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A look at the PPP Ohio poll

Public Policy Polling released a new poll today which centered on President Obama’s approval and reelection campaign versus various GOP challengers.

I don’t need to tell most of our readers that our state is extremely important in presidential campaigns. Ohio is known as the “ultimate bellwether” state. So how is it looking for President Downgrade?

Not good.

Q1 Do you approve or disapprove of President
Barack Obama’s job performance?
Approve…… 44%
Disapprove… 52%
Not sure…… 4%

As the incumbent, it will be hard to get reelected at 44% approval. However, if you look deeper into these results, the news gets even worse for him.

Why? Because of the ridiculous sample that PPP used. Take a look at the partisan makeup of this poll.

PPP 8/16 Ohio sample
Democrat…… 44%
Republican…. 34%
Independent… 22%

There are a couple of things laughable about this sampling. First, they give Democrats a huge 10-point advantage over Republicans. How wrong is that? Well, consider this: In 2008, when Obama was elected, it was certainly a Democrat wave election. The actual exit polling data for Ohio voters then was as follows:

2008 Ohio exit polling
Democrat…… 39%
Republican…. 31%
Independent… 30%

Even at the height of Obama-mania, with massive Democrat turnout, the Democrat advantage was 8%. So, PPP actually believes that the political climate is even more tilted towards them now, than in 2008? Really? Let’s also keep in mind the results from last years elections. What did the party breakdown of people coming out to vote look like then?

2010 Ohio exit polling
Democrat…… 36%
Republican…. 36%
Independent… 28%

Clearly, giving Democrats a 10 point advantage in the sample is just plain wrong. Now, notice something else about this PPP sample?

They severely undersampled independents! Judging by 2008 and 2010, the Ohio electorate is about 29% independent. Yet, they only make up 22% of the respondents in this poll. Why is this bad news for Obama? Because he is seriously underwater with indies in this poll. Only 34% of independents approve of the job Little Bammie is doing, while a whopping 59% disapprove.

So, what would his approval look like with a realistic electorate? If you take the same people statewide that showed up to the polls last November, his numbers look like this:

Obama approval with 2010 partisan breakdown
Approve…… 39%
Disapprove… 56%
Not sure….. 5%

Indeed, this matches the recent Gallup polling that shows him with a 39% approval rating nationally. I wouldn’t go so far as to say today’s environment is the same as last November, but if you split the difference between 2008 and 2010, Obama still ends up with a 41% approval in Ohio.

Maybe that’s why his team is already planning on possible ways to win without winning Ohio.


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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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