Reuters-Ipsos Poll: Republican Portman leads in Ohio Senate race

September 28, 2010

It’s a bad news and not-so-bad news scenario for Democrats in Ohio.

The bad news is in the Senate race where Republican Rob Portman has a strong 13-point lead over Democrat Lee Fisher, 50 percent to 37 percent, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

USA-ELECTION/“It’s starting to look insurmountable,” Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson says of the lead held by President George W. Bush’s former budget director and U.S. trade representative.

A majority of Ohio voters, 60 percent,  said Portman’s work with Bush made no difference in their vote, while another 30 percent of registered voters said it made them less likely to vote for Portman, including one in five independents. Nine percent said it made them more likely to vote for him.

The not-so-bad news is Democrats are closing the enthusiasm gap in Ohio, although they still lag Republicans who say they are certain to vote.

Now, 79 percent of Democrats say they are certin to vote compared with 67 percent in August, while 91 percent of Republicans said they were certain to vote, compared with th 89 percent in August.

The boost in Democratic enthusiasm helped improve Governor Ted Strickland’s chances of re-election over Republican John Kasich in a gubernatorial contest that is virtually tied.

The economy is the top concern in Ohio, and  healthcare reform is contentious with 50 percent saying it should be repealed vs. 43 percent who say it should remain in place.

Photo credit: Reuters/Matt Sullivan (voters cast ballots in Ohio in 2008)

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