Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Democrats strong in Ohio Senate race

Jennifer Brunner and Lee Fisher have nearly identical leads over Rob Portman in the race to replace retiring Republican Senator George Voinovich.

Fisher leads Portman 41-32 and Brunner has a 40-32 advantage. For both that's a strong improvement since PPP first looked at the race in January. At that time it was Portman with a 41-39 lead over Fisher and a 42-34 one over Brunner.

Anyone trying to figure out whether Brunner or Fisher would make a stronger general election candidate or which has a leg up in the primary will not find it from this poll, as their numbers are nearly identical across the board. 32% of respondents have a favorable opinion of both Fisher and Brunner. 32% have an unfavorable one of Brunner, while the number is 31% for Fisher. Among just Democrats 51% have a favorable opinion of both candidates, with 13% having a negative one of Brunner to 12% for Fisher.

Portman is seen favorably by 22% of voters and unfavorably by 34%, not a particularly good place to start. It's interesting that really none of the three candidates are very popular, with Fisher holding a +1 net favorability rating, Brunner even, and Portman at -12. You'd think with the rare commodity of an open Senate seat someone would run who had already earned a greater measure of popularity with Ohio voters, but there don't seem to be any likely candidates who fit the bill.

All three candidates are getting 65-69% of the vote within their own parties, but with a significant Democratic identification advantage in Ohio and a slight lead for Brunner and Fisher with independents it gives them the overall solid leads.

Full results here

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