In the race for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by George Voinovich, a Suffolk University poll compiled Oct. 4-6 shows Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, with a 10 point lead over Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, D-Shaker Heights. The poll surveyed 500 individuals who identified themselves as likely voters.
A FOX News/POR-Rasmussen poll dated Oct. 2 had Portman leading by 16 points. That poll surveyed 1,000 people who also identified themselves as likely voters.
A Quinnipiac poll compiled Sept. 29-Oct. 3 had Portman leading by 19 points. That poll surveyed 1,025 likely voters.
According to an average of all recent polls listed on the Web site Real Clear Politics (RCP), Portman is ahead by 13.8 points. That average is taken from polls compiled between Sept. 23 and Oct. 6.
Portman, a former budget director and U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush, has held a double-digit lead in nearly every poll taken since the summer. While Fisher’s campaign ads have sought to use Portman’s link to Bush as a negative, it hasn’t appeared to have had an effect, at least according to the polls.
Fisher, on the other hand, has not been above 43 percent in any poll since June. Fundraising has also been an issue for Fisher.
Other candidates running for U.S. Senate this year are Eric W. Deaton of the Constitution Party, independent Michael L. Pryce, Socialist Party member Daniel H. LaBotz and write-in candidate Arthur T. Sullivan. None of those candidates has made a dent in any of the polls compiled.
While the U.S. Senate race appears to be going the way of the GOP, the battle for the governor’s mansion in Ohio has tightened up quite a bit in the last month or so. Gov. Ted Strickland, D-Lucasville, and former congressman John Kasich, R-Westerville, have been locked in a contentious campaign, trading advertising pieces that vilify the other.
Strickland’s campaign has labeled Kasich as a Wall Street insider with no concern for the average person, while the rhetoric from Kasich’s camp places the blame for 400,000 lost jobs in the Buckeye State squarely at Strickland’s feet.
A Suffolk University poll, compiled Oct. 4-6, shows Kasich with a slim, 4-point edge. That poll surveyed 500 likely voters.
A Quinnipiac poll, compiled Sept. 29-Oct. 3, had Kasich ahead by 9 points. That data was collected from 1,025 people who identified themselves as likely voters.
A FOX News/POR-Rasmussen poll, compiled Oct. 2, showed Kasich with a 6-point lead. The sample for that poll was 1,000 likely voters.
The RCP average for this race has Kasich ahead by 5 points with three weeks to go before Nov. 2.
Previous polls, compiled from June through early September, showed Kasich with a double-digit lead — as much as 17 points at one time, according to Quinnipiac. However, that lead dwindled to single digits in mid-September when Strickland’s campaign began a television advertising blitz hammering Kasich for his involvement with Lehman Brothers, the failed investment firm whose collapse was linked to the overall downward spiral of the U.S. financial system in 2008.
Job and population loss in Ohio continue to be millstones around Strickland’s neck, though, with pro-Kasich ads continuing to trumpet those stories to the voting public.
Strickland’s running mate for lieutenant governor is Yvette McGee Brown. Kasich’s running mate is Mary Taylor, the former Ohio auditor of state.
Other candidates running for governor and lieutenant governor are Dennis S. Spisak and Anita Rios of the Green Party, Ken Matesz and Margaret Ann Leech of the Libertarian Party and write-in candidates David L. Sargent and Andrew C. Pfeifer. Like the minor party candidates in the U.S. Senate race, none of the minor party gubernatorial contenders have displayed any prowess in the polls.
Early voting is still available for Ohio residents. In Gallia County, residents who choose early voting may cast ballots at the Gallia County Board of Elections office from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 8:30 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Oct. 30. The last day for early voting is Monday, Nov. 1. The Board of Elections is located on the second floor of the Gallia County Courthouse, 18 Locust St., Gallipolis.
(Online: Real Clear Politics, www.realclearpolitics.com; Ohio Secretary of State, www.sos.state.oh.us)