Unlikely Voter

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Josh Mandel wins. Can he beat Sherrod Brown in Ohio?

While everyone focused on Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Ohio, a major Senate matchup was finalized in the state. Treasurer Josh Mandel was chosen as the Republican challenger to Senator Sherrod Brown.

Brown took advantage of a crippled Ohio GOP and a second midterm wave to knock off a two term incumbent. But can he keep this battleground state seat?

Incredibly enough to me, this race is looking underpolled. Sure, it’s only March, but every pollster around was dropping by Ohio for Super Tuesday. Why so few of them chose to try the general election matchup of Mandel and Brown, I don’t know. In fact, I’m only seeing one recent poll, by Marist and NBC News a week ago.

And this poll is of 3079 RVs, MoE listed 1.8. which is overkill in numbers but of limited use for predicting the election. Not that we can predict the election this far out anyway, so we’ll take what we can get, I suppose.

And that result looks rather typical for a race where the incumbent could lose, but could also sail on to victory. Without name ID and favorability ratings, it’s hard to say much more than that though. Brown led the poll 47-37. A ten point lead with a 1.8 point MoE means there’s only a negligible chance that Mandel is ahead right now, if this poll is correct. And yet, even here Brown hasn’t convinced a majority that he absolutely must be re-elected.

I believe this will be a battleground Senate race both parties will want to win. Brown is surely not the weakest incumbent this cycle, but he’s not the strongest either. As the Presidential campaigns fight over Ohio, so too will national organizations on both sides race in to support the candidates for President and Senate.


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