiac’s polling predicted leads for for then-Senator Obama over Republican nominee John McCain that were wider than other major pollsters followed by online political journal Real Clear Politics. On Oct. 21, 2008, Quinnipiac had Mr. Obama leading Republican nominee John McCain in Ohio by 14 points, or 52-38 percent, according to Real Clear Politics. Mr. Obama won the election by 4.5 points, or 51.5-47 percent.
The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey, taken Wednesday through Friday, questioned 1,548 likely voters. It has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.
According to Quinnipiac, in both the presidential and U.S. Senate races, the roughly 20 percent of those who have already cast their ballots said they backed the Democratic candidates by a larger margin than the overall survey respondents. Among early voters, Mr. Obama leads 54–39 percent, while Senator Brown leads Mr. Mandel 57–36 percent.
One key reason for Obama’s lead in Ohio could be that Buckeye voters are more optimistic about the economy than most of their counterparts around the country, according to the Institute’s Peter Brown.