PPP's newest Ohio poll finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 49-48, down from a 51-46 advantage a week ago. Romney's closing the gap thanks to a lead among independents (49/42) and because the Republican base is continuing to become more unified around him with 90% of GOP partisans now saying they'll support him compared to 85% a week ago. Ohio voters think Obama won the debate this week 48-39, but that doesn't seem to extend to more people voting for him.
Obama does have one big advantage in Ohio though- he's already winning the election there. 21% of voters in the state say they've already voted, and they report having supported Obama 66/34. Romney has the 52/44 advantage among those yet to cast their ballots but obviously it's easier to count on votes that are already in the bank.
There are some troubling signs for Obama in the poll though. Ohioans trust Romney more on the economy by a 51/47 margin and trust him more on Libya 49/47. Obama had the advantage on each of those issues in our poll last weekend. Voters do trust Obama over Romney by a 52/44 margin on women's issues, and Obama leads 55/41 with female voters in the poll.
Romney's growing momentum in Ohio is built on strong support from men (57/41) and white voters (55/42). Obama continues to have the small overall advantage based on his strength with women, African Americans (91/9), and young voters (52/39).
Other notes from Ohio:
-There's been a lot of controversy about early voting the weekend before the election in Ohio. 57% of voters think it should be available to everyone, compared to 35% who think it should not. Among independents the spread is 60/31 in favor of full early voting. The whole controversy is taking a bit of a toll on Secretary of State Jon Husted's image- 22% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 29% with a negative one.
-Prospects don't look good for Ohio's referendum on creating an independent redistricting commission. 35% of voters say they plan to vote for it 48% who are opposed. Democrats favor it (52/33), but Republicans are more united in their opposition (17/65).
Full results here