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McCain Holds 48% to 45% Lead in Ohio

A new Fox News/Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds John McCain holding on to a 48% to 45% lead over Barack Obama in Ohio, down from a seven-point spread a week ago.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of McCain voters say they are certain to vote for him and will not change their mind. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Obama voters say the same.

The is the ninth straight Ohio poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports this year and McCain has held at least a slight advantage in all nine. However, the shifting margins are indicative of how volatile the race is in the state that sealed President Bush’s reelection in 2004. Last week’s numbers matched McCain’s largest lead of the year while this week’s result are more in line with the smaller lead he has maintained in the state since July.

McCain has the backing of 90% of Republicans while Obama is supported by 78% of Democrats. This week, Obama has the edge among unaffiliated voters.

Men give the edge to McCain 55% to 41%, but women favor Obama 48% to 41%.

Ohio voters trust McCain over Obama by a 48% to 42% margin, but 30% say they would be extremely comfortable with the Democrat as president versus 24% who feel that way about his Republican opponent. Factor in those who say they would be very comfortable or somewhat comfortable with either man as president, though, and McCain comes out on top 62% to 55%.

But 41% say they would not be comfortable at all with Obama as president, while 36% say that of McCain.

Rasmussen Reports and Fox News Channel will jointly release a series battleground state polls every Monday night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Other polls tonight were released for Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. See overview of all polling released this week.

Rasmussen Reports will release other state polling on the Presidential race weeknights at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, follows the race on a national basis and is updated every morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. (Sign up for a free daily e-mail update).

Ohio, with its 20 Electoral College votes, is rated as “Leans Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. A classic swing state, George W. Bush carried it in both 2000 and 2004, but Democrat Bill Clinton won Ohio in the two previous presidential elections. Rasmussen Markets data shows that McCain is currently given a % chance of carrying Ohio this November. NOTE: Factors other than the latest Rasmussen Reports poll impact the Balance of Power ratings. The current status is indicated on the table in the upper righthand corner of this article. When asked which candidate they would consult if they had to make the toughest decision of their lives, 51% of Ohio voters say they would go to McCain for advice, and 41% say they would turn to Obama.

The GOP candidate is viewed at least somewhat favorably by 55% of voters, including 32% who say their view is Very Favorable. Obama is regarded at least somewhat favorably by 51%, with 30% saying their opinion is Very Favorable.

There is wider distance, however, in the intensity of the two men’s unfavorables. McCain is seen at least somewhat unfavorably by 45%, and 21% say their view is Very Unfavorable. The Democrat’s unfavorables total 48%, with 32% rating their opinion Very Unfavorable.

Forty-one percent (41%) say they are very or extremely comfortable with either of the vice presidential candidates – Democrat Joseph Biden or Republican Sarah Palin – serving as president if necessary, Yet while 32% say they would be not at all comfortable with Biden in that position, slightly more (38%) feel that way about Palin.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Ohio voters rank economic issues such as jobs and growth as the primary factor in determining how they will vote. Twenty-three percent (23%) say national security is most important.

New polls were released last week for Missouri, Washington, Alaska, Michigan, Montana, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota and North Dakota. Additional state poll results will be released at RasmussenReports.com each Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern and Tuesday-Friday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll is released each morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Other polling is released at 7:00 a.m., Noon, and 3:00 p.m. Eastern weekdays along with other updates as needed.

Premium Members can review full demographic crosstabs for all state polls and get the first look at all Rasmussen Reports polling data. Learn More.

President George W. Bush earns good or excellent ratings from 34% of Florida voters, while 49% say the president is doing a poor job.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs are available for Premium Members only.

Ohio Toss-Up

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

"538" Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

McCain (R)

49%

48%

45%

Obama (D)

49%

48%

48%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 14, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Ohio Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

11/02/2008

49%

49%

10/26/2008

45%

49%

10/19/2008

49%

47%

10/14/2008

49%

49%

10/12/2008

47%

49%

10/05/2008

48%

47%

09/28/2008

48%

47%

09/24/2008

47%

46%

09/21/2008

50%

46%

09/14/2008

48%

45%

09/08/2008

51%

44%

08/18/2008

45%

41%

08/21/2008

46%

40%

06/17/2008

44%

43%

05/14/2008

45%

44%

04/08/2008

47%

40%

03/13/2008

46%

40%

02/19/2008

42%

41%


Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in Ohio

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

36%

40%

Somewhat Favorable

21%

10%

Somewhat Unfavorable

19%

11%

Very Unfavorable

20%

37%

Not Sure

3%

3%


Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary

Republicans

160

Democrats

173

Toss-Ups & Leaners

205


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.