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Obama Takes 49% to 45% Lead in Ohio

Barack Obama now leads John McCain 49% to 45% in Ohio, according to the newest Fox News/Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state, taken Sunday night. It’s the widest lead in the race for either candidate since McCain had a four-point advantage five weeks ago.

Last week, McCain was ahead by two points, 49% to 47%. The week before that, it was Obama up by two--his first lead in Ohio since tracking of the race began in February.

For the four weeks prior to the new survey, the two candidates have been within two points of each other or closer, and neither has topped 49% support or fallen below 47%.

Four percent (4%) of Ohio voters are still undecided, and one percent (1%) support Libertarian candidate Bob Barr.

Ten percent (10%) of Obama voters say they still may change their minds before Election Day and 9% of McCain supporters say the same.

Of those who have already voted, 62% say they support Obama, 37% McCain. Ohio, beginning with this election, loosened its standards for absentee ballots and allowed voters to cast them beginning September 30.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).

Ohio, with 20 Electoral College votes, is a critical swing state, especially for McCain who is battling down to the wire in several traditionally Republican states. George W. Bush carried the Buckeye State in 2000 and again in 2004, after Democrat Bill Clinton won it in the two previous elections.

Ohio is also currently embroiled in legal controversy because about 200,000 of 666,000 voters who have registered in the state since the first of the year listed driver's license or Social Security numbers that don't match records in other government databases.

Nationally, Obama continues to hold a modest but stable lead over McCain in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Obama now has a 12-point advantage among unaffiliated voters in Ohio. Men are evenly divided between the two major candidates, while women favor Obama by nine points.

McCain has the edge among Catholic and evangelical Christian voters, but Obama leads among other Protestants (see full demographic crosstabs).

Obama is viewed favorably by 52%, unfavorably by 45%. Fifty-six percent (56%) have a favorable opinion of McCain, while 41% regard him unfavorably.

Interestingly, while Ohio voters give McCain the edge over Obama in terms of trust, 47% to 43%, they are slightly more comfortable with the idea of the Democrat in the White House rather than his opponent – but slightly more uncomfortable with the idea, too.

Voters are evenly divided on which candidate they would ask advice from if faced with the toughest decision of their lives.

Rasmussen Markets data gives McCain a % chance of winning Ohio this November. Ohio is currently considered a “Toss-Up” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power calculator. NOTE: Factors other than the latest Rasmussen Reports poll impact the Balance of Power ratings.

Take a moment to predict which candidate will win in Ohio.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Ohio voters say economic issues are the number one concern in this election, while 18% rate national security as most important. They trust Obama more on the economy by four points and McCain more on national security by 13.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) say the most important quality of a candidate in this election is that he can bring about needed change, while 28% say it’s that he cares about people like you. One-quarter (25%) say it’s most important that he shares your values, while just nine percent (9%) say it’s having the right experience for the job.

Eighty-one percent (81%) describe themselves as extremely interested in the election, while just three percent (3%) say they are not interested at all.

Seventy-one percent (71%) say they are at least somewhat likely to take an exit poll, but 11% say they are not at all likely to do so.

Rasmussen Reports and Fox News Channel also have jointly released several other battleground state polls today, including numbers from Florida, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia. Rasmussen Reports earlier released new results from Arizona and California.

Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 260-163. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 286-174. A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House (Predict how many Electoral College votes Obama will win this year).

 

Recent statewide presidential polls also have been released for Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Demographic crosstabs for all state polling are available for Premium Members. Learn More.

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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 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports October 26, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 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.