Obama +3 in Ohio (post-debate w/2008 turnout) — Fox News Poll

Another interesting poll in Ohio.  Fox News is showing President Obama with a 3-point lead, 46 to 43. This is down from a 7-point lead in the same poll one month ago. Obama does a better job consolidating his base garnering 89% of the Democrat vote and 7% of the Republican vote versus Mitt Romney garnering 85% of the Republican vote and 5% of the Democrat vote. Incredibly Romney leads among Independents by 24-points, 52 to 28. If Independents support Mitt Romney by anywhere near this margin, he will carry Ohio with room to spare. Most of the other metrics look clean (10-point lead for Obama among women, 4-point lead among men for Romney).  Clearly the party ID of those sampled determine the lead for Obama with such a disparity among Independents. Interestingly deep in the poll a plurality of voters 45% to 35% give Governor John Kasich for the economic turnaround in Ohio.

The party ID is Dem +8 (Dem 42, Rep 34, Ind 20). This compares to 2008 of D +8 (Dem 39, Rep: 31, Ind 30) and 2004 of R +5 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind: 25).  A very aggressive turnout mirroring the 2008 level which increasingly is less likely as we approach election day.  Additionally Independents look light based on general voter sentiment where identifications with Independents grows while the two major parties lose support. Despite the Obama lead, Team Romney should feel very good about this poll.

The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers October 17-18, 2012, among a random sample of 1,210 Ohio registered voters (RV). A subsample of 1,131 has been defined as likely voters (LV), with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.

Candidate Percent
Barack Obama 46
Mitt Romney 43
Other 1
Undecided 9


  1. damien
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    if romney has that many indies and undec..he is in like flynn

  2. Brian
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    D+8 sample, Independents RIDICULOUSLY undersampled, and they can only get Obama to 46%, with only a three point lead? And the narrative of Ohio being a tough win for Romney will continue?

    This is almost laughable at this point. Fox News is really bizarre when it comes to polling. Almost feels like they’re trying to overcompensate in their polls by being generous and friendly toward Obama with their samples.

    Romney’s absolute baseline right now is 257. Ohio puts him at 275 and in the White House. This poll does nothing to suggest Romney will fail to carry Ohio.

  3. damien
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    42% dem and obama can only get to 46%?

    • Dave Ped
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Exactly. What a terrible poll for O.

  4. Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The Fox News OH poll is good news for Romney. Democrats dominate early voting. Republicans dominate election-day voting. The Fox News poll specifically states that if you have already voted, you are counted as a likely voter (duh), so the poll is naturally picking up more democrats than republicans at this point…more democrats are slipping through the Fox News LV screening. That’s why the poll is Dem+8, but on election day, when Republicans typically vote, that Dem+8 advantage will dramatically shrink.

    The poll also states that 400,000 people have already voted, and Obama is winning them by 20%. This sounds bad for Romney, but it’s not. Over 5million people will vote in OH. 400k/5million = about 8% of the voting public. If Obama is winning 20% of 8%, that means Obama will have a head-start of about 1.8% of the voters in OH before election day. Romney’s election-day voting margin will far surpass 2%. Hell, McCain outpaced Obama in OH by more than 2% of voters who specifically voted on election day.

    • Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Nicely stated.

    • EpiphoneKnight
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That early voting number seems wrong. I’m told O’s lead in early voting in Ohio is about 7%, not 20. Why are early voting numbers for various states all over the place?

  5. allthingsgeography1
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just prove that there is so much more to polling than a raw lead. 46% just a few weeks before election day? :-/ And with a high Democratic sample that likely won’t be matched, basically losing in a landslide with independent voters. Worrisome for Obama indeed. But considering the close to nominal Romney lead nationally, it isn’t a big surprise.

    • TeaPartyPaul
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Good Point, thats what i looked at too…46% is very bad. Especially if you go research Ad Spending advantages overwhelmingly by Democrats in Ohio up until Tuesday of last week.

      Obama last week $2,543,00 in Ohio
      Romney last week $2,561,000 in Ohio

      “This week, however, Romney has bought more ad time in two of the states which have seen the most spending by campaigns and super PACs: Ohio and Virginia. Romney also outspent Obama this week in Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin.”


  6. John
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t like the 400,000 early voting results with Obama leading by 20%. Going into election day in 2008 McCain had less ground to make up…14.5% if I recall, closed the gap to 4.6% and actually won the day.
    The 20% is 4.5% larger than McCain’s deficit he had to face and still lost.

    • TeaPartyPaul
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Incorrect John…

      “Four years ago, Democrats made up about 42% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans made up 22% – a dismal 20-point deficit that contributed to Sen. John McCain’s defeat in Ohio. ”

      From same article linked to above from 1 day ago…

      “Through Wednesday, however, the margin has narrowed: Democrats account for 36% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans make up for 29%. ”

      Let not your heart be worried, continue to call, message and work hard! 😉

      • Brian
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Aha, that’s what I was looking for. Thank you sir.

      • Medicine Men
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Paul. U beat me to the punch.

    • Brian
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Do you have a link to some of those numbers?

    • jeff
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The 20% figure given by Fox is in fact incorrect. The gap is actually 7%. In otherwords the GOP is doing much better than in 2008. FOX unfortunately dudnt do its homework. The absentee voting pattern is closely mirroring that of the 2004 election cycle.

      • jeff
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Its quite frankly sickening tge sloppiness and low quality polling coming out. My 12 yrar old son can producr a better poll than many of these idiots. How they remain in business is a mystery to me.

  7. eatdust11
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I live in Ohio.. there definitely won’t be 8% more Dems than GOP this year.. and 20% Indy’s is too low. This isn’t a bad poll for Mitt at all!

    • TeaPartyPaul
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Get out the vote eatdust11!!! Give us some outlook of whats happening on the ground, you got your friends, family and co-workers to vote Romney? People like you have to deliver Ohio for America!

      • eatdust11
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        TeaPartyPaul, My wife and I are doing all we can. My immediate family and her immediate family are all voting Romney (8 Votes, never know that could be big!) and we are planning to vote early so we can volunteer on election day. Ohio is always close to the national average… I’d say it is about dead tied right now… Romney has really pumped up the base.. so I’m hoping that will put him over the top. It will be very close!

      • Todd
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        I’m in cuyahoga county( home of dennis kucinich and sherrod brown) and I see it as dead even with MUCH less Obama enthusiasm than ’08.

  8. Tom
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Anyone who believes the turnout will be like 2008 is insane. Romney will win Ohio easily. This poll proves it with the D+8. Romney’s lead with independents is staggering in this poll. Wave bye bye to obama.

  9. Medicine Men
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I hate to say it, but the poll has such garbage that it is hard to garner anything from it. Maybe 42% dem getting O 46. Leaves us with more questions than real answers. Maybe it is why Ryan is in Pen tomorrow and not OHio?

    • Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      He’s in Pittsburgh because that does a few things. First, chances are you will get a large turnout because it is a population center. Second, sending Ryan tests the waters with a surrogate rather than the more vital use of the top guy. If things go well and you see poll movement the pump is primed for a push with Romney. Third, the visit is guaranteed to generate plenty of news like any other campaign stop in a major media market. This gets heightened based on the aggressiveness of playing on Obama’s turf. Fourth, Pittsburgh media coverage reaches well into eastern Ohio which is blue Obama country. The obvious boon there cannot be underestimated. Very shrewd on many levels.

      • Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        DEAD ON….they will also see about rally size, coverage, etc.
        If you can pull a 7,000-10,000 person rally for the VP nominess in the heart of BLUE COUNTRY…Romney will head there after the debate.
        My gut says they pulled a poll today (post debate), then will probably pull a quick one on Sunday or Monday to see what if anything changes after the rally.

      • eatdust11
        Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely right. Pittsburgh’s market goes into some key battleground counties in Eastern Ohio… those are winnable for Romney. Ryan’s visit serves two purposes here. Would be great for him to get a huge crowd!

    • Southerner X
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The Fox polls have been quirky, at best. On another note, I really wish Dick Morris would shut his pie hole for 5 min and go publish his third book of this month. Talk of landslides just seem foolish.

  10. wholefoodsrepublican
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Do NOT become COMPLACENT. Get out the message, Get out the vote.

    • Tom
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely right, nothing should be taken for granted. I have talked to many people all over the country and the Romney campaign is working hard everywhere, and Romney will win in a mini-landslide. However that only happens with the same effort and more than has already been given to this point. Do all you can to ensure this takes place. Talk to people, volunteer for the campaign, anything you can do.

  11. Brian
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink | Reply


    A great read about Ohio.

    • Medicine Men
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Excellent Brian, thanks.

      I portray myself a realist, primarily for two reasons: 1) To emotionally protect myself 2) To be intellectually honest.

      I took a look a RCP Ohio for ’04 and ’08 to see what the polls were the week before each election and the average was pretty close. I get a little worried sometimes that I’m whistling past the graveyard with the guarded confidence about Ohio, but links to data and stories like these really help a left brain fella like myself.

  12. housebroken dad
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So I’m wondering if we’ll actually see any accurate OH poll between now and election day. Since early voters are counted as likely voters and Dems outnumber Reps in this regard, I don’t think pollsters will be able to get an accurate electorate in their samples. By including early voters, all of them will skew Dem (like they have been all along)

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      Good point. Probably only if they weight by party. Or at least weight by ideology. I know that some pollsters to weighting with the latter at times, which tends to get to the same point.

  13. Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It’s basically over in Ohio. Dems have to get a massive advantage in early voting because their people do not show up on election day. In 2008, Dems cast 340,000 more early ballots than Republicans. In addition, Obama had a significant lead among independents, who cast 600,000 early ballots, giving him a pre election day lead of around 375,000. McCain beat him on election day by over 100,000 votes, so the final margin was 259,000. The McCain election day advantage of over 100,000 votes was after getting outspent 26M to 14M in the state, with a lousy GOTV operation, a dispirited base and mediocre debate performances.

    Early voting in Ohio is now half done. The number of early voters is half as much as last time, very bad news for the Dems, because their people don’t show up. As of this morning, 28,013 more Dems had voted early than Republicans. When you consider that 140,000 independents have voted, if Romney has even a 3% lead among independents, that cuts Obama’s early voting lead to 24,000, with early voting half done (it runs 10/2 to 11/6 in Ohio). Furthermore, Republicans are gaining each of the last 12 days. Obama is going to finish early voting up 30,000 – 50,000 votes.

    If McCain could beat him in election day voting by around 115,000, imagine what Romney (who has outspent him 55M to 53M in Ohio, has a massive GOTV operation, a fired up base and good debate performances) is going to do to him. Likely election day margin of 200,000 to 250,000, swamping Obama’s lead of 30,000-50,000. This would produce a win of about 3-5% and that’s about what the polls are potending. Ohio is done and without it, Obama will not win. It’s over.

    • Southerner X
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Excellent analysis! Many thanks.

    • Medicine Men
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Do us a favor and keep us updated with early voting data ( including links?). Much appreciated!

    • SR
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      yes, do keep us updated. thanks a lot for the analysis.

    • Medicine Man
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      Do you have any links regarding any of this? In eye balling the CNN blog report, it makes sense. Would be nice to have.

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is pretty good personal link marketing– where you go into a completely different field and post specific info that raises your credibility 🙂

      I’m coming to the same conclusion. Basically, that if Obama only has a 6.5% lead in the early vote, and Romney will win by at least McCain’s 2% election day voting lead, Romney is going to win. In ’08 the early vote was 8.7% (lets say it increases to 10% because Ohio is now mailing in all counties), winning 10% by 6.5% opposes to winning 94% by 2% and gives an outcome of 1.2% to Romney. This isn’t even considering Independents, nor the many other variables that Romney has in his favor.

      It’s close, but I am seeing a slight lean for Romney right now.

  14. SR
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very informative. I just saw John King at CNN talking about a surge for Obama in the midwest based on recent polls, and I am frankly appalled at how poorly informed journalists are these days. Seriously, bloggers seem to have so much more depth to their analysis. Its not that this info is hard to find. any journalist, including very lazy ones, can get all this info by just surfing the internet.

    • Teapartypaul
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      Links are much appreciated. Great info

    • jeff
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      Its due to lazy reporting and shoddy journalism. Fox is falsely claiming for instance that Obama has a 20pt advantage in eay voting in Ohio when clearly he has only a 7pt lead. Rather than look at the actual stats they just went back to 2008 and assumed the same result will happen again in 2012, As the result they have a screwed up poll with faulty assumptions.

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