Polls show race still close

One of the polls, Rasmussen Reports, has Romney leading by two.

The U.S. Senate race between Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Josh Mandel is within striking distance as well, although Brown has a bigger cushion than the president.

Here are the latest polls in what many believe is the nation’s most important battleground state:

  • Quinnipiac University: Obama 50 percent, Romney 45 percent. Brown 51, Mandel 42.
  • The Ohio Poll: Obama 48 percent, Romney 46 percent. Brown 49, Mandel 44.
  • Rasmussen Reports: Romney 49 percent, Obama 47 percent. Brown 50, Mandel 48.
  • Public Policy Polling: Obama 50 percent, Romney 45 percent. Brown, 53, Mandel 42.

In addition to the horse race, the polls found Ohioans have different impressions of the two presidential candidates, favoring different qualities in each.

“In general, voters prefer Obama on a majority of issues and characteristics and rate the two candidates roughly even on the big one — the economy,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement Wednesday. “Likely voters think Obama better understands their needs and problems, but more voters see Romney as a strong leader.”

Independent voters, a target among both campaigns, back Romney by 49 to 43 percent, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

The Ohio Poll, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, shows Romney leads in northwest Ohio as well as traditional Republican regions of southwest and southeast Ohio. The Ohio Poll also included third party candidates Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party for president and independent Scott Rupert for U.S. Senate. If the election were held today, 2 percent of Ohioans would vote for Johnson and 4 percent for Rupert, according to the poll.

Rasmussen and PPP are considered by many political experts to lean right and left, respectively.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,110 likely Ohio voters between Oct. 23 and Oct. 28 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. The Ohio Poll surveyed 1,182 likely Ohio voters between Oct. 25 and Oct. 30 and also has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. Rasmussen Reports interviewed 750 likely Ohio voters on Oct. 28, while PPP interviewed 600 likely voters on Oct. 29 and 30 on behalf of Health Care for America Now. Both Rasmussen and PPP had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

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