Swing state blues: Obama faces lowest approval rating ever in crucial Ohio

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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In Ohio — a swing state expected to be crucial for winning the presidency in 2012 — President Barack Obama faces his lowest approval rating ever, and runs neck and neck with Republican frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

According to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, 42 percent of Ohioans approve of Obama’s job performance, while 53 percent disapprove. Quinnipiac reports that the poll results tie his lowest approval rating measured in the state.

That number has slipped since July, when 46 percent said they approved of his job performance and 50 percent disapproved. The numbers are even lower for independents: Only 38 percent approve of his performance as president, while 56 percent disapprove.

Obama also appears to be bleeding support from his own party. In July, 84 percent of Democrats approved of his job performance, while just 11 percent disapproved. Now, 77 percent approve and 19 percent disapprove.

As his approval rating fell, so did the sentiment that he should be re-elected. In July, Ohioans were split 46 percent to 47 percent about whether he deserved or did not deserve to be re-elected. Now, the gap has widened: Just 43 percent say he deserves re-election, while 51 percent say he does not.

In a general election match-up, Obama is locked into “too close to call” races with Perry and Romney. Obama narrowly leads Romney 44 percent to 42 percent, but the two tie among independent voters with 39 percent each. Obama leads Perry 44 percent to 41 percent among registered voters, and 38 percent to 35 percent among independents.

Romney leads the Republican field at the moment, beating out Perry 24 percent to 20 percent, with no other candidate making it into the double digits. Palin, who has not declared a run for the nomination, places third with 9 percent. Without Palin in the race, Romney and Perry each gain a percentage point of the vote, and Herman Cain slides into third with 7 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,301 registered voters using live telephone interviews from September 20 through September 25, a period that includes the last Republican debate, which many saw as an event that hurt Perry. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.7 percent. For the sample of 423 Republicans, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.8 percent.

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