Sunday, September 21, 2008

McCain over Obama by 6 points says Ohio Newspaper Poll

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.


Tim Higgins said...

This is good news for the McCain campaign, but still far too early for them to celebrate. It will be interesting to see the bounce (one way or the other) after the 1st debate.

skeeter1107 said...

My own personal unscientific perspective is that there is a great deal of uncertainty with Obama. Not the race issue as many would like to assert, but instead a general sense of "who is this guy?"

As more information about him comes out, the difference between his rhetoric of what he will do in the future and the reality of what he has done or voted for in the past are at odds. His created image as a new and different style politician doesn't correspond to his record. His record of voting reflects a highly partisan inflexible liberal politician. How do you reconcile the difference?

His "change" that he promoted in the Democratic primaries was a brilliant move. He tapped into the American public's desire for change. Unfortunately, time and further scrutiny of his record and his political and personal associates, has led people to begin to see him in less lofty terms. As an aside, I also think he is a victim of media worship and overexposure.

Now does that necessarily mean that people are wildly enthusiastic about McCain/Palin and that is why McCain has moved ahead? In total, I don't think so. McCain's record is well known for his willingness to more often go against both parties. His campaign rhetoric is closer to his record. While you may not be real happy with that, there is a strange comfort in being more certain of someone's future behavior.

When all is said and done, it strikes me that it is a choice similar to hiring a new employee. You have one candidate who is a great interview but when you check his work history, it just doesn't excite you. Your other choice is a guy who isn't a great interview but when checking his resume find that there is a record of achievement. Whom do you choose?

Old reliable or potential star? It would appear that in today's political and economic environment that Ohio wants to go with the tried and true and not risk it.

historymike said...

I'm more interested in seing Obama's numbers in the big cities. He'll never win over small town Ohioans, whose social and cultural conservatism work against politicians promising anything "new."

If Obama pulls 75-80 percent in the cities, he can win Ohio. However, if McCain manages to snag enough political independents to get in the 35-40 percent range, Obama has no chance of winning Ohio, the so-called bellwether state for its role in either deciding presidential elections or riding with the eventual winner in every presidential cycle since 1960 (and most of the elections in the 20th century).

Maggie Thurber said...

I think the 2008 race will be very similar to the 2004 race in terms of the needed votes in the suburban and urban areas.

McCain will have to pull about 40% in the urban cities. In the more traditionally conservative rural areas, he'll have to up his percentages somewhat...getting 5% more votes in those areas (over what Bush got) will counter any GOTV efforts for the more liberal-leaning voters in the major cities.

It's doable, but I don't see the same grass roots efforts for McCain as what Bush had for Ohio. It was really tough to get Bush the 42% he got in Lucas County. McCain will need to that much, or better.

We'll see...a poll is just a snapshot on a given day.

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