Obama-Romney Tied at 48 in Ohio — Rasmussen

Rasmussen Reports has the race all knotted up in Ohio at 48 with 3% Undecided:

With just two weeks to go until Election Day, the race for Ohio’s 18 Electoral College votes is a tie. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters, taken the night after the final presidential debate, shows both President Obama and Mitt Romney attracting 48% of the vote. Two percent (2%) plan to vote for some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided. The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Ohio was conducted on October 23, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 48
Mitt Romney 48
Other 2
Undecided 3


  1. Dennis
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    See my comment #3 under the Clark County story below.

    • Dennis
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      Keith, can you answer my last question? Just to put it in the right place and make it easier to read:

      Rasmussen has Romney ahead by four points again today, but warns that the single day’s data after the third debate reverts to merely a two point lead. More confusing to me is this statement:

      “In Ohio, the race is now tied at 48%. Romney is trusted more than Obama on economic issues and energy policy, while Obama has the edge on national security. The president has a 10-point advantage among those who have already voted.”

      Does that ten point advantage factor into the 48% tie? Does it mean Obama has now a structural advantage like he did over McCain, which allowed him to beat McCain in Ohio even though McCain beat him in Ohio on election day?

      • Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Early voting is creating a unique problem for polling organizations. Since Democrats tend to vote early, you see the Democrat candidate typically leading by wide margins in early voting. When it comes to polls, all voters who said they already voted make it through the likely voter screen and end up in the results. This inherently over-samples Democrats which practically guarantees a favorable result for Democrats. Polling organizations need to build in controls that reduce the amount of people who say they voted early to reflect the reported #s. But they will not do that for this election so we’ll just have to deal with skewed polls in states with high early voting.

      • equityval
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Some data on early voting in prior OH elections. Clear bias to Dems in prior elections. Don’t know what political affiliation or bias the author might have.


  2. TeaPartyPaul
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    R +1 in the crosstabs of this poll

    • Michel Daoud
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      Am I the only one who is concerned by this? More Republicans polled, and yet Romney cannot pull ahead…

      • allthingsgeography1
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Ohio in my opinion is a true swing state…it’s being stubbornly resistant to polling well for anyone. On the topline, Obama has been ahead (granted, within the margin of error) which is good for him, but has been hanging around 46-48% which is crap for an incumbent who can’t depend on the undecideds to go his way. On the other hand, Romney is the challenger and so people may be resistant to just flipping for someone who is still a slightly unknown quantity (there is a risk assessment made with people when they decide to pick someone who hasn’t run the country). All these polls are within the margin of error regardless of the party ID (unless one expects 2004-style turnout by Republicans), so the ground game is important to either side. Ohioans have been bombarded with ads, they just have to go vote now.

      • Big Mac
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        I fully expect a greater turnout among Republicans in 12′ than 04′. With the loathe the right has of the President and finally the GOP is willing to vote for Romney not for the sake of just throwing Obama out of office but because of Romney himself. This bodes well for Mitt.

      • allthingsgeography1
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Well, if you are correct Big Mac and that translates across multiple states, then I’d expect Romney to win Ohio handedly (and probably Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and probably Minnesota by a close contest too). Ohio was R+5 in 2004. To exceed that would be significant. Right now, I think while turnout by Democrats will be decreased, I’m betting they won’t all turn their backs or stay home on Election Day. However, the possibility of a surprise blowout with a dramatic turn from 2008 turnout back to 2004 turnout or even better for Republicans is still at the back of my mind.

    • Fred S
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      The Survey USA poll has Obama up by 3, but that is a D+7 split, which seems highly unlikely. Is the R+1 scenario too optimistic? I would think the undecideds break 2:1 for Romney at least so I would think OH would be a 1.5 – 2% Romney win.
      Any other thoughts on how the early voting %s are looking in OH?
      First time poster – just want to offer my thanks to Keith – this is a fabulous forum for finding out what is going on in the field that you just can’t get elsewhere.

      • Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Despite what I’m doing for Nevada I really don’t look at early voting in any depth. I can tell you this though, Ohio early voting has a TON of bad signs for Obama. Steep drops in heavy Democrat Counties and steep rises in Republican-heavy Counties. It seems the enthusiasm gap I’ve blogged about many times is showing up across the early voting states. It is definitely true for Nevada and Ohio. All good news for Rommney.

      • Dogfish
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        The thing that I find most encouraging about the numbers that Rasmussen is providing for Ohio is that he is showing a 48-to-48 tie. That means 4% not accounted for or undecided.

        If that is the case, it bodes well for Romney in that history tells us that the large majority (67%+) of undecideds will go with the challenger. If Romney gets 67%+ of the 4% that are undecided, then he carries Ohio.

      • JM
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Keith – love your early voting analysis in Clark (NV) and Washoe (NV). Are you planning on doing similar analysis for Ohio, or link to good, objective analysis sites?

  3. allthingsgeography1
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have a sense that most of these swing states are going to be quite close and keeping us in suspense on Election Night…

  4. No Tribe
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Clint is back:

    • allthingsgeography1
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink | Reply

      LOL my fellow liberals thought Clint Eastwood had gone senile during that speech at the RNC. I thought he was making a tongue and cheek joke out of the President over his opinion that he was…well, literally empty of ideas. Satire is hard to get sometimes. I ended up poking fun of Obama on Facebook as an empty chair after his performance in the first debate, as did the New Yorker.

      • No Tribe
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        I didn’t really think it mattered that much either way. For an old guy without a script, I thought he did well enough to make the audience laugh. This ad is pretty hard hitting.

  5. Big Mac
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    The Libya scandal is starting to really tick up, this will put a douse on any momentum for BO. Romney is going to cruise to victory.

  6. Vadim
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    Good NH Rasmussen poll out this morning: R 50 , O 48, only 1% undecided…Not so blue I guess 😉 I live in Boston and I am starting to see lots of TV ads and hear some on the radio as well. I went to a Romney rally in Nashua in September…very big crowd even back then!

  7. NHConservative
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    I live in NH and we are fired up. I’m working the polls and will be submitting the Republican turnout in my town back to Romney HQ. We want to take back NH!

  8. Big Mac
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    Who is Rimney?

  9. William Jefferson Jr.
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    Watch the trend. Obama’s number continues to fall.

    • Ron
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Right. Last Ras poll was O49 R48. Now it’s tied.

  10. TheShaz
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink | Reply

    Come on Ohio!

    Granted seeing Obama below the magic 50% number is good for us and bad for an incumbent. But I am afraid if this comes down to the wire it will be a Lawyer Feeding Frenzy that I do not think this nation could not survive again.

    We need a National Blowout to erase all doubt.

    • Big Mac
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      I agree, I like what Keith said about the early voting numbers though, things are looking good for RR. Ohio will fall into his column.

    • Ron
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The bad news for Obama is that he hasn’t hit 50% nationally and OH usually reflects the national trend. In 2004, btw, Kerry never hit 50% nationally–unlike Romney. Oth, Bush frequently polled at 50% nationally. So while this may not look like 1980, it’s not 2004 either.

  11. TheWIZZ
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    Read this data today about OHIO – analysis of Ohio early voting:

    In 2008, there were 1,158,301 total absentee ballots requested, 33 percent registered Democrat and 19 percent registered Republican–a 14 point gap. So far in 2012, 638,997 ballots have been requested, 29 percent Democrat and 24 percent Republican–only a five point gap.

    The Republicans have shrunk the gap nine percent overall since 2008, but when we examine key counties in Ohio, the numbers become even more dramatic.

    –Champaign County: Was +3% GOP, now +23% GOP – 20 point shift.

    –Columbiana County: Was +9% DEM, now +9% GOP – 18 point shift.

    –Crawford County: Was +3% DEM, now +12% GOP – 15 point shift.

    –Cuyahoga County: Was +36% DEM, now +30% DEM (GOP already has 6,000 more requests than in 2008) – 6 point shift.

    –Erie County: Was +24% DEM, now +7% DEM -17 point shift.

    –Franklin County: Was +5% DEM, now +5% GOP – 10 point shift.

    –Greene County: Was +4% DEM, now +19% GOP – 23 point shift.

    –Harrison County: Was +22% DEM, now +5% DEM – 17 point shift.

    –Hamilton County: Was +7% GOP, now +13% GOP – 6 point shift.

    –Licking County: Was TIED, now +16% GOP – 16 point shift.

    –Montgomery County: Was +29% DEM, now +5% DEM – 24 point shift.

    –Muskingum County: Was +1% DEM, now +16% GOP – 17 point shift.

    –Pickaway County: Was +12% DEM, now +15% GOP – 27 point shift.

    –Seneca County: Was +1% DEM, now +13% GOP – 14 point shift.

    –Summit County: Was +33% DEM, now +6 DEM – 27 point shift.

    –Wood County: Was +10% DEM, now +1% GOP – 11 point shift.

    • JM
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

      Can you share out source link TheWIZZ?

      • Teapartypaul
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Type ” google spreAdsheet ohio early vote” it will come up for the source

    • todd
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      If this is correct…wow! Heard an interesting theory today about a significant number of very moderate republicans that were turned off to McCain because of Palin now in ’12 are all in on Romney. Plays into Keith’s excellent piece about “the missing white vote”. I can’t help but think the demographics of this election are going to turn most of these polls on their heads.

    • No Tribe
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink | Reply

      The two most important are Hamilton and Wood. They are among the 106 swing counties. Both with strong shifts to GOP, and Wood flips!








  12. Anthony
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I hate to be a Doubting Thomas, but with an R+1 sample and land line polling, this doesn’t appear to be a good poll for Romney. Set me straight. It would seem the efforts would be well spent in NV, CO, Iowa, NH. A sweep of these + trending VA and FL would guarantee a win even while losing Ohio.

    • Ron
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      In the end it’s about enthusiasm. Which candidate is drawing the biggest crowds?

    • Jim S.
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Are you sure it was all landline? Even if it was Ras is usually pretty good at “adjusting” for things like that. R+1 is right inbetween 04 and 08 with maybe a slight tilt towards 04 which I think is a fair estimate for turnout. The one thing that stands out about this poll is this would have Obama winning independents, which contradicts the polling we’ve seen almost across the board. That said, if it stands at 48-48, you have to imagine that undecideds will break somewhere between 2:1 and 4:1 for Romney, giving him the state.

  13. zang
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Regarding party breakdown demographics … It is unknown if this is the breakdown before or after Rasmussen re-weights his numbers. People are making some pretty big assumptions here as Rasmussen has made it clear that he weights all of his polls by party turnout assumptions.

  14. Dave Ped
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    There is a definate disparity – one thing interesting is if you look at Rasmussen daily swing state tracking today it shows R 50 O 45 or R+5.

    These are 11 swing states totaling 146 EV (CO, FL, IA, MI, NV, NH, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI).

    I took the RCP averages for these 11 states as of today and they average to R 46.9 to O 48.1 or O+1.2.

    RCP is behind and also includes the pathetic junk polls in the averages.

    If you look at the macro level Rasmussen swing state poll, its looking pretty good for Romney.

    Rasmussen is still using D+3 sample yet his average for all of 2012 Party ID has been R+2.57.

    Based on a lot of things, I don’t think this race is really as close as all the talking heads are saying right now.

    • Interested Party
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Agree. This is not as close as people are saying. Look at 1980, and the comments right before the election at how supposedly close it was.

  15. Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    this race is indeed close. PERIOD. Anyone who says it is not is kidding themselves. Never in the history of our country, that I know of, have their been polling showing a tie race and there end up being a blowout on either side.

    This will be a tie ballgame and it will come down to the ground game in many many states across the country. Now if you take the accepted wisdom that late deciders generally break for the challenger 2-1 then that is advantage Romney. If you accept the wisdom of Nate Silver that claims that convential wisdom is BS and late deciders and undecideds do not break for the challenger and many times have gone to the incumbant than advantage Obama.

    Annecdotally speaking…Obama is not running, speaking, acting like a man who is electorally ahead. He is not running, speaking or acting like a man who has a comfortable lead across the board as his campaign claims.

    Basically I look at it like this….By the weekend RASMUSSEN will show whether the last debate had any dramatic effect. By Tuesday, Gallup will show the full effect of the third debate. Then the last major item to come out and will be razor close to the election is next Friday, the last jobs report is released for October. Many expect the unemployment rate to actually jump back above 8% (I do not)….that could be the last nail that throws undecideds one way or the other. If unemployment drops again, I think they go Obama. If it jumps back above 8 they go Romney

    • Dave Ped
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      1980 gallop had Carter up 3 a couple days before election, Reagan won by 10. Rassmussen has Romney up 50 to 45 in the 11 swing states. That is 45 to an incumbant average in these all so important swing states. Every election since O got elected has swung 15 to 20 points to R side. Christie, McDonnel, Walker, 2010 mid terms etc. All blowouts for Republicans.

    • Ron
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It will be close perhaps. But it’s hard to tell at this point whether or not things will break further. In the past OH has reflected the national numbers–which right now show Obama hovering around 45-46-47 percent and Romney at around 50 percent. Historically OH has not veered far from the pattern. Moreover, for much of the past few years Obama’s job approval has been around the mid-40s or slightly above.

    • allthingsgeography1
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I do agree that the jobs report may be an important tidbit for Obama. If the unemployment rate goes back up above 8%…that would be devastating I think. Even staying just below (say 7.9%) would be bad enough, but to have the narrative be that the unemployment rate has risen and gone back above a high water mark AGAIN…Obama’s reelection chances would dwindle. I know the Democrats yell that Republicans want a bad economy so their guy can win, but at the same time, Democrats need some more proof things are getting better or else we won’t win jack squat. If the rate comes down, it puts him in a slightly better position against his challenger to say, “things are getting better, stick with me and don’t change course now”. Changing course is a big deal. People have to feel it MUST be done in order to do it.

  16. Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    very positive that looking at the history of Rasmussen and his polls in Ohio. From what I can see this is the first movement in ohio in his poll since early September. He has had O+1 for more than 6 weeks. This move up to a tie is very positive for Romney. But even if he does take the lead let’s say next week…1 poll does not an election certainty make.

    As for your point Gallup has barely a 60% accuracy rate on the actual re-elect rate. Rasmussen is one pollster among many. He has been wrong in the past and been good in the past. We shouldn’t get all fired up over 1 poll. That is just my point

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