A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Barack Obama holding huge leads over all of his Republican opponents in the crucial battleground state of Ohio, which many political observers have said will be among the most difficult of the states he picked up in 2008 to hold on to next fall because of a persistently weak economy.
The poll — which accurately predicted the results of yesterday’s Issue 2 referendum in the state to within a percentage point — has President Obama leading all of the Republican presidential candidates by at least 9 points.
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.
Obama’s strong numbers are somewhat surprising, considering that only 41 percent of Ohio voters approve of the president’s job performance (compared to 49 percent who disapprove.) Still, in the wake the GOP’s failed efforts to restrict the union rights of public employees, it appears that voters distrust his Republican competitors more.
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.
Whoever wins the GOP nomination will need to turn these numbers around; no Republican has ever won the presidency without Ohio.