Rasmussen released its latest survey of battleground Ohio this morning. The poll finds Romney surging into his first-ever lead in the Buckeye state. He now leads President Obama by two points among likely voters, 50-48. Importantly, Romney’s support has crossed the critical 50% threshold. It is generally difficult for an incumbent to climb back above 50% once they have relinquished it.
Romney’s lead in Ohio is within the margin of error, so the context remains extremely close. With just over a week to go, both campaigns will contest the state aggressively. But, it seems the momentum may be moving towards Romney.
This is reflected in significant voter movement on whom they trust more on important issues. Romney leads Obama by 12 points on whom voters trust to handle the economy, 53-41. This is up five points from last week, when Romney led the President by seven points.
On national security, Romney leads Obama by 10 points, 52-42. This represents a massive 15 point swing from last week, when Obama edged Romney on the issue by five points. This is clearly related to the continuing fallout over the Administration’s missteps dealing with the Benghazi attack.
Romney leads Obama by eight points on both job creation and energy policy. He even edges Obama by two points on housing policy, which hasn’t been a particular focus of the Romney campaign but has been a major plank of Obama’s reelection. This suggests something of a preference cascade is at work, where voters begin preferring one candidate on most issues, whether or not they are familiar with their specific positions.
Romney’s overall lead is razor-thin in this poll. His significant leads in the underlying issues, however, indicates that he has clear momentum going into next week. It’s hard to imagine him holding double-digit leads on both the economy and national security and not winning the state.