Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Obama leads in revealing Ohio poll

Obama is beating McCain by 6 percentage points in Ohio, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,000 Ohio voters.

Obama is winning, 51 to 45 percent, because voters here, like those nationwide, prefer his leadership on the economy. Asked who they trusted more to handle the issue, 52 percent said Obama, 39 percent McCain. Fifty-two percent said jobs and the economy were their top concern, compared to only 6 percent who said Iraq and 3 percent for terrorism and national security.

That's a huge change from four years ago, when 33 percent of Ohioans said the economy was their biggest concern, 18 percent said terrorism, and 17 percent said Iraq -- just enough for George W. Bush to beat John Kerry by running on national-security issues. That strategy won't work this time.

Obama's weak spot is still the fact that he's only been in the U.S. Senate for four years, compared to McCain's 22. While 52 percent of Ohioans surveyed said Obama has the experience to be an effective president, 46 percent say he does not. Expect McCain to talk a lot about inexperience for the next four weeks.

I keep hearing how well-organized the Obama campaign is, and the poll confirms it: 37 percent of those surveyed said they'd been personally contacted by the Obama organization; 27 percent said they'd heard from McCain's.

The Cleveland area is Obama's strongest base: 71 percent of Cuyahoga County voters said they support him, higher than the 67 percent Kerry got here in 2004.

Voting problems from 2004 and 2006 are still on Ohioans' minds. One in five said they were "not very" confident or "not at all" confident that votes in Ohio would be counted accurately. Not surprisingly, the fear was much more prevalent in Cuyahoga County.

The Obama-by-6 finding fits a trend.'s comparison of all Ohio polls has Obama leading here by 4.6 percentage points.

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