President Obama leads Mitt Romney 49 percent to 44 percent among Ohio voters who have voted or plan to vote, according to a poll released on Wednesday by Time. The race is tied among likely voters who have not yet voted, but Obama’s lead in early voting gives him the edge.
Among those who have voted already, Obama enjoys a two-to-one advantage, 60 percent to 30 percent. Among those who have not yet voted but say they plan to, each candidate is polling at 45 percent.
Obama’s get-out-the-vote apparatus is generally believed to be better than Romney’s, but data about this aspect of the campaign is much less accessible than public-opinion data, which has garnered more attention.
Though the poll found more voters trust Romney to handle the economy, 50 percent to Obama’s 46 percent, the president enjoys a stronger lead on the question of who would better represent the interests of the middle class, with which the vast majority of Americans identify. On that score, Obama gets 50 percent support to Romney’s 44 percent.
The president also appears to be benefitting from Ohio voters’ optimism about the future of their state. Fifty-one percent believe Ohio is on the right track, compared to 43 percent who think it’s on the wrong track. This optimism comes despite a more dour outlook for the country as a whole: Only 41 percent of voters in the poll believe the U.S. is on the right track, compared to 54 percent who think it’s on the wrong track.
And while Romney has a nine-point lead among men, Obama has a 19-point lead among women.
No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio, and an analysis by The New York Times’ Nate Silver shows the state has a 50 percent chance of deciding the race this year.
Not surprisingly, both tickets are spending lots of time there. Romney has stops on Thursday in Cincinnati, Worthington, and Defiance, Ohio, while his running mate Paul Ryan gave a campaign speech in Cleveland on Wednesday. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were in Ohio earlier this week.
The Time poll of 783 likely voters was conducted Oct. 22-23 by Abt SRBI. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.