February 4th, 2009
04:05 PM ET
11 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. once upon a horse

    you can tell that the GOP is in trouble when they have to call out "Joe the Plumber" to come to a meeting and give them a pep talk! If they need to depend on THIS guy they are in a world of hurt.

    February 4, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |

    Early look shows GOP in trouble in Ohio

    Good!!! they should call ken "dumb bell" blackwell. he tried running for govenor and got his butt beat big time.

    GOP'd February 4th, 2009 5:10 pm ET

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

    I completely agree. LOL

    February 4, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Since 2004 the Republicans have only been able to elect one person to a state-wide office in Ohio – the current State Auditor!

    Ohio is the bellweather state of the country and Ohio's Republican Party is only a microcosm of the national problems.

    Sadly, Portman is a very competent person who represents a brand that simply isn't viable outside of the Deep South.

    February 4, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. GOPee-ERs

    Ahhhh... the GOP wants to change. Why? Because we're ON TO them. They know that we know that they are NOT fiscally conservative unless they are out of power. They talk a good game, but when they had the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives–they DID NOTHING–NOTHING.

    So the party of HOT AIR is moaning and groaning and talking about tax cuts and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    Don't give into the hot air Americans. When they had a chance to put up or shut up, they wimped out. Send them home packing.

    February 4, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Evelyn in Texas

    Please God, help the Republicans think of others instead of their party. They'd lead this country down the recession road for a period of 6 to 8 years. Help them not to be so hypocritical. The country needs help now.

    February 4, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. desi taurus

    It's high time to get rid of the bush dogs and reclaim this country back to the people.

    February 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. gl, Pittsburgh

    Good – I am tried of all these evil Repubicans blocking very thing for this country.

    February 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Rachel in Nebraska

    Of course they are in trouble in Ohio and they will be in trouble everywhere if they continue on their negative, nasty and destructive path! They are clearly more for the rich and for corporations over every day Americans. They are acting TERRIBLY with regard to our new president. They should appreciate his hand and try to work with him. Instead they are acting like selfish losers. I am going to work hard on making sure every Republican is defeated in 2010.

    February 4, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    Dump the white elephant!

    February 4, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  10. Joanna

    GOOD! They are good for Nothing. I will Never understand how a party against Government can run one. Why does the GOP hate America so much? All they want to do is bring our country to its knee's. WHY?

    February 4, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Joanna

    You know they are in trouble when Joe the none tax paying fake plumber is in on economic decisions, lolol and rush and Palin are looked to as leaders. Lord give me strength. I hope i wake from this awful dream. Someone mentioned"what if Palin was a liberal dem?" well, she would just have to change EVERYTHING she stands for for anyone to take her seriously!

    February 4, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Bill Charlotte, NC

    Good; maybe this will awake some of those sudden financial Republican-Rush geniuses.

    February 4, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. jumbo

    if things dont start to change i am for getting rid off all of them and starting over ,,, cant get much worse

    February 4, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. Jim in Bisbee

    Just being the Director of Management and Budget in the Bush Administration should be enough to disqualify him from most any real job.

    February 4, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Becky

    Thank God! I've waited a long time for Ohio to go blue. We need to get rid of Boehner AND Schmidt!

    February 4, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. indy

    It's a long way from the election, I don't think the Dems should get too excited nor should the Repubs panic. A lot can happen. Quite honestly, I'm sick of the Repubs being labeled as obstructionist. As I recall 12 Dems in the House voted against the bill too. I haven't heard the clamoring to get them out of office. After how poorly the TARP Bill was constructed in the Fall, I'd rather see them get it right and without things that won't stimulate the economy. Please stop trying to tell me there's no pork in this bill and that it's all wonderful.

    February 4, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Jim in San Jose

    Reminds me of the song "The Heat is On". They are going to get stewed in a mess of their own making.

    February 4, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. No Hillary = No Obama

    The GOP is in trouble, period.

    February 4, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. The Real Issue

    Congressman Portman will probably run for office and he will lose. The Democratic candidates are better known throughout Ohio and most importantly believe and vote for average Americans. Unfortunately, the Republican party has lost touch with the American people.

    February 4, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. chuck


    February 4, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. Aaron Friedman

    This guy's problem may not be that he's a Republican. It's that he served in the Bush Administration. I can already hear the campaign ads from the Democratic nominee. Maybe the Republican Party should re-think nominating a Bush alum.

    February 4, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  22. Buddy

    Obama is the best thing to help the GOP. The Chicago crooks are in the White House.

    February 4, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. Brent A. Pope

    GOP of Ohio, " The heart of it all ". is also taking the brunt of this political cat and mouse game. As history is written the Rep.Party support the rich and all the white collar crime that has ran rampid in this country.
    The Dem. Party as history shows us, has to roll up there sleves along with every honest tax paying American and bail out the country as a whole.
    As the political machine steam rolls us to the brink of being broken, through failed policies and lack of accountability. The fat cats try to pave there way to our Savings, 401K's, Stocks,and continue to sell us out to any crook or to the highest bidder.
    The American public has voted for an overwhelming need of change. The GOP " JUST DOESN'T GET IT ". What they will get in the future is a party that is no longer able to support the rich (SINCE WE ALL ARE HEADED TO THE POOR HOUSE) and no longer needed.
    To all GOP members " Stop the sour grapes start working for this country. Please we all beg you ".

    February 4, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  24. 2Young2Vote-OR

    hehe, same thing in Oregon. Only reason our senate race was so close was because Gordon smith talked about how much he and Obama were pals. The map is changing, because people want a party that wants to help the country, not itself.

    February 4, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  25. jeremy b from PA

    Great... I want to see the GOP reform but as a Democrat and American I'd like to see some of the ineffective democrats replaced as well. Change, as defined by Obama means change... Not just from Republican to Democrat.. but from ineffective to effective!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
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