For a long while I thought the Ohio Senate seat the one Republican held seat most likely to turn over to the Democrats, but that time is long gone. The numbers have shifted in Ohio. Democrat Lee Fisher hasn’t led Republican Rob Portman in a poll since June. Add in that incumbent Governor Ted Strickland is fading in his re-election bid against Republican John Kasich, and the environment created just might be too negative for Fisher to come back.
Two new polls help drive that conclusion. The first is of course a direct new poll on the Senate race where Rasmussen puts Portman up 47-41 (MoE 4). Portman still nears that critical 50% mark while Fisher hangs near 40. Fisher’s 23% chance of being ahead in this poll is higher it could be, to be sure, but after the Bob Taft debacle it’s still surprising to see Republicans rise again so far, so fast.
And speaking of governors, that race is even more of a reversal of Republican fortunes in the state. Kasich leads Strickland by 12, 52-40 (MoE 4). Notice that? Kasich is better off because he, unlike Portman, has gotten over 50, but the two Democrats Fisher and Strickland are both at about the same level, 40.
I expect in the end, Kasich voters will vote Portman and the two candidates will feed off of each other for solid wins in November.