CLEVELAND – President Bush leads Democratic rival John Kerry in the key swing state of Ohio (search) in a three-way matchup that includes independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, a new poll shows.
Republican Bush was at 47 percent, followed by Kerry at 41 percent and Nader at 3 percent among registered voters surveyed by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research (search) for The Plain Dealer. Results were released late Saturday.
Nine percent of voters were undecided.
Bush's lead came although about half in the poll expressed disapproval of his handling of the economy, found to be the No. 1 issue among Ohio voters. The state is one of several in the region to lose manufacturing jobs under Bush, while Kerry has made the jobs issue central to his White House campaign.
These latest results come two weeks after an American Research Group poll of 600 likely voters found Kerry had edged ahead of Bush in the state, 49 percent to 42 percent, with Nader at 2 percent.
Bush won Ohio in 2000 by 4.4 percentage points.
The Mason-Dixon Polling telephone survey of 1,500 registered voters was conducted May 20-25, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.