Nate Cohn’s latest look at Ohio polling:
If there was more time between now and November 6, perhaps Romney would stand a chance of mounting a comeback. But the space between Obama’s share of the vote and 49 percent isn’t the only window that’s closing; Romney is nearly out of time. More than 20 percent of the expected vote has already been cast in Ohio, and the polls suggest that Obama might lead among early voters by as much as 20 points. And Romney can’t count on a flood of undecided voters, either. Obama has always held the lead in the Buckeye State, and Romney hasn’t even exceeded 47 percent of the vote in the RealClearPolitics average, suggesting that there isn’t a pool of latent Romney supporters that will probably flock back to his side on Election Day. The polls have also been remarkably consistent, with Romney leading in just a handful of automated surveys over the last few months.
Romney is not winning over blue collar whites in Ohio at anywhere near the rate he’s winning them nationally. The poll finds that Obama is running nearly even with Romney among white Ohio voters without college degrees. It’s always dangerous to read too much into one poll. But it seems fair to speculate that Obama’s auto-bailout — which helped save an industry linked to one in eight Ohio jobs — and the Obama camp’s nonstop attacks on Romney for opposing it could help explain these numbers, and Romney’s general inability to close the gap.
Blumenthal puts the poll in perspective:
The Quinnipiac survey was among the more favorable for Obama in Ohio this week, with 8 of 11 new surveys giving the president nominal advantages of between 1 and 5 percentage points, one showing a tie and one giving Romney a slight edge. The CBS/Times/Quinnipiac polls have typically been among the more positive for Obama in Ohio and other states, but the comparison to their previous Ohio polls shows the same flat-line trend as other surveys have shown in recent weeks. Romney narrowed the race significantly following the first presidential debate but has not gained ground since.