February 4th, 2009
04:05 PM ET
12 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. Ann

    Good! I hope no Republicians win! The country will be much better.

    February 4, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. mary.florida

    A new bestseller "Death Of a Party" will be in every state,coming sooner than later.Thanks,I love a sad story with a happy ending.

    February 4, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. Dan

    Portman, Yopu do not have to worry. These polls are left-leaning includign CNN. I do not believe that People in Ohio can select somebody from democratic party. Look at the circus going on in Washington now. Let them join this bandwagon. People will realize their mistake. No more democrats. Let them go to Mexico.

    February 4, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. bill for barack

    Portman is a George Bush boot-licker who has no place in the halls of Congress and the people of Ohio KNOW it .

    February 4, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. Maggie in NY

    I predict dire election results for the republicans in 2010, and again in 2012. Regional party, indeed...

    February 4, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. jen

    I cant stand republicans. They have never done anything good for this country

    February 4, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. susie

    Some Democrats are against the Stimulus Bill too.

    February 4, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. John

    Oh this poll is crap. Lee Fisher doesn't do anything. He babels out rhetoric all day long "hope & change". He heads the Ohio Department of Development. Newsflash, Ohio is one of the most unfriendly states for business in the country! Look at the data – PEOPLE ARE LEAVING OHIO IN DROVES!

    Jennifer Brunner, please. She's no better than Marc Dann except she's not fondling her staff yet that we know of. I couldn't think of a more useless person in the Ohio administration.

    And contrary to popular belief, Ohio is not a blue state! Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Dayton, Columbus and on the border Cincinnati elected Obama. Rural Ohioans even in the heavy democratic southeast Ohio went red.

    Fisher and Brunner won't have an easy cake ride to the Senate if they chose to run. Let's be realistic people. The campaigns are over get your heads out of the clouds.

    February 4, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
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