Ohio's a pretty good microcosm for an unhappy nation right now.
Barack Obama's approval rating in the state right now is 44%, with 52% of voters disapproving of him. His numbers with independents are horrid at 34/59. And there's a whole lot more Democrats (16%) who disapprove of him than there are Republicans (just 4%) who like him.
So with those numbers Obama must be doomed in one of the country's most important swing states, right? Wrong. Obama leads the entire Republican field in Ohio.
How can that be? Well Obama's pretty unpopular. But consider these favorability numbers for the Republican alternatives: Mitt Romney, 30% favorable/49% unfavorable, Rick Perry, 28% favorable/37% unfavorable, Michele Bachmann, 30% favorable/49% unfavorable, Sarah Palin, 34% favorable/59% unfavorable, and Herman Cain, 22% favorable/35% unfavorable.
Obama's net approval is a -8 spread. Every Republican's net favorability is even worse than that. Ohio voters don't like Obama. They like the GOP Presidential field even less. So at least for now Obama's up 2 points on Romney at 45-43, 4 points on Perry at 45-41, 7 points on Bachmann at 48-41, 8 points on Cain at 47-39, and 13 points on Palin at 51-38.
In all of these match ups there are a lot more undecided Republicans than Democrats so at least the Romney and Perry match ups with Obama are sheer toss ups. But it's still kind of amazing the President's holding up as well as he is with these approval numbers.
Like Obama, all of the Republican candidates get negative assessments from independents. And also like Obama they're all more unpopular across party lines than they are well liked within their own parties. Voters in Ohio aren't real impressed with any politicians right now and it shows in these numbers. Bottom line- Ohio looks like it will have the same closely contested Presidential contest next year that it's had regularly over the last few election cycles.
Full results here