President Barack Obama still leads Mitt Romney in Ohio, but the margin has narrowed substantially in the past month, according to a poll released Monday morning by Quinnipiac University and CBS News.
Obama held a 5-point lead among likely voters, winning 50 percent to Romney's 45 percent, according to the poll. In September, Obama held by twice the margin, 53 to 43.
The president still holds a commanding double-digit lead among women, but older voters and independents moved toward Romney, with a majority of both groups now supporting the Republican candidate.
Early voters, who made up about a fifth of the poll, went more heavily for Obama, with 54 percent supporting him and 39 percent backing Romney.
This poll is somewhat better news for the president than other recent surveys in the state. The other five most recent polls taken in Ohio range from showing Obama tied with Romney to leading by 3 points. One possible reason is a difference in methodology -- the CBS/Quinnipiac poll called cell phones, while the others, except for a Fox poll showing Obama up by 3, surveyed only land lines. Voters only reachable by cell phone tend to be younger and are more likely to vote Democratic.
HuffPost Pollster's model, which tracks all publicly available polling, shows Obama edging Romney by a margin of less than 3 points.
The Quinnipiac/CBS poll, which surveyed 1,548 likely voters in Ohio using live phone interviews, was conducted between Oct. 17 and 20 and has a 2.5 percent margin of error.
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John Bolton: Secretary Of State
<strong>Pros:</strong> Awesome mustache capable of manipulating foreign leaders into doing his bidding. <strong>Cons:</strong> The man behind the mustache is actually not a big fan of diplomacy. He also <a href="http://www.salon.com/2011/05/06/bolton_single_issue/">really, really, really</a> wants to <a href="http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/02/29/john-boltons-default-setting-when-in-doubt-bomb/186567">bomb Iran</a>.
Ron Paul: Treasury Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Gold is pretty cool. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) agrees. The Fed could also use an audit. Furthermore, Paul knows that our current drug policy is a drain on the Treasury. <strong>Cons:</strong> Pretty sure an across the board elimination of taxes isn't great policy advice for the president.
Allen West: Defense Department Secretary
<strong>Cons:</strong> The military career of Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/27/world/struggle-for-iraq-interrogations-colonel-risked-his-career-menacing-detainee.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm">ended with him being discharged from the Army</a>. The disciplinary action was a result of him overseeing the torture of an Iraqi policeman in an incident that ended with West firing a pistol near the captive's head. But West and the soldiers who helped him conduct the interrogation said it produced information that helped them foil an ambush on their company. <strong>Pros:</strong> Isn't it time we had a Secretary of Defense willing to shoot first and take names later?
Rick Perry: Attorney General, Justice Department
<strong>Pros:</strong> Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) knows a thing or two about justice. <strong>Cons:</strong> If by justice you mean being okay with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/07/rick-perry-death-penalty-gop-debate_n_953214.html">executing a ton of people</a>, including some who <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/02/cameron-todd-willingham-execution-rick-perry_n_946654.html">were innocent</a>.
Sarah Palin: Interior Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> The former GOP Alaska governor could condense management of the nation's public lands and conservation efforts into catchy three-word slogans. "Drill, baby, drill," "log, baby, log," etc. <strong>Cons:</strong> We can't think of any.
Michelle Obama: Agriculture Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Organic spinach for everyone. <strong>Cons:</strong> Organic spinach for everyone.
Herman Cain: Commerce Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Plans for job growth that hinge entirely upon the number "9." <strong>Cons:</strong> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/herman-cain-999-sim-city_n_1008952.html">Plans ripped from "Sim City"</a> probably aren't good models for the real world.
Scott Walker: Labor Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) is currently organized labor's biggest nemesis. <strong>Cons:</strong> This could <a href="http://www.theblaze.com/stories/romneys-possible-cabinet-part-iii-education-health-and-human-services-and-labor/">actually happen</a>.
Todd Akin: Health And Human Services Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) would address the numerous injustices currently at issue in the field of women's rights. For example, why is it so easy for women to find access to birth control and abortions, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/02/todd-akin-abortion-providers_n_1934305.html">even when they're not pregnant</a>? Why is it so simple for them to report <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/19/todd-akin-abortion-legitimate-rape_n_1807381.html">"legitimate rapes"</a>? These concerns must be dealt with. <strong>Cons:</strong> You think there's a "war on women" now? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Donald Trump: Housing And Urban Development Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Low-income housing is unsightly -- casinos and luxury apartments would spruce up economically depressed urban areas nicely. <strong>Cons:</strong> HUD <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-filed-bankruptcy-times/story?id=13419250#.UHQaRfnuWXc">can't file for bankruptcy</a>. Trump also has a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/29/donald-trump-blacks-lawsuit_n_855553.html">controversial history</a> with a large percentage of people who actually live in urban housing.
Steve King: Transportation Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/steve-king-nanny-state-sp_n_1903957.html">"Nanny state" speed limits</a> are lame and should be repealed. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) could help make this happen. <strong>Cons:</strong> Never wanting to drive on the highway again.
David Koch: Energy Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> The man has overseen energy companies that have produced billions in profits for his family and others. <strong>Cons:</strong> Invest in renewable resources for energy? But there's more oil in them thar hills!
Rick Santorum: Education Department Secretary
Pros: Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum knows the essential problems facing learning institutions. Too many of them are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/rick-santorum-obama-college-plan-indoctrination-_n_1299403.html">liberal indoctrination mills</a> that turn students into <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/25/rick-santorum-obama-snob-college_n_1301854.html">snobs</a>. Cons: Kids might Google the education secretary. You'll also understand how Santorum feels now when he alters the Department of Education so drastically that you end up being forced to homeschool your kids.
Joe Walsh: Veterans Affairs Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) might not have ever served in the military, but he knows and cares about the concerns of veterans. <strong>Cons:</strong> His primary concern is that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/joe-walsh-tammy-duckworth_n_1646793.html">they talk too much</a> about their service and expect to be treated as heroes.
Jan Brewer: Homeland Security Department Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is one of the GOP's leading voices on keeping our nation safe from supposed threats by non-Americans. <strong>Cons:</strong> Building a fence that spans the entire southern border and deporting all of the people who "look like" undocumented immigrants will not keep the homeland secure.
James Inhofe: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
<strong>Pros:</strong> Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) would be a noble steward of the environment, working tirelessly to ensure it is adequately protected. <strong>Cons:</strong> "Adequately" doesn't mean to Inhofe what it does to most people. Prepare to see him <a href="http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Inhofe-Family-Igloo-Gores/2010/02/10/id/349514">laughing maniacally when it snows</a> and running an unnecessarily inefficient coal-powered AC unit when it gets too hot.
Chris Christie: Press Secretary
<strong>Pros:</strong> More entertaining White House press briefings. <strong>Cons:</strong> Broken-willed Washington journalists would be sent home crying on a daily basis after being berated for asking "idiot" questions. Wait -- maybe there are no cons after all.
Michele Bachmann: National Security Advisor
<strong>Pros:</strong> No national security concern is too outlandish or seemingly inconsequential for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). <strong>Cons:</strong> Given her days on a kibbutz and her former Swiss citizenship, is she a secret communist infiltrator?
Glenn Beck: Fed Chairman
<strong>Pros:</strong> It's so crazy, it might just work. <strong>Cons:</strong> It wouldn't work.
Newt Gingrich: NASA Administrator
<strong>Pros:</strong> It would be difficult to find someone more genuinely interested in the concept of expanding U.S. interests in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/newt-gingrich-space-moon_n_1234832.html">space travel and colonization</a>. Cons: Gingrich might find it difficult to split time between heading up NASA and <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/newt-gingrich-bowing-gop-race-355-days-zoo/story?id=16221199">visiting the zoo</a>. This could lead to some strange projects involving sending animals to space. Maybe some sort of space zoo? Wait, that belongs in the "pro" section.