Columbus Dispatch Ohio 2012 Presidential Poll
- Barack Obama-Joe Biden 50% [51%] (45%)
- Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 48% [42%] (45%)
Obama leads by 15 points among the 40 percent-plus of voters who say they have or will cast an early ballot. Romney leads by 11 points with those who plan to vote on Election Day. Through Friday, more than 1.6 million Ohioans had cast an early ballot.
More than a quarter of Ohio voters view their presidential vote this year as “the lesser of two evils.” About 21 percent of Obama supporters agreed with that sentiment, as do 30 percent of those voting for Romney.
One key to Obama’s lead: He is winning by more than 2-to-1 among the 11 percent of Ohio voters who say they didn’t cast a ballot in the 2010 governor’s race, which Republican John Kasich won by 2 points.
Obama’s lead is built on a 10-point advantage in heavily Democratic northeastern Ohio and a 5-point margin in central Ohio, regarded as a swing area this year. Romney rolls to a 23-point bulge in heavily Republican southwestern Ohio, a 17-point lead in western Ohio and a 4-point edge in northwestern Ohio, which in past elections has proved a reliable barometer for the whole state.
The latest poll shows that those debates helped Romney more than Obama. While 52 percent said they had little or no impact on their vote, 27 percent said the face-offs moved them toward Romney, 20 percent said toward Obama.