Poll: Portman Holds Substantial Lead Over Strickland In Ohio's Senate Race
Incumbent Republican Rob Portman's has a substantial lead over Democratic challenger Ted Strickland in Ohio's U.S. Senate race, a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday morning said.
According to the poll, Portman leads Strickland, the former governor, by nine percentage points – 49 percent to 40 percent.
The pollsters pointed out that this latest poll can't be compared to Quinnipiac's earlier polls of registered voters because this one honed in on likely voters only.
A poll of registered voters by Quinnipiac in July had Portman, the Terrace Park Republican, up by seven percentage points.
The poll in Ohio's U.S. Senate race was one of three polls done in Senate races in key swing states. Poll of Senate contests in Pennsylvania and Florida were also included.
A very wide gender gap accounts for Portman's lead.
"The gender gap strongly favors Sen. Portman,'' said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. "While the Republican Portman and the Democratic challenger Ted Strickland are evenly divided among women – an unusual outcome – Portman has a 19 point margin among men."
The Quinnipiac Poll said that in all three states, the incumbent Republican senators – Portman, Marco Rubio of Florida and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania – are running ahead of presidential candidate Donald Trump in their states.
"But if Trump continues to lag behind in the presidential race, that will make it more difficult for the Republican candidates, logic holds, up and down the ballot," Brown said.
But Portman, Brown said, "may have a strong enough lead to escape the Trump effect."
Michawn Rich, a spokeswoman for the Portman campaign, said momentum is on Portman's side.
"Momentum continues to grow behind our campaign as we highlight the results Rob is delivering for Ohio families and as we've gained multiple union endorsements and contacted over three million voters through our unprecedented door-to-door and phone programs,'' Rich said in a written statement.
David Bergstein, a spokesman for the Strickland campaign, said "the national environment is rapidly deteriorating around Portman; he's engulfed in a daily firestorm about his continued support for Trump; and he's facing a statewide, coordinated campaign infrastructure with no help from the top of his own ticket."
In Ohio, Quinnipiac surveyed 812 likely voters between July 30 and Aug. 7. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.