Ohio voters just aren’t that into either presidential candidate, according to new numbers from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP).
President Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney, 47 percent to 44 percent, in the Buckeye State, a closer race than PPP’s last Ohio poll in May, in which Obama had a 7-point lead. But both candidates have a major problem in the quintessential swing state: Voters don’t approve of President Obama, and aren’t fans of Romney either.
“Barack Obama’s still ahead in Ohio, but this is the smallest lead he’s had in the state since last October,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP said in a release. “He’s lost a fair amount of ground with white Democrats in the last couple months.”
Obama’s approval rating in the state is underwater at 44 percent approval, and 51 percent disapproval. Only 35 percent of Ohioans have a favorable view of Romney, while 54 percent have an unfavorable view. Twenty percent of Republicans dislike Romney as well, more than a month after the Republican presidential primary ended.
Romney has had favorability troubles since the beginning of the year, but for the most part he’s made up ground by coalescing members of his own party and improving his standing with independent voters nationally. Yet the PPP numbers show there is still work to do within Ohio, a Rust Belt state that has been ravaged by the economic forces of globalization, but whose unemployment rate beats the national average.
Obama isn’t viewed much better by the state’s unaffiliated voters — only 37 percent approve of the job he’s doing, while 53 percent disapprove. Nearly a fifth of Democrats, 18 percent, also disapprove. And while women favor Obama by 11 points in a match-up with Romney, only 47 percent approve of his job performance, with 47 disapproving. Two months ago, Obama’s overall job approval was locked at 48 percent in PPP’s Ohio survey.
The current PollTracker Average of the presidential race in Ohio shows a slight .1 percent lead for President Obama.
The PPP poll used 673 automated telephone interviews with registered Ohio voters conducted from June 21-24. It has a sampling error of 3.8 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.