Fresh Clinton – McCain, Obama – McCain polling results from Ohio Poll

The Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati has been conducting the Ohio Poll since 1981. Today’s press release, not even 12 hours after the final Clinton-Obama debate before Ohio’s primary on March 4, shows that the race in November will be close, regardless of the nominees. You can read the pdf here.

FYI as you read from the release:

A random sample of 1049 registered voters from throughout the state was interviewed by telephone. In 95 of 100 cases, the statewide estimates will be accurate to plus or minus 3.0 percent.

The highlights:

2008 Presidential Trial Heat: Obama vs. McCain (Registered Voters) February 21-24

Barack Obama 48%
John McCain 47
Other 1
Don’t know 4
(N=) (968)

2008 Presidential Trial Heat: Clinton vs. McCain(Registered Voters) February 21-24

John McCain 51%
Hillary Clinton 47
Other 1
Don’t know 1
(N=) (979)

The release also includes demographic breakdowns, by region among other specs.

In Obama v. McCain, few groups are more than a few points over or under for either candidate, even among younger voters, and many are near even (meaning close to 50-50). The exceptions are:

-African-Americans who indicate a preference for Obama 99% to 1% for McCain;

-Southeast Ohio which was at 60% for McCain (36% for Obama down there) but with only 75 or less respondents;

-Democrats at 80%-16% for Obama;

-Republicans who are 85%-13% for McCain (which, we will see below, seems to indicate that Obama is preferred by more Republicans than Clinton and cuts more into McCain than she does with that group, none of which should be a surprise given the hatred we’ve heard coming at Clinton for a long, long time);

-“Others” and “Don’t Know” numbers – a total of 19% – are very big compared to the Clinton, McCain race in which those numbers total 9%. I’d interpret this as meaning that Independents are taking their time and not automatically leaving McCain, but definitely thinking about it. I don’t see voters brought out by Obama’s run as heading to McCain, but rather, they are McCain’s to lose and it is in that group that he does much better (that is, he gains more of them) against Clinton.

But with Clinton v. McCain, there’s more swing overall among the demographics. Here are the standouts:

-Clinton garners 3% more than Obama does among Democrats (at 83%), but McCain garners 8% more Republicans (at 93%) when Clinton is his opponent;

-Males prefer McCain 60%-38% over Clinton – this too is not new or a surprise;

-the biggest shocker to me and I’d love to hear other people’s interpretations of this: young voters, 18-29, go for McCain 61% to 39%, whereas when McCain is against Obama, this demographic goes for Obama 52%-47% over McCain.

I’ll add my interpretation to the comments after I see what others think – I wouldn’t want to put ideas in anyone’s head, now.

  • elrod

    Young people don’t find Hillary Clinton an attractive candidate. McCain is certainly more attractive to young voters than Bush, but is nothing like Barack Obama. Also, some of those younger voters are late 20-somethings and they remember fondly McCain’s 2000 “maverick” campaign. 18-24 year-olds don’t recall that campaign at all.

    Obama’s concern is among Appalachian voters in Southeast Ohio. He has the same problem throughout Appalachia, including Tennessee, Kentucky, western Virginia and West Virginia. My guess is that it is a bit of racism and a bit of unfamiliarity. If Obama toured through Appalachia I bet he’d drive up support.

    The 99-1 margin is unlikely as there are some black Republicans in Ohio like Ken Blackwell.

  • Jill Miller Zimon

    Spot-on re: SEOhio – I’ve been told it to my face by people from there.

    I think the young thing is less a fond memory of McCain – was that really true? I don’t remember him that way at all but I am older – and more the charisma of Obama, but maybe I’m shortchanging McCain – he seems so different to me now.

  • BBQ

    I am part of that late 20s group and I have long decided to vote McCain. It’s not just the 2000 election but also his work across the aisle. Also many in my age group dislike Clinton very much and so it’s more natural to go to McCain. But like Elrod said most of my friends will go Obama over McCain.

  • wondernat

    I think young people are annoyingly voting with their hearts than their heads. Moreover, polls mean nothing so early in the election cycle, thereby making this election the most frustrating and exciting in a very long time.