It’s after Labor Day, which means pollsters have turned from measuring overall sentiment of voters toward trying to figure out which voters are most likely to actually cast ballots.
Three polls of Ohio’s voters over the last couple weeks have shown Hillary Clinton up, Clinton and Donald Trump tied, and Trump besting Clinton.
Kyle Kondik, who’s written the book “They Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President,” says the disparity is tied largely to pollsters trying to figure out who is most likely to vote. For example, this week’s poll by Bloomberg anticipates that Republicans will have a heavy turnout. Other polls predict a Democratic turnout equal to 2008 and 2012, and those swing Clinton’s way.
“There’s a little bit of a mystery as to what the electorate’s going to look like in Ohio. Is it going to be a more Republican leaning one? Is it going to be a lot of typical Democratic voters that end up voting for Trump? I think probably the smart thing to do is to average them all together and polling averages show almost exactly a tie in Ohio."
Kondik notes that national polls have tightened as well, which means Ohio remains a microcosm of the national electorate.
With less than a month before early voting begins in Ohio, Kondik says Clinton's emphasis will be to get out voters of color, and President Obama is likely to be her strongest surrogate there.
“Every extra African-American vote is basically an extra vote for Clinton given the propensity of African Americans to vote so heavily Democratic. So I think Obama’s about as good a messenger as Clinton has to that community as really anyone else she could bring out, including maybe herself.” :17
Trump is in Canton tonight and has made a half-dozen visits to Ohio in the last two weeks.