The view from Ohio

Public Policy Polling is out with a poll showing Obama with a 5-point lead over Romney among likely voters, at 50-45 percent. PPP has also posted the full survey results. The survey sample has Democrats over Republicans by 4 points, 41 to 37 percent.

In his Weekly Standard column this morning, Jay Cost identifies PPP as the regular pollster for the hyper-partisan Service Employees International Union. Resist the siren call of Operation Demoralize.

The full survey results are interesting. Those who describe themselves as “Very conservative” or “Somewhat conservative” amount to 42 percent of the sample; those who describe themselves as “Very liberal” or “Somewhat liberal” amount to 28 percent. Twenty-nine percent describe themselves as moderate.

The survey asks one off-the-wall question: Who deserves more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? Unbelievably, Obama pulls only 63 percent of respondents. Thirty-one percent are not sure. Mitt Romney pulls an impressive 6 percent.

The correct question would ask respondents to allocate credit between Obama and George W. Bush, or ask whether Bush deserves some of the credit. It was, after all, Bush’s interrogation policies that resulted in the intelligence leading to the discovery of bin Laden’s lair. President Bush deserves a fair share of the credit for the operation to kill bin Laden, but someone who vehemently disapproved of the policies has been hogging it all.

The answer to the bin Laden question reminds me of the detailed breakdown of the 1988 Florida Senate race that Connie Mack III narrowly won over Buddy McKay. Consultant Arthur Finkelstein’s survey results indicated that Mack’s margin of victory was provided by those who voted for him because he was, so they thought, a woman.


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