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Monday, October 22, 2012

Ohio Race Tightens in New Poll

The contest in Ohio between President Obama and Mitt Romney has tightened, according to a Quinnipiac University/CBS News poll.

Mr. Obama has a 5-point advantage over his opponent among likely voters, with 50 percent to 45 percent for Mr. Romney. Last month, in the Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll of Ohio, Mr. Obama led by 10 points.

In the current survey, only 3 percent remain undecided and 95 percent of those with a preference said their mind was made up.
Of those who already voted, 54 percent said they cast their ballot for Mr. Obama and 39 percent said they voted for Mr. Romney.
The poll was conducted Wednesday through Saturday night, after the second presidential debate held last Tuesday at Hofstra University in Hempstead. Almost half (48 percent) said Mr. Obama won last week's debate, 27 percent said Mr. Romney was better and 12 percent considered it a tie.

Democrats overwhelmingly see their candidate as the victor in the town hall- style debate, and nearly 6 in 10 Republicans said Mr. Romney was better. Independents were more closely divided, but said Mr. Obama was better: 43 percent said Mr. Obama was victorious and 29 percent said Mr. Romney won. Two-thirds of independents, though, said the debate would have no effect on their vote. Those who said the debate would influence them are evenly divided on which candidate benefitted.

Regarding their expectations for tonight's debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., independents are evenly divided: a third expects Mr. Obama to win, a third envisions success for Mr. Romney and a third couldn't answer.

Voters are evenly divided on which candidate they expect would do a better job dealing with the economy, but Mr. Obama has a slight edge when it comes to foreign policy, the subject of the third debate. Half of the voters surveyed consider Mr. Obama the better candidate for foreign policy; 43 percent said Mr. Romney woul d do a better job in that area.

However, more voters regard Mr. Romney as a strong leader than do Mr. Obama. Mr. Romney is described as having strong leadership qualities by 64 percent; 52 percent say the same about Mr. Obama.

Quinnipiac University and CBS News surveyed 1,548 likely voters throughout Ohio Oct. 17 to 20 using landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The survey in Ohio is in addition to a series of swing-state polls conducted jointly by Quinnipiac, CBS News and The New York Times.