The crucial independent vote in Ohio is warming up to Republican candidate Mitt Romney and turning a cold shoulder to President Barack Obama, according to cumulative data trends from NewsmaxZogby polling.

When independents were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, the percentage of likely voters in Romney's favor has steadily climbed over the three installments of the polling period: In the first round, 31 percent said they'd vote for Romney; in the second round, Romney scored much higher with 35 percent; and in the third and final round, independents weighed heavily in Romney's favor with 37 percent of the independent vote.

On the other hand, Obama's chances with Ohio independent voters declined, indicating a growing dissatisfaction with the president among independents. In the first round of polling data, he garnered 42 percent of the vote. In the second round of data he fell off a percentage point with 41 percent of the vote. In the final tally, his fall was more pronounced, down to 39 percent of the vote.

The first survey was conducted from Monday Oct. 8 through Wednesday Oct. 10. The next polling was done from Sunday Oct. 7 through Tuesday Oct. 9. And the latest polling data was compiled from Tuesday Oct. 8 through Thursday Oct. 11.

Obama and Romney were still in a statistical tie overall in the latest round, Obama with a slight edge at 45 percent and Romney with 44 percent among likely voters.

But when asked if Obama deserves to be re-elected, support from independents declined: 37 percent of independents thought he should be re-elected in the first round, and 34 percent felt that way in the second and third round of data.

Only 43 percent of all Buckeye Staters said the president deserves to be re-elected, a figure pollster John Zogby felt was noteworthy: "Only 42.5 percent of voters feel that the president deserves to be re-elected, a figure that continues to decline each day of polling. That includes only 34 percent of independents."

When asked if it is time for someone new in the White House, likely voters overall increasingly said yes: 45 percent said as much in the first polling; 47 percent said so in the second round; and the percentage increased to 48 percent in the third survey.

Obama's overall disapproval rating rose throughout the reporting period: 37 percent strongly disapproved in the first report, 38 percent strongly disapproved in the second, leveling off at 38 percent in the third report.

But it is in the independent category that the data is truly telling. There, of course, in a close election with an energized base on both sides, the independent vote can make or break a candidate.

For this, the final installment of NewsmaxZogby polling in Ohio, 835 likely voters were surveyed online, with the margin of error at 3.4 percentage points.

The joint venture between Newsmax and New York State-based pollster Zogby will feature three-day Swing State Tracking Polls in Ohio, Florida, and Virginia, and a national poll leading right up to Election Day. The NewsmaxZogby polls use information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books, and exit polls to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed.

Poll Methodology