Five Takeaways from Poll Showing Romney Gaining In Ohio

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Polls show Mitt Romney gaining ground in Ohio but Barack Obama not losing ground.

Quinnipiac University is out with its latest CBS poll of likely Ohio voters. It shows that Republican Mitt Romney has cut President Obama’s lead in half over the last month.  A September 26th poll had the president leading by ten points, 53 percent to 43 percent.  Now Romney trails by only five points – 50 percent to 45 percent.

Here are five things the poll tells us:

1. The race is back where it was.   Yes, President Obama has lost half of his ten point lead, but that’s only because he doubled his lead in September.  In August,  the president had a six point lead.   He likely doubled his lead after Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” video was published.   Romney seems to have used his debate performances to erase that damage.

2. Romney Is More Favorable.  The reason why Mitt Romney has closed the gap is more Ohioans like him, pure and simple.  For months, Romney’s approval rating has bounced along the 40 percent mark – not a good place to be to win an election.  Suddenly, after his debate performances, Romney’s approval rating has jumped 5 points to 46 percent.

3. More Women Like Romney.  All summer Mitt Romney has faced what looked like an insurmountable gender gap.  President Obama had at least a 20 point lead among female Ohio voters.  In the latest Quinnipiac poll, Romney still faces a gender gap, but he’s shrunk President Obama’s lead among women to 13 points.  Romney’s lead among men stands at 7 points.

4.  Romney supporters Becoming Less Anti-Obama.   For most of the summer about 20 percent of  Quinnipac respondents  who said they would vote for Romney said they were doing so because they wanted to defeat the president. Now that number has been cut in half. Only nine percent  of Romney voters say their primary motivation is voting against the president.

5.  The Fundamentals Are Still With President Obama. While Mitt Romney has gained ground  in the Quinnipiac Poll, Barack Obama has not lost any significant ground.  He remains at 50 percent or better. Fifty one percent or more Ohio voters still view him favorably. His job approval rating stands at 50 percent. And among votes already cast, President Obama leads Mitt Romney 54 to 39 percent.

Mitt Romney’s Ohio chances have improved greatly over the past few weeks, but they will have to improve by the same amount if he hopes to capture the state he must win to win The White House.

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