Democrats in Ohio have been talking about a resurgence of activism and enthuasism in the wake of a vote on SB 5, the anti-union measure that was repealed Tuesday night by a wide margin in a statewide referendum. And it looks like the push from that effort is showing on the presidential level as well: President Barack Obama leads all GOP challengers there outside the margin of error in a poll taken just before the SB 5 vote.
The Public Policy Polling (D) survey shows Obama out in front of former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney 50 - 41, businessman Herman Cain 51 - 39 and Texas Gov. Rick Perry 53 - 36. While the President’s job approval rating is well underwater at 41 percent approval versus 49 percent disapproval, the GOP candidates are so far down on favorability that Obama easily pushes past them. Romney, who has shown strength against Obama in previous state polling, is only viewed favorably by 28 percent of Ohio voters, against 48 percent who see him in a negative light.
PPP also made the point that the voters who showed up on Tuesday are skewed by Democratic enthusiasm to vote down SB 5 and oppose Gov. John Kasich, whose own approval ratings have dropped dramatically, and that the voting bloc on election day of next year will be vastly different after a presidential campaign. “The electorate next year probably won’t be as friendly to Democrats as the one that showed up in Ohio yesterday,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling in a release. “But after a tough 2010 there it looks like the party is re-energized and ready to come back out for Barack Obama in 2012.”
The crosstabs shows that the key to Obama’s success in the poll was to lock down Democrats, split or win independent voters, and then pull a small but crucial amount of Republicans: he was able to siphon off between 9 and 13 percent of the GOP in the poll, which led to his high margins against possible candidates. But PPP said that the unpopularity of SB 5 was likely at work here, and he has a chance to replicate some of the results if he can keep Dems in the state motivated. From their analysis:
The reason for the president’s improvement has to do with enthusiasm. The Democrats voting in this fall’s election are in lock-step behind him, and the Republicans, 30% of whom said they would vote to overturn SB5, are more favorable to him than those in the general registered electorate. While Romney pulled 12% of Democrats and ceded only 4% of Republicans just three weeks ago, the case now is almost the reverse, with Obama winning 10% of the GOP and losing only 4% of his own party. The Republicans next fall will not likely be so open to voting for him, but the president has to hope his own party remains as motivated to oppose the GOP nominee as they are to oppose Kasich now.
Check out the TPM Poll Average of the Obama — Romney matchup in Ohio below.
The PPP survey used 1,022 automated telephone interviews with likely Ohio voters conducted November 4th to the 6th. It has a sampling error of 3.1 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.