President Barack Obama leads Mitt
Romney by 5 percentage points in Ohio, a new poll released Sunday has
The poll, commissioned by Cleveland's
The Plain Dealer and other major newspapers in the state,
shows Obama leading Romney 51 percent to 46 percent.
More people said they trust Obama to
improve Ohio's economy.
“Clearly, how Ohioans view the two
candidates in terms of their ability to improve Ohio's economy over
the next four years will go a long way in determining who wins Ohio's
18 electoral votes,” said Eric Rademacher, co-director of the
University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research, which
conducted the survey.
survey touched slightly on marriage equality, asking respondents
if where the candidates stood on the issue would affect their vote.
Fifty percent answered “no.”
Romney increased his opposition to gay
rights as he courted social conservatives in his bid to become the
GOP nominee, and attempted to stave off accusations from his rivals
that he somehow supported or enabled the legalization of gay marriage
while serving as governor of Massachusetts. For example, he said
late last year that he could only support a limited partnership which
includes “such things as hospital visitation rights and similar
things” for gay and lesbian couples.
On the other hand, Obama is the first
sitting president to endorse marriage rights for gay couples. His
May announcement led to a historic plank in support of such unions in
the 2012 Democratic Party Platform.
Opponents have mounted a campaign
around the issue in Ohio and other tossup states.
A billboard erected in Cleveland's
Midtown Corridor states, “Obama supports gay marriage and abortion.
Do you?” and calls on voters to “Vote Republican.” The
nascent super-PAC Republican Union PAC spent $950,000 to erect the
billboards in five key states: Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania
Pollster interviewed 861 likely voters
by telephone between September 13 and 18.
Romney is a homophobe, gay activist Dan Savage says.)