Daniel Doherty

The latest Gravis Marketing poll conducted in Ohio shows Governor Romney and President Obama locked in a virtual dead heat, 47% to 47%. Here are a few key findings from the survey:

Romney leads by 6 percentage points among men (50 to 44 percent), while Obama leads by 4 percentage points among women (49 to 45 percent).

Both sides are doing well to consolidate their bases in Ohio. 87 percent of Democrats say they will vote for President Obama and 92 percent of Republicans say they will vote for Governor Romney if the election were held today. Governor Romney leads with independents 52 to 33 percent.

The president has a net negative job approval rating of 6 points, 44 percent approve of President Obama’s job performance while 50 percent do not.

Ohio voters are more likely by a 6 percentage point margin to think the country is going in the wrong direction (49 percent) than in the right direction (43 percent).

Considering no Republican candidate has ever won the presidency without first winning Ohio, the internals from this survey are rather encouraging. In fact, the ridiculous D/R/I sample breakdown -- which is 41/32/27(!) -- suggests that despite the obvious skew the Buckeye State is unquestionably up for grabs. Good to know. But to appreciate this new development, however, perhaps it’s worth recalling how the chattering class -- up until very recently -- seemed utterly convinced that Republicans would never be able to recapture this crucially important swing state. National Review’s Josh Jordan explains:

Just a few weeks ago, Ohio was a state that was considered almost every media outlet to be a solid lock for Obama. There’s no need to rehash the actual headlines, but some even suggested Romney give up on Ohio and look elsewhere for a path to victory. Before the first debate, Romney was down 5.6 in RCP’s Buckeye State average. Today he is down 2.5, cutting his deficit by more than half, presumably in large part due to his strong first-debate performance.

Mitt Romney can still win the presidency without seizing Buckeye Country. But after his remarkable performance in the first presidential sparring match -- and momentum clearly on his side -- don’t expect him to take any chances.

UPDATE - A new PPP poll released Saturday shows Mitt Romney trailing Barack Obama by one percentage point in Ohio.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography