The race for president is still tight in Ohio, but is trending toward Sen. John McCain.
An Ohio Newspaper Poll shows McCain has a 48% to 42% lead over Democratic opponent Barack Obama. The margin of error is +/- 3.3% for the survey which was conducted Sept. 12-16.
Some interesting tidbits from the poll:
* A majority- 53% - said they are either the same or better off than they were four years ago. (If a majority of voters are not experiencing difficulty or find themselves better off now, this does not bode well for candidates who are selling themselves as a solution to a bad economy.)
In the breakdown, the higher your education level, the better off you say you are, with 85% of respondents without a high school diploma saying they are worse off now than they were four years ago. A large majority of Democrats - 68% - say they are worse off. Independents are evenly split at 50% but only 26% of Republicans say they're worse off now. Interpreting the results from an educational perspective is easy - people without education are not doing as well as those with an education. This is pretty much a given. Interpreting the discrepancy between the opinions of Democrats and Republicans is another matter entirely.
* A significant majority - 70% - believe in global warming, but most do not think man-made emissions are to blame. (Yes, Ohioans know how to think critically.)
* A majority - 57% - support building more nuclear power facilities. (This is a plus for McCain who has indicated his support for this source of energy as well.)
* A majority - 55% - think the most important priority for an energy policy is alternative energy. The other choices in the survey were more drilling, nuclear plants, conserve energy and don't know. There was no 'all of the above' choice.
The political party breakdown on this question was 71% of Democrats, 52% of Independents and 41% of Republicans selecting 'alternative energy' as an answer. Conversely, for 'more drilling,' the results were 16% of Democrats, 20% of Independents and 43% of Republicans. Independents had the highest percentage for 'conserve energy' at 22%.
* A majority - 65% - support providing health care for all Americans, even if it means raising taxes. (This is a plus for Obama who supports a universal health care concept.) The choices were universal coverage, even with higher taxes, no taxes for universal coverage and don't know. 87% of Democrats, 67% of Independents and 44% of Republicans selected 'universal coverage, even with higher taxes.
* A majority - 57% - think Obama's race won't have any impact on the presidential race. (This shows that some elected Democrats in Ohio are out of touch.) Interestingly, it was Republicans who gave the 'no impact' answer most, 66% versus Democrats (33% of whom thought his race would hurt him) and Independents (who were evenly split between 'no impact' and the other choices of 'help,' 'hurt' or 'don't know.')
* 51% think McCain's age won't make a difference. 51% of Democrats, but only 39% of Republicans think it will hurt him.
All in all, I'm not surprised by the results of this snapshot of likely Ohio voters.