August 23, 2012 •
Eye on the Races – August 23, 2012
The New York Times, CBS News and Quinnipiac University today released a poll of likely voters in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin. Florida and Ohio have long been considered battleground states, but according to the new numbers, Wisconsin has now been added to the list of states where the Presidential election will be fought. The poll shows President Obama with only a two point lead over Governor Romney, well within the margin of error. If the election were held today, 49% of respondents in Wisconsin would vote for Obama, while 47% of respondents would vote for Romney.
The new poll comes on the heels of Gov. Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan as his running mate. During a poll conducted in the week prior to the selection, President Obama maintained a six point lead over Gov. Romney. In 2008, President Obama handily won the state over Senator John McCain by a healthy margin of 14 points. Recently, Wisconsin has been slowly moving towards toss-up status, and the Ryan selection seems to have pushed it over the edge. A Republican presidential ticket has not won the state since Ronald Reagan’s reelection in 1984.
Similarly in Florida, Obama maintains a lead with likely voters of only three points at 49% to 46%. However, in Ohio, Obama’s advantage has held steady from the previous poll at six points with 50% to 44% of likely voters favoring the President. The poll further shows that voters in all three states view the economy as the most important issue in the election; 60% of voters in Florida, 59% of voters in Ohio, and 54% of voters in Wisconsin characterized the issue as “extremely important”.
Other notes from the trail:
- Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has been chosen by the Obama campaign as the stand-in for GOP Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan during debate prep for Vice President Joe Biden. Van Hollen is the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, which Ryan chairs. Ryan and Van Hollen regularly go head to head on the issues that will be discussed in the vice presidential debate. The campaign has also confirmed that Sen. John Kerry will play the role of Gov. Romney in President Obama’s debate prep. Both Kerry and Romney hail from Massachusetts, and with Sen. Kerry comes the added advantage of a debate partner who has previously run for President as well. The Romney campaign has not announced who will stand-in for the President and Vice President during their debate prep.
- Following comments he made that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy and therefore is not a valid provision for allowing abortion, Representative Todd Akin (R-MO) announced that he will stay in the race for the Senate seat from Missouri. Akin has received numerous phone calls from members of his own party, including Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, to withdraw from the race. As Akin did not step aside from the race prior to a 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 21 deadline, it would now take a court order to remove his name from the ballot should he change his mind. Additionally, under Missouri law, after September 25, his name would remain on the ballot regardless of his intentions.
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