Aug 26, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
As the Dispatch headline says, the closeness of the race has left “undecided voters charge.” Historically, undecided voters strongly favor the challenger, as they know how the incumbent governs, and if they liked it, would not still be undecided…so the advantage in Ohio now goes to Romney…
Excerpted from The Columbus Dispatch:
Dispatch Poll results: Tight races put undecided voters in control
The closest Dispatch Poll in modern history shows the races for president and U.S. Senate in a dead heat in battleground Ohio.
For the record, Republican Mitt Romney holds a “lead” of 0.22 percentage point over President Barack Obama. That’s a mere 2 votes out of more than 1,730 cast for president in the mail poll.
By comparison, Sen. Sherrod Brown has a landslide going over GOP state Treasurer Josh Mandel with a margin of 0.87 point. That’s a whopping 15-ballot bulge.
The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, so the takeaway is that the presidential matchup is tied at 45 percent and the Senate struggle at 44 percent among likely voters.
As the intense and expensive presidential campaign rounds the corner through two weeks of political conventions and heads for the fall home stretch, the candidates must try to win over the 10 percent of Ohio voters who remain undecided.
Many are in groups already being carried easily by Romney: Protestants, nonunion households, residents of southeastern Ohio.
Signs of voter unhappiness are sprinkled throughout the poll.
Sixty-two percent say the country is on the wrong track. A total of 55 percent — including 1 out of 7 Obama supporters — say the president’s performance since taking office has been worse than they hoped.
Judging from comments by poll participants, it’s hard to tell whether Ohioans are for one candidate as much as they are against the other.
“I am concerned that the policies of the current president will lead to an economic disaster for this country,” said John Steinberger, 78, a St. Paris retiree backing Romney in the poll. “ President Obama continues to show either a lack of knowledge about how business works or has a disdain for businesses in general.”
Michael G. Starinsky, 48, a high-school studio arts teacher in Chagrin Falls, countered: “I am supporting President Obama because I believe he has created momentum in the country despite the impediments the Republican Party has imposed upon his initiatives.
“I also believe he has a far greater grasp of world history, American history and has garnered infinite more global respect than any Republican since Ronald Reagan. Additionally, he speaks for rational changes in energy, health care, women’s and gay rights, and the country’s infrastructure.”
On the other hand, Donald Saxon, 60, a small business owner in Gallipolis, said, “I am supporting Romney because Obama has been a disaster in helping the economy. … We can’t stand even one more year of Obama. The USA will be a socialist nation.
“Romney has been in business and knows what is needed to help small business to grow. Obama talks about the rich like they are something bad.”