Poll: Obama, Romney tied in swing-state Ohio

President Obama and Mitt Romney are tied in the critical swing-state of Ohio, according to a poll released Sunday from the Columbus Dispatch.

Each candidate took 45 percent in the poll, which has a 2.1 percentage point margin of error.

The poll found that 10 percent of Ohio voters remain undecided. Nearly half of those undecided voters said they backed Obama in 2008. 

{mosads}Two polls released last week, though, showed Obama in stronger shape. A Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS poll found Obama up by 50 percent support to Romney’s 44, while a University of Cincinnati poll found Obama up by a 49 to 46 percent margin.

Obama is edging Romney by 2 percentage points in Ohio, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Ohio is the quintessential battleground state, and with 18 electoral votes, has the second most at stake among the 12 swing states that are likely to determine the outcome of the election.

While the overall economy continues to struggle — the unemployment rate in July ticked up to 8.3 percent — Ohio has seen a significant drop in its unemployment rate, which now sits well below the national average. Ohio’s unemployment rate has fallen 1.6 percentage points in the last year, to 7.2 percent.

By some estimates, Obama will need to win about half of the electoral votes supplied by the swing states of Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire if he is to secure a second term.

The president won all of those states in 2008, and defeated Sen. John McCain (R-Ari.) in Ohio that year 52 to 47.

The fight for Ohio is already proving to be contentious. Earlier this month Democrats launched a lawsuit challenging the state’s early voter laws. Under the law, military servicemembers and their families are given three extra days of early voting.

Democrats are hoping to block that law, saying they want the extended period for all voters. Republicans, however, allege that the suit unfairly targets active-duty voters.

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