Washington, DC – Ipsos’ latest Ohio poll conducted on behalf or Reuters shows interesting movement in the Ohio statewide election races. Republican Rob Portman has opened up a 13 point lead (50% to 37%) over Democrat Lee Fisher in the race to fill retiring Senator George Voinovich’s seat. Meanwhile, Governor Ted Strickland has made up ground and the race for governor of Ohio is essentially tied at 47% Kasich/46% Strickland.
- Democrats are starting to close the enthusiasm gap in Ohio, though they remain far behind Republicans among likely voters. In wave 1, only 67% of Democrats said they were certain to vote (8-10 on 10 point scale) compared to 89% of Republicans. In this wave, 79% of Democrats (+12 percentage points) say they are certain to vote compared to 91% of Republicans.
- This boost in Democratic enthusiasm has helped improve Governor Ted Strickland’s chances of re-election. In our current study, the gubernatorial contest is virtually tied at 47% Kasich/46% Strickland, including leaners. Our August study had Strickland down 9 points to Republican John Kasich among likely voters (not including leaners).
- Increased Democratic enthusiasm has not helped the Democrats in the U.S. Senate race. Republican Rob Portman maintains a strong lead at 50% of likely voters (including leaners) compared to 37% for Democrat Lee Fisher.
- Being told about Rob Portman’s work for the Bush administration generally has little impact on the decisions of registered voters. However, it does influence 1 in 5 independents (22%) to be less likely to vote for Portman in November.
- Regarding issues, the economy remains the overriding concern of most Ohioans, with 78% mentioning it unprompted as the biggest problem facing Ohio – essentially unchanged from August.
- A large majority of Ohioans favor keeping the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 (35%) or for all Americans (49%).
- Ohio voters are more split on spending priorities for government. Slightly less than half (44%) say that the government should run a deficit to stimulate the economy and create jobs. A similar number (47%) say the government should cut the deficit to balance the budget and save money. This make Ohio more pro-spending than the nation at large which is split 39% create jobs/57% cut the deficit.
- Finally, health care reform remains contentious. 50% say the healthcare plan should be repealed while 43% say it should remain in place. An additional 7% are undecided on the issue.
More data and full technical details are available in the topline document available for download to the right.
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