(CNN) - A "Glee" star is taking the political stage this weekend in the home state of the fictional William McKinley High School.
Matthew Morrison, who plays glee club director "Mr. Shuster" on the hit Fox series, will be in Ohio to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher and Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.
(CNN) - Ohio's Lt. Governor Lee Fisher trails Republican Rob Portman in the race for the state's U.S. Senate seat by 19-points, suggests a new poll released by Quinnipiac University.
This is virtually the same place that the Democratic nominee stood in the previous Quinnipiac poll released September 17, when Portman led Fisher 55 to 35 percent. Now, 55 percent of likely voters state they will choose Portman, while 36 percent favor Fisher.
(CNN) - The Republicans are in the driver's seat in Ohio's Senate and gubernatorial races, according to a new poll. And a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that Independent voters may be a key reason for the GOP's advantage.
Fifty-two percent of likely voters questioned in the poll back Ohio Republican Senate nominee Rob Portman, with 41 percent supporting Democrat Lee Fisher, the state's Lieutenant Governor. Portman is a former representative and a Bush administration budget director. The winner in November will succeed retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich.
"Fisher is doing well in the Cleveland area, his home base, and he manages a tie with Portman in the northern industrial portions of the state. But Portman has a huge lead in the remaining regions of the state, including a 21-point edge in the Cincinnati area, where he comes from," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Portman also has a two-to-one advantage among Independents."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/06/art.portmanad.0706.robportman.jpg caption="Ohio Senate candidate Rob Portman released an ad Tuesday that Democrats claim is hypocritical."](CNN) - Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman released a new TV commercial Tuesday touting his opposition to cap-and-trade language in new energy legislation, but Ohio Democrats quickly accused the former congressman of flip-flopping on the issue.
In the 30-second ad, Portman calls cap-and-trade "a new energy tax" that's "a job killer for Ohio."
"We're taxed turning on a light, using our computer, or even cooking dinner," Portman says.
But Democrats have latched onto two lines from a column penned by Portman when he was a congressman in 1996.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/28/art.portman.gi.jpg caption="A new poll released Friday indicates that former Rep. Rob Portman trails Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher by one point."](CNN) - A new poll suggests a virtual tie in the Senate battle in the important bellwether state of Ohio.
According to a survey released Friday by The Ohio Poll, 47 percent of likely voters in the Buckeye State say they back Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the Democratic nominee, in the general election matchup, with 46 percent supporting former Rep. Rob Portman, the Republican nominee, and six percent undecided. Fisher's 1-point advantage is well within the poll's sampling error.
The survey, conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, indicates Portman with a 44 percent to 35 percent lead among independents, with one in five undecided.
Fisher defeated Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner earlier this month in a tough and expensive Democratic Senate primary. Portman, who also served as former President George W. Bush's White House budget director, had no real GOP competition. The race in November is to succeed retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich.
(CNN) - On the eve of Ohio's primary, a new poll indicates that Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher holds a 20-point lead over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in the race for their state's Democratic senate nomination.
According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Monday morning, 43 percent of likely Democratic primary voters back Fisher, with 23 percent support Brunner. But nearly a third of the Democratic voters questioned in the poll say they remain undecided and 44 of those who said they are backing one candidate or another indicate they might change their mind by Tuesday's primary.
A Quinnipiac survey released last week indicated Fisher held a 17-point advantage over Brunner.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/04/art.plouffe.gi.jpg caption="David Plouffe managed Barack Obama's presidential campaign."](CNN) - Barack Obama's former campaign manager is taking sides in a high-profile Democratic primary.
David Plouffe sent a fundraising appeal Wednesday to supporters of Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the frontrunner for the state's Democratic Senate nomination, calling Fisher "a champion for Ohio workers."
Fisher has garnered support from the party establishment in his bid to replace Sen. George Voinovich, who is retiring next year. But before Fisher can take on the likely Republican nominee, former Bush administration budget director Rob Portman, Fisher must first defeat Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in the Democratic primary. Brunner trails Fisher in statewide polling and has struggled to raise money since announcing her candidacy.
But Plouffe is keeping his eye the general election. He wrote that Portman's policies under Bush cost Ohioans jobs and helped spark "the worst economic recession in our lifetimes.
"If Karl Rove was the 'architect' of Bush's campaigns, then Portman was the 'architect' of Bush's economic agenda," he wrote in the e-mail. "We can't go back to the same failed policies that got us where we are today. And that's why we need Lee Fisher."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/14/art.portman.gi.jpg caption="Rob Portman is the Republican frontrunner in the Ohio Senate race."](CNN) - Republican Rob Portman, the former congressman and George W. Bush cabinet official now running for Senate in Ohio, finished the latest fundraising period with a big cash advantage over the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.
Portman raised $1.3 million in the last three months - more than double the amount of Fisher, who collected $620,000. Also good news for Republicans: Portman has over $5 million on hand, while Fisher has $1.6 million.
Fisher's rival for the Democratic nomination, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, has yet to release her third-quarter numbers, but has admitted raising less than she did in the second quarter, when she took in just $228,000. Some have questioned whether Brunner is planning to drop out of the race, but she has rejected that speculation, telling the Columbus Dispatch Thursday that she has replaced her campaign finance team.
Portman, too, is facing an intra-party challenge - from Cleveland car dealer Thomas Ganley, who has pledged to contribute up to $7 million to fund his campaign.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/27/art.brunner.gi.jpg caption="Jennifer Brunner is running for Senate in Ohio, but faces a tough primary contest against Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher."](CNN) - With President Obama's nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to sit on the Supreme Court, both Democrats and Republicans see an opportunity to rally their respective bases.
Now, two Democrats running for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat in 2010 are seizing on the chance to score points with liberals and party activists - the kind of people who vote in Democratic primaries - by pledging to "to help lead the fight for the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor."
Ohio Senate candidate Jennifer Brunner, seeking an edge in what's expected to be tough primary contest against Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, sent an e-mail to supporters on Wednesday asking them to thank President Obama for nominating Sotomayor and commit themselves to help her confirmation succeed.
Brunner, Ohio's Secretary of State, notes that like Sotomayor, she is also "a Democrat, a woman, a former judge myself, and most of all, an American."
Her e-mail follows a Tuesday note from Fisher, who praised the Sotomayor selection as "a proud moment for our country" and asked his backers to sign a message "in support of an orderly and civil confirmation process for Judge Sotomayor."
Both candidates' e-mails link to campaign Web pages that solicit donations and e-mail addresses, which will likely be used to refine their lists of voters to contact as next year's primary approaches.
STORY UPDATED at 5:55 PM EST to include Fisher's e-mail.