by Benjamin J. Kirby
Public Policy Polling has Obama up by five in Ohio.
PPP's first post-conventions poll in Ohio finds Barack Obama with a 5 point lead over Mitt Romney, 50-45. This is the largest lead PPP has found for Obama in an Ohio poll since early May. Last month Obama led 48-45.
Let's remember our trending, though -- that polling is not about right now, today, but about what's been happening over time. The trends from a group of polls, collected by Talking Points Memo, show a steady lead by Obama, that is actually being closed by Romney:
That's a whole bunch of polls. Let's look just at Public Policy Polling:
Different picture, right?
So make of it what you will. I'd say that Ohio is still a remarkably important critical battleground state in this election.
If you're playing around with the Electoral College calculators already (like me), then you already know that if Obama wins Pennsylvania and Ohio, the road to victory for Romney/Ryan is much, much narrower.
Don't get too excited. We've still got a long sprint in front of us.
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As the dynamics of the presidential race continue to take shape and evolve, I'm noticing a bit more chatter around the idea of Democrats actually keeping the Senate (which is very much in play right now).
And someone -- somewhere -- has even raised the idea of Democrats taking back the House.
My general -- unformed, amorphous, not-based-in-data -- idea behind all of this is this: that if Obama can do the hard work of winning over not just his base (something he's not done just yet), but a whole throng of voters who voted for him in 2008 (also something he's doing but not done just yet), then he potentially carry some pretty significant coat-tails, sweeping in Democratic majorities into the House and Senate.
But he's not there yet.
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To prove just how big a mountain that would be to climb, check out this interesting graphic from the Washington Post's The Fix, here, entitled (appropriately enough) Why 2012 isn't 2008 -- in 1 chart.
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So the Rays remain in third place in the AL East behind the Yankees and the Orioles, but B.J. Upton hit three home-runs and James Shields pitched a two-hitter shutting out the top-of-the-American-League Texas Rangers yesterday.
Post-season is fast approaching. Let's go, Rays!