Obama's Swing State Lead Narrows

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 23 2012 8:51 AM

Obama's Swing State Lead Narrows in Wisc., Fla.

Paul Ryan appears to have delivered a home-state bounce in Wisconsin to the GOP ticket

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

A new survey out Thursday from NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac University shows a tight race in Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio, a trio of swing states that could decide this November's election.

Last month, President Obama held a six-point lead over Mitt Romney in all three states, but that gap has closed substantially in the past month in both Wisconsin and Florida, while holding steady in the Buckeye State. The president now leads by four points in Wisconsin (49-47), three in Florida (49-46), and six in Ohio (50-44).


Overall, the survey suggests that Romney's VP pick of Ryan helped him in the Wisconsin congressman's home state, but has so far mostly failed to move the needle elsewhere. Twenty percent of Florida voters said the pick made them more likely to vote Romney compared to 19 percent who said it made them less likely. The split was similar in Ohio, where Ryan likewise provided a one-point net advantage. Things in the Badger State were noticeably different, however, with 31 percent of voters saying they'd be more likely to vote GOP compared to only 22 percent who said the opposite.

In other polling news, Politico's Mackenzie Weinger dug a little deeper into the demographic splits in the latest NBC-WSJ national poll we mentioned yesterday, and found this interesting nugget: Zero percent of African American respondents said they support Mitt Romney.

The poll, which gave Obama a within-the-margin-of-error 48-44 lead, found that things weren't so close when it came to black voters, who favored the president by a rather staggering 94-percent-to-0 margin. Although, we should note, only around 12 percent of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed described themselves as black, so that means we're dealing with a relatively small sample size of about 120 voters. Still, assuming everyone's done their rounding right, that means it would have only taken a single black voter to declare his support for the GOP ticket for Romney to have gotten on the board in that category.

The president posted similarly commanding leads among other key parts of the Democratic base, winning the Latino vote by about a 2-to-1 margin, the under-35 segment by 9 points (52-41) and women by 10 points (51-41). Romney, meanwhile, boasted a double digit leads among whites (53-40) and rural voters (47-38), and a 8-point lead among seniors (49-41), according to NBC News.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 



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