The shift in Ohio; and, how the national shift toward Romney is reflected in the shift of key states toward Romney

I just got around to checking out Ohio at Real Clear Politics. Ohio is, of course, considered the Mother of All Toss Up States, with the RCP average showing Obama slightly ahead, by 1.7 points. But, in fact, it has only recently been placed in the Toss Up column. As I’ve wondered in the case of some other key states, what was the RCP average in Ohio in the second half of September, before the October 3 presidential debate? There were eight polls taken in Ohio between September 16 and October 4 that are not counted in the current RCP average. The average of those eight polls was an Obama lead of 6.5 points. So Obama’s advantage declined by almost five points between the pre- and post-debate period, turning Ohio from Leans Obama to Toss Up.

UPDATE: I quote the below item at the Commentary blog by Jonathan Tobin, a writer I normally don’t have much respect for, because in it he sums up, in terms very similar to mine, the remarkable shift in the presidential race as shown in the RCP averages that I have been posting about over the last several days:

Last week as Mitt Romney’s post-debate surge first took hold, Democrats comforted themselves by pointing to swing state polls that showed President Obama still holding comfortable leads that ought to have ensured his election. A week later, the fluctuating numbers in the key battlegrounds of Ohio, Virginia and Florida as well as several others that must now be considered up for grabs makes it obvious that the gap between Romney’s rise in the national polls and the outlook in the Electoral College has shrunk. The Democrats’ assumption that several important states in various parts of the country could remain comfortably in their grasp while Republicans gained ground in the national polls was illogical.

As the Real Clear Politics Electoral College Map shows, the president’s seemingly overwhelming advantage in terms of states that are solid, likely or leaning in the Democrats direction is evaporating. It currently shows Obama with 201 Electoral College votes and Romney with 191 with a whopping 146 in states where the average margin in recent polls is less than five percent for either candidate. But with Romney steadily gaining ground even in states that few serious people thought would even be in play, like Michigan and Pennsylvania, the ebbing confidence among liberals is justified. The question now is what, if anything, the president can do to reverse this momentum shift that appears to be on the verge of sweeping him out of the White House. [LA replies: Tobin, reverting to form, mars his otherwise sound analysis with the partisan hackery and hype of that last sentence. It is ridiculous to state that Romney appears to be on the verge of sweeping Obama out of the White House. What has happened is that Romney has closed the previous gap that made him look like a likely loser, and the race is now very close.]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 14, 2012 07:40 PM | Send

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