A new PPP survey of Ohio voters finds that the most discussed possible 2010 Senate candidates in the state aren't particularly well known.
49% of respondents have no opinion one way or the other about Republican front runner Rob Portman. 46% are ambivalent toward Congressman Tim Ryan and the figures are 31% and 28% respectively for statewide Democrats Jennifer Brunner and Lee Fisher.
Fisher gets the best overall marks, with 40% of voters having a favorable opinion compared to 32% who see him negatively. Portman's numbers are 28/23, Brunner's are 34/36, and Ryan's are 26/27.
None of the candidates appear to have much bipartisan support. Only 13% of Democrats have a favorable opinion of Portman and 13% of Republicans have a positive view of Fisher. There's even less cross party respect for Brunner and Ryan, at 9% and 8% respectively.
Portman leads potential match ups with all three of the Democrats. It's a 41-39 edge over Fisher, a 40-34 advantage over Ryan, and a 42-34 lead on Brunner.
Those numbers are largely a reflection of the GOP seemingly already unifying around Portman for the 2010 nomination. For instance against Brunner he gets 80% of the Republican vote while she gets just 59% of the Democratic tally. It's a similar story against the other two. Fisher gets just 68% of the Democratic vote and Ryan gets 60% compared to 80% and 74% respectively among Republicans for Portman against those two. It's safe to say those numbers would go up for any of the Democrats were they to become the nominee.
The bottom line is that none of these candidates are going to come right out of the box and light the world on fire. It's likely to be a closely contested race, with no clear early favorites.
Full results here.