CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Quinnipiac University poll of battleground states released today gives Barack Obama a six point lead over John McCain in Ohio, 48-42. But that's not how the Democrat v. Republican horse race looked in June 2004. Then, the polling at this stage of the presidential campaign in Ohio showed George Bush ahead (3 polls), or in a statistical dead heat with John Kerry (1 poll). The archival data is available by scanning down to June results on this page at Real Clear Politics. Another poll of Ohioans released this week by Public Policy Polling shows Obama up by 11, a margin that puts the Illinois senator in potential blowout territory. That's not usually the case with presidential matchups in Ohio.
At this point four years ago in Ohio, FOX TV had Bush leading 45-41; Rasmussen had Bush ahead 46-42: Zogby and the Wall Street Journal found Bush on top 50.5 to 45.1. The LA Times poll said Kerry led, 45-42, but that fell within the margin or error and meant they were in a virtual dead heat. An ARG poll is shown with Kerry ahead, but the link to the poll would not open.
Today's 2008 Q-Pac poll indicates Obama could be in better shape than Kerry ever was in Ohio, traditionally a must-win state on the road to the White House. Kerry lost Ohio by slightly less than 120,000 votes, a sliver that kept Bush in office.