Ohio Newspaper Organization Poll Shows a Dead Heat
And a Mason-Dixon pollster tells the Tampa Bay Times that Romney has "pretty much nailed down Florida."
The Ohio poll showed Romney trailing by 5 in September:
Dead heat. This close. And with almost no voters saying they’re undecided.
That’s how things look in the presidential race, according to the most recent Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio Newspaper Organization poll.
President Barack Obama, 49 percent. Republican challenger Mitt Romney, ditto.
One remaining percent for “other,” and one more for “don’t know.” And all within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.
This is a major change from a similar poll a month ago, when Obama held a 51-46 percent lead over Romney.
Significantly, Romney is +6 over the president on the question of who can better handle the economy. This has probably been the most consistent advantage for the challenger since his surge to the front began just before the first debate.
As for Florida, the state seems to be slipping away from the president:
It has been a fundamental rule of Florida politics for decades: Statewide campaigns are won and lost on the I-4 corridor.
Today that celebrated swing-voter swath stretching from Tampa Bay to Daytona Beach is poised to deliver Florida's 29 electoral votes to Mitt Romney.
An exclusive Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 poll of likely voters along the Interstate 4 corridor finds Romney leading Obama 51 percent to 45 percent, with 4 percent undecided.
"Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida," said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, which conducted the poll for the Times and its media partners. "Unless something dramatically changes — an October surprise, a major gaffe — Romney's going to win Florida.''
Good news for Romney, as is the latest poll from Minnesota which shows Obama up only 3 on the challenger. And a sign that Romney is probably very close or tied in Wisconsin; Tommy Thompson is now leading his Senate race against Tammy Baldwin after trailing for months. Given the polarization of the electorate in Wisconsin, it is hard to decouple the down ballot races from the presidential contest.
Obama carried Wisconsin by 14 points in 2008; Minnesota by 10. He also carried Pennsylvania by 10. Latest polls show Obama with a 2 point lead in Wisconsin, a 3 point lead in Minnesota, and his lead has narrowed to 6 in Pennsylvania. And today, Joe Biden was not in Ohio, or Virginia, or Iowa; he was campaigning in Pennsylvania -- a state that Obama should have locked up weeks ago.
Tip: Watch where candidates are campaigning this week. It will tell you a lot about how both sides are seeing the race.