Poll: Ohio race tight as Obama holds 2-point lead over Romney

A new Columbus Dispatch poll released Sunday shows the crucial battleground of Ohio still a toss-up, with President Obama holding a slim 2-point lead.

The latest Ohio poll shows Obama with 50 percent support to 48 for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, an edge within the poll’s 2.2 percent margin of error.

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Ohio is a key state for both campaigns: No Republican has captured the presidency without Ohio and the path to victory narrows for both candidates if they fail to capture the Buckeye state. Both Romney and Obama are in Ohio Sunday, highlighting the importance of the state.

The poll finds Obama leading Romney by 15 percent among the 40 percent of voters who say they are casting an early ballot. Romney, though, leads by 11 points among those who will vote on election day. 

The latest Dispatch poll marks a drop for Obama who led by 9 points in the last survey conducted before the three presidential debates held in November. 


The poll shows those debates boosted Romney more than Obama, with 27 percent saying they moved them to back Romney, with 20 percent saying they pushed them to Obama. Fifty-two percent, though, said the debates had not effect on their vote. 

The Dispatch poll is the latest poll marking Ohio as a tight race, but other surveys have shown broader leads for Obama. 

An NBC/WSJ/Marist poll over the weekend gave Obama a solid 6-point lead with 51 to 45 percent, while a CNN/Opinion Research poll gave Obama a slimmer lead of 3 points. A Rasmussen poll released last week, however, showed the candidates knotted at 49-49.

In Ohio’s Senate race, the Dispatch poll finds incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) topping GOP challenger Josh Mandel by 6 points, with 51 percent support to 45. 

The poll was conducted from Oct. 24 to Nov. 3.