Ohio Polls: Looking At the Numbers, Here is How Obama Could Win This Swing State

We did the Virginia poll breakdown, now it's off to the Buckeye State. Remember, we are not paying attention to who leads and margin of error and instead we applying the polling data to possible “likely voter” turnout models in a new way to look at polling numbers, especially the internal numbers from polls. The following three latest Ohio polls, Survey USA, Gravis, and CBS/NY Times offer insight into voting characteristics and how it breaks down according to party affiliation. Ohio is a little more volatile than the Virginia polling data, but all the data is consistent across all three polls in terms of party affiliation relating to voting tendencies. 

Ohio shows a greater amount of undecided voters which makes modeling even harder and there is another poll, the Ohio Poll, which actually gives President Obama a lead in the independent category and using that poll would undermine the consistency characteristics we are looking for so we left it out. Ohio shows some movement possibilities which are not evident in the Virginia polls. Those movement characteristics are likely to be positive to President Obama this close to the election with about 11% of independents undecided and if they stay undecided that pushes up Democratic advantage. Let's take a look at the percentage breakdowns.

 

Gravis

 

 

 

 

 

Romney

Obama

Rep

85

14

Dem

16

83

Ind

53

41

 

 

 

 

Survey USA

 

 

 

 

 

Romney

Obama

Rep

90

6

Dem

8

88

Ind

48

37

 

 

 

 

CBS/NY Times

 

 

 

 

 

Romney

Obama

Rep

91

7

Dem

6

92

Ind

49

43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

 

 

 

 

 

Romney

Obama

Rep

88.67

9.00

Dem

10.00

87.67

Ind

50.00

40.33

Now let's see how the weighted polls breakdown

 

Ohio Poll Weighted Breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+3

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

33

29.26

2.97

Dem

36

3.60

27.18

Ind

31

15.50

12.50

 

 

48.36

42.65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+4

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

33

29.26

2.97

Dem

37

3.70

32.44

Ind

30

15.00

12.10

 

 

47.96

47.51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+2

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

33

29.26

2.97

Dem

35

3.50

30.68

Ind

32

16.00

12.91

 

 

48.76

46.56

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+6

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

30

26.60

2.70

Dem

36

3.60

31.56

Ind

34

17.00

13.71

 

 

47.20

47.97

 

We can breakdown the weights anyway we want to, but the ideal scenario for President Obama is the D+4 or D+6 scenarios with the likelihood that undecideds remain undecided pushing up the weights for the Democrats and Republicans in the final tally. Let's take a look at what happens in such a scenario when undecided voters stay undecided to a certain degree.

 

Ohio Undecideds Stay Undecided

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+3

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

38

33.69

3.42

Dem

41

4.10

35.94

Ind

21

10.50

8.47

 

 

48.29

47.83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+4

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

37

32.81

3.33

Dem

41

4.10

35.94

Ind

22

11.00

8.87

 

 

47.91

48.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+2

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

38

33.69

3.42

Dem

40

4.00

35.07

Ind

22

11.00

8.87

 

 

48.69

47.36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D+6

Weight

Romney

Obama

Rep

35

31.03

3.15

Dem

41

4.10

35.94

Ind

24

12.00

9.68

 

 

47.13

48.77

What looks to be a potentially opportunity for Romney in Ohio is really moot if he can't close the deal and favors President Obama in the end. It also looks to be the only way Obama receives more 47% of the vote. It's a possibility undecided voter votes for the incumbent or they do not vote at all rather than voting for the challenger at this point in the election cycle. Two of those 3 scenarios favor Obama. For a battleground state, D+4 is certainly a model one can use and play with the weights to see gains and losses, but as you approach 50 with the weights the greater the likelihood the candidate on the plus side will win assuming he has a vast super-majority support in his own party and Obama does.

While polling data is not infallible, if you start seeing consistency in the data across polls then averaging those internals according to party affiliation and applying a range of turnout models show what likely has to happen on election day. Ohio is interesting because it still has polls which show outlier data and being mindful of those outliers can show you a direction the race can head towards. 

President Obama likely has to have 37% or better Democratic turnout to win Ohio, but Mitt Romney likely only needs to keep that gap within D+3 with Republican turnout to win Ohio as long as Democratic turnout is less than 43%.