Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sherrod Brown in good shape

Sherrod Brown's looking more and more like he might have a pretty easy path to reelection. With decent approval numbers and a potential pool of opponents that range from unpopular to obscure, he leads all of the Republicans we tested him against by anywhere from 17 to 21 points.

39% of voters approve of the job Brown's doing to 28% who disapprove. He's one of the more unknown Senators in the country with 33% expressing no opinion about him even after almost a full term in office. The key to his numbers being on positive ground is that while 63% of Democrats approve of the job he's doing, only 43% of Republicans disapprove. He's just not that much of a turn off to voters across party lines.

Brown leads Josh Mandel by 17 points at 48-31, Ken Blackwell by 18 points at 51-33, Jim Jordan by 18 points at 49-31, Mary Taylor by 19 points at 50-31, and Kevin Coughlin by 21 points at 51-30.

Part of the reason Brown does well in these match ups is his decent popularity but maybe even more important is the weakness of his potential opponents. Blackwell is the only one known to more than 50% of voters in the state but they don't like him. Just 21% have a favorable opinion to 34% who rate him negatively. None of the others can crack 36% name recognition. That's Taylor who voters are split on with 18% holding a positive opinion of her and 18% a negative one. Everyone else has a negative favorability number- it's 15/18 for Mandel, 10/17 for Jordan, and 4/16 for Coughlin.

What's interesting about Brown's situation is that six months ago it did look like he would be in a lot of trouble for reelection. When we polled Ohio in December he only led Taylor by 2 points and he had just an 8 point advantage on Jordan. John Kasich is probably the best thing that ever happened to Brown's reelection prospects. It wasn't long after Kasich took office that Ohio voters started moving strongly back toward the Democratic column and Brown, along with Barack Obama, may be the biggest beneficiary of Kasich's fall from grace.

Brown's approval numbers aren't stellar and there are a lot more undecided Republicans than Democrats in all of these match ups so they'll likely tighten up over time. But this is looking at best like a second tier Republican pick up opportunity and it's bordering on third tier.

Full results here


The Passing Tramp said...

Is anyone with a 39% approval rating really in "good shape," I wonder.

The best thing he has going for him, probably, is Kasich's current unpopularity.

Anonymous said...

These PPP numbers are simply not credible. The partisan ID in this sample is D45, R35. History suggests there is no way the electorate in Ohio is currently D+10 or will be so in Nov. 2012 . The Quinnipiac survey taken around the same time tilts about 10 points more favorable to the GOP. I will give PPP some points for transparency; at least the partisan breakdown is published for those who bother to look past the top line.

Anonymous said...

Given Brown's track record (he's a very workers rights pro-labor Senator), he probably picked up quite a bit of support due to the collective bargaining tussle, so this result makes sense.

Dustin Ingalls said...

+10 is not much different than 2008's +8 (according to exit polls), and it's conceivable Democrats are more excited to vote now than then because of Kasich and company.

NRH said...

Going from a +8 D advantage in 2008 to a +10 D advantage in 2011 can easily be two factors - random sample variance, and previously-R union members belatedly realizing just how much their now-former party hates them.

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