One person who should be feeling particularly good about last night's election results in Ohio is Barack Obama. On our weekend poll, which got the final result of Issue 2 correct to within a point, Obama led all of his Republican opponents in the state by margins ranging from 9-17 points. After a very tough year for Democrats in Ohio in 2010, things are looking up.
Obama led Mitt Romney 50-41 on our poll. He was up 11 points on Herman Cain at 50-39, 13 on Newt Gingrich at 51-38, 14 on Ron Paul at 50-36, 14 on Michele Bachmann at 51-37 and a whooping 17 points on Rick Perry at 53-36. It used to be Sarah Palin's numbers that we compared to Barry Goldwater, but Perry's deficit would represent the largest Republican defeat in Ohio since 1964.
The biggest thing Obama has going for him right now is an extremely unified Democratic base. Obama gets 88-92% of his party's vote against the six Republican candidates. What makes that particularly notable is that his approval rating with Democratic voters is actually only 73%. But these numbers suggest that when election time comes around the party base will get around Obama whether they're totally thrilled with him or not, and that's a very good sign for his reelection prospects.
Obama continues to suffer from poor approval ratings in Ohio with only 41% of voters approving of him to 49% who disapprove. But voters don't seem to consider any of his opponents to be viable alternatives. Cain has the best favorability of the bunch at a still poor 33/43 and it just gets worse from there- 28/48 for Romney, 31/51 for Gingrich, 24/47 for Bachmann, 20/50 for Paul, and a truly woeful 17/58 for Perry. This field of GOP contenders just doesn't seem to have much appeal to swing state voters.
Democrats were a lot more engaged to go vote in Ohio yesterday than Republicans were, and the 2012 electorate probably won't be as friendly to them as the one last night was. But the results sent a very clear message that voters there regret how they voted in 2010- our poll found that if voters could do it over they would have reelected Ted Strickland by a 55-37 margin over John Kasich. And if voters feel like voting for the GOP in 2010 was a mistake, that can only help Obama's prospects for reelection next year. It's pretty much impossible for Republicans to defeat Obama next year without taking Ohio- and for now the President's in a real good position there.
Full results here