As we sit back and enjoy the results of tonight’s Ohio GOP primary, we wanted to take a look at how the long primary process has affected Mitt Romney’s polling in Ohio and how it compares to President Obama. And we’re looking at two key demographic groups, women and independents, two voting blocks that will be essential for the ultimate winner. We looked at Quinnipiac polls dating back to January, 2011. All polls are available here.

First, how are the two candidates doing in a head to head match-up? Among women, Obama has been winning against Romney since Quinnipiac started asking the question last July. And among independents, Obama took the lead in January and his margin is widening:

Next, let’s look at Obama’s approval ratings in Ohio. Among both women and independents, the President’s approval is rebounding from taking a dip last fall. In fact, the President’s approval has only gone up since the GOP primary process began in early January.

Finally, with all the exposure that comes from the GOP primary process, what has that done to people’s opinions of the apparent challenger, Mitt Romney? Pollsters often ask voters whether they have favorable or unfavorable feelings about the candidate. The percentage of both women and independents in Ohio who have an unfavorable view of Mitt Romney is growing since the start of the primary season, another trend that must be of concern for the candidate as he seeks to introduce himself to general election voters. Meanwhile, the Presidents unfavorables are declining among both groups.

   

As you can see from the head to head matchup and his unfavorability ratings, the primary season is taking its toll on Mitt Romney in Ohio. But Obama is the real winner from tonight’s primary, based on his ability to win key demographic groups in the fall as well as his improving approval ratings and declining unfavorables.

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  • Sluggo

    But Obama is a foreign born Muslim socialist who wants to apologize for the USA the world wide!  And he wants the destruction of Israel!

    Plus, he wants us to have higher gas prices so he can use the taxes to fund Solyndra.

    And whatever else Karl Rove said about him…

  • Dmoore2222

    The independent voters in Ohio and across the country see a radicalized and divided republican party that can’t coalesce around a candidate. Even if Romney does get the nomination, he’ll be continually harassed by the far right who can’t stand him and will demand all kinds of concessions especially on social issues. Any capitulation to them while trying to appeal to independents will make the general election run-up an unprecedented freak show. His flip-flopping between these factions will doom him in any debate with Obama.

    The hard irony in this is that republicans thought the Citizens United decision was mana from heaven. Instead what it has done is taken the normally highly controlled republican nomination process out of the hands of the establishment and left it to a small number of very wealthy people. So you have a candidate who can no longer win by virtue of broad support but rather by a money cartel.

    Warning: Before democrats get all happy about this, remember this cuts both ways for a party without an incumbent president. Eventually even that won’t be a lock.

  • clambake

    I think we’ve seen the end of the one term president. Money wins and Obama will be able to raise more money than a challenger.
    I’m not sure why Wall Street is whining. I think they got a really good turn on their investment with this presidency. I guess their entitlement knows no limits.

  • JamesIam

     Well said. This GOP primary process is the canary in the mine. We are  seeing, not for the first time (Wisconsin), but for the first time on a national scale, the direct results of Citizens United. If the oligarchs could sway elections before, now they control them outright.

    Romney would not even be viable were it not for unfettered cash dumping into these states with something like 93 percent attack ads. Or would he have already sealed the nomination? No one will ever know, because it’s not the GOP choosing a candidate. It is well-funded propaganda made possible by the Supreme Court’s historically misguided decision. The process is now officially rotten. We might as well have Putin on the ballot. He knows how to steal elections the right way: openly and defiantly. And we are following suit.

    Maybe when the Obama superpacs outspend the GOP superpacs and he is re-elected, the SCOTUS will deign to revisit the decision — since it’s not bearing the fruit that Roberts and Scalia had hoped for. At risk of sounding conspiratorial, I don’t believe a GOP victory will cause them to reconsider.

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