February 4th, 2009
04:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Early look shows GOP in trouble in Ohio

A new poll out Wednesday suggests Republican Rob Portman may face an uphill battle in a 2010 Ohio Senate race.
A new poll out Wednesday suggests Republican Rob Portman may face an uphill battle in a 2010 Ohio Senate race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new poll suggests that former Rep. Rob Portman has his work cut out for him to keep retiring Sen. George Voinovich's Ohio seat in Republican hands.

The Quinnipiac University survey of Ohio voters indicates that Portman trails two possible Democratic contenders in head-to-head match-ups in next year's midterm elections.

Voinovich, a two-term Republican, announced last month that he will not run for re-election in 2010. Portman, a former six-term congressman who also served as U.S. Trade Representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget in President George W. Bush’s administration, announced his intention to run shortly after Voinovich decided to retire.

In the poll released Wednesday, Portman trails Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher by 15 points, with 29 percent of those questioned undecided. And Portman trails Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner by 10 points, with 31 percent undecided.

Fisher, Brunner, and Rep. Tim Ryan are all considered possible Democratic contenders in the race for the open Senate seat.

The poll does show that Portman has a wide lead over state auditor Mary Taylor in the Republican primary.

"Portman has served in a number of national offices, but he has never served in a statewide office in Ohio, and it's possible he may not be well known outside of his home base in the southwestern part of the state," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Even in that home base, however, the political landscape has changed. Hamilton County, which Portman used to represent, went for George W. Bush in 2004 but it gave a majority of its support to Barack Obama in 2008."

Voinovich won his 2004 re-election by 28 points over his Democratic challenger. But times have changed in Ohio. Democrat Ted Strickland topped Republican Ken Blackwell by 24 points in the 2006 gubernatorial race and Rep. Sherrod Brown beat incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine by 12 points in the Senate contest. In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama edged out John McCain by four points for Ohio's 20 electoral votes.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted January 29-February 2, with 1,127 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.


Filed under: Ohio • Polls
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Dana from NY

    And this is surprising- Republicans continue to ingore everyday Americans- now Everyday Americans will IGNORE REPUBLICANS!

    February 4, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    where is a place that the GOP is NOT in trouble? Unless you count only in their minds!!

    February 4, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. proud american

    The Repubs used to rule Ohio but they have since been Obama-nated and Portman can't really brag about being a Bush White House official...don't think that will play too well :)

    February 4, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Mari

    FYI TO GOPers:

    The reason you are in trouble, and will continue to lose is that you are always on the wrong side! Example: you deny children healthcare, but you "claim" to be pro-life.

    You "claim" to be Christian, but during your campaigns spew hate, lies, fear and division! Goes against everything that Jesus taught!

    We, the People, are onto you! The GOP= hate, lies, fear and division.

    And....... one more thing, with mouthpieces like Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Faux News and the rest of the haters what can you expect but to lose each and every election.

    Hypocrisy is sick and wrong!

    February 4, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Baze

    I'm not sure what the G.O.P. expects. Their unyielding narrow mindedness is pissing people off. If people devote themself to a cause, then that's it. They should know because for the first six years of the previous tenure we devoted ourselves to the War on Terror regardless of what it entailed.

    February 4, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Ed Word

    And the GOP's downhill slide continues...............

    It's a thing of beauty.

    February 4, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. ZANE

    Republicans rubber-stamp each other. Nothing will get done if we don't vote the Republicans OUT!

    February 4, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Lexie

    I'll never vote for another Republican again....not even for my local dog-catcher!

    February 4, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. JADIE

    The country and Ohio are wising up....

    February 4, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Steph

    Could this be happening because the GOP has no new ideas and is out of touch with most of mainstream America????

    February 4, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. CHANGE.COM

    My prediction is that Ohio will be a pick for Democrats. Now, that's Change you can count on!

    February 4, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    The fact is there will be a filibuster proof Democratic Senate in2010.Period!

    February 4, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. lovable liberal

    A lot can happen in a year and a half. The Republicans aren't justified in panicking, and I'm not going to jump for joy about a silly poll this far out.

    February 4, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. peter

    Am not suprise by this poll,because the gop cant get any minority voters,its all over for the gop,they will never regain control of the senate or house ever again,in forget about the white-house its not even close,the gop is an very very bad shape,in they know it,obama won by 7% this election,in 2012 he will win by 11%,in 2016,the democrats should win by 13%,its going to get biger in bigger,because only 9% of the gop vote is minority,if obama would have gotten the same numbers he got in november in 1980 he would have lost by 6%,in if carter would have gotten a 27% minority vote in 1980 he would have won by 1% instead of losing by 10%,its a very serious problem for the gop,i was finally happy to see bill oriely talk about this lastnight,he was the first one in the media to talk about this,the democrats dont have to worry about anything because they have a huge lead because of the minority vote and its only going to get bigger

    February 4, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Cleaning up after W

    As an Ohioan, I can truly say HELL, YES, THEY'RE IN TROUBLE!

    February 4, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Jim Duncan

    Robbie, you worked slavishly for Dubya. Please realize your name will always be Mudd.

    February 4, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. fella from Chicago

    Wouldn't worry about any polls now. Time the election occurs Obama and the Dems will have screwed things up so bad the GOP will be looking good to everyone once again.

    February 4, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Ken

    I would hope polls show that the GOP is in trouble everywhere. It would take a genetic disorder, or a not-so-mild form of retardation, to keep to the [R] ideology that has proven to be such an abject failure.

    You need only read the posts on here by those that cling to the rightwing kool-aid, to see what intellectual bankrupcy is: they ignore the facts and resort to their rightwing fairytales of how and why things are so bad now, blaming everything on the [D]s even through the period where they had complete control of the government! They have even stooped to hoping for the failure of Obama and the nation, so their pitiful failure of the last 8 years doesn't look so bad. And this is "country first"? Such a political party, populated by so many unrepentant, delusional half-wits and sustained by the rightwing underbelly of this nation, deserves to collapse.

    Many people continued to be fooled by the delusional labeling of the GOP as the party of conservatives......that has long since failed the test of 'truth'. Very little has eminated from the [R] adminstration and the [R] congress over the last 8 years that is truly conservative....both have been dominated by rightwing dogma which is a far cry from true conservative principles. But these neo-tards are so far into their delusion, they can't even tell the difference between rightwing and conservative anymore.

    February 4, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. Lori

    Good. I hope Ohio stays blue. We don't need any incompetent Republicans running down yet another State.

    February 4, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. GOP'd

    Uh-oh, better keep Ken Blackwell away from the Diebold voting machines...

    February 4, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Jo

    I hope the people in Ohio will remember how this 'public servent' helped his state by obstructing the stimlus bill and how he wants do to do everything he can to hurt the pepole of Ohio. Lets hope the democrats and independents show him the door out of Washington.

    February 4, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Erik

    What a creepy looking guy...

    February 4, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Indigo

    Way to go Ohio!! Let's get ready for 2010

    February 4, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Get Real

    It does not matter who wins in Ohio, the citizens will lose. None of them can fix Ohio. Strickland and Brown have done "NOTHING" for the state of Ohio but give personal speeches promising "BIG" things. HMMM, Sounds like another politician I know.

    February 4, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. Matt

    Q: What's the difference between giving corporate America $350B in bailout money without oversight and giving corporate America $350B in tax cuts?

    A: NOTHING.

    February 4, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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