In the crucial battleground state of Ohio, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to be the only Republican candidate who can beat President Barack Obama, despite the president’s sinking popularity in the state.
According to a Public Policy Polling poll released Thursday, Obama’s approval rating in the state is upside down, with 43 percent saying they approve of his job performance and 52 percent saying they disapprove.
But none of his competitors are particularly popular either. Of all of the Republican contenders, only former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain boasts a positive approval rating: 41 percent to 37 percent. Nonetheless, in a head-to-head match up, Cain would lose to the president 48 percent to 45 percent.
Mitt Romney is the only Republican to hold President Obama to a tie, with each getting 46 percent of the vote. Romney also has upside down popularity, with 36 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of him and 48 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion of him.
Romney is able to draw votes not just from Republicans, but from independents and a few Democrats. Eleven percent of those who voted for Obama four years ago say they would vote for Romney this year. Romney would get 12 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents, compared to just 32 percent for Obama. Cain also draws significant support from independents.
The poll is based a survey of 581 Ohio voters from October 13 through October 16. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.