Friday’s Fox News poll of Ohio shows Barack Obama leading 46/43 which is a 4 point improvement for Mitt Romney over Fox’s last poll of a month ago. The good news for Obama stops after the headline. This leaves 11 points of “undecided” voters. History tells us 80% or 8.8 points will eventually go to the challenger giving Romney 51.8%
Fox reports Obama getting 89% of Democrats but Romney getting 85% of Republicans. This is a very curious finding given the 92% of Republican support for Romney found in the battleground Poll which also finds Obama with 88% of Democrat support nationally. Moreover just next door in Wisconsin Republicans are backing Romney at 92%. It should be noted that Rasmussen reported the national Party breakdown as 36.8% Republican, 34.2% Democrat and 29% Independent. It is important to note that a report prepared by Pew and released earlier this year flatly accuses Democrats of lying about their Party affiliation. While Pew says most lying Democrats say they are Independents, the 24 point lead (52/28) Romney has among Ohio’s Independents suggests that any Democrat organized lying campaign might have been adjusted to under sample Republicans.
In 2008 Independents were 30% of the electorate in Ohio and they supported Obama 52/44. This is the same 16 point lead Romney lead with Independents that has shown up in every poll for the past 6 weeks.
The Party breakdown is, as always, skewed from reality toward liberal daydreams.
Fox used a 42/34/20 Democrat/Republican/Independent spread. In 2008 it was 39/31/30. Even accepting the 3 point increase in Republicans, the 3 point increase in Democrats and the 5 point decrease of Independents skews the results toward Obama.
There is anecdotal, but reliable data that the county-by-county returns of absentee ballots in Ohio have shown a stronger enthusiasm among Republicans than Democrats. The unanimously accepted 8 to 16 point enthusiasm edge Republicans have is not factored it, but there is no evidence to support using the same 8 point Democrat turnout edge we saw in Ohio in 2008.
If Ohio’s Independents simply show the same level of enthusiasm to vote as they did in 2008, this would be a 1/3 improvement of their Republican vote. That would mean 5.2 additional points for Romney from Independents not reflected in Fox’s poll. Since this survey indicates 20% of Independents are “undecided” even splitting them fails to change the resultant increase for Romney. Mitt Romney is doing better in Ohio than the headlines indicate.