Polling in Ohio favors Dems




Gov. Ted Strickland and both Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate are outpacing their Republican challengers in the November general election.

That’s according to a new poll released Wednesday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

In the gubernatorial matchup, Strickland remained ahead of Republican John Kasich, 43 percent to 38 percent. That compares with a 44-39 Strickland edge in February and a 40-40 split in November.

In the race for Republican U.S. Sen. George Voinovich’s seat, both Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner were favored over Republican Rob Portman.

Fisher had a bigger lead (41 percent-37 percent) compared with Brunner (38 percent-37 percent). Portman had led against both Democrats in Quinnipiac’s February poll.

“Perhaps it’s the passage of the health-care overhaul and the fact that people like being with a winner,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Polling Institute, said in a released statement. “There has been a small but consistent movement toward Democratic candidates and causes in Ohio in the last month. Whether this is the beginning of a long-term move or not won’t be clear for some time, perhaps until November.”

The Connecticut-based institute regularly gauges Ohioans’ opinions on candidates and issues. Over the past week, it questioned 1,526 registered Ohio voters.

Other results of the latest poll included:

Respondents were split on President Barack Obama, giving him a job-approval rating of 47 percent-48 percent. That compares with 44 percent-52 percent in February.

Most Ohioans still disapprove of the federal health-care-reform package, with 50 percent giving it a thumbs down and 43 percent supporting. That compares with 55 percent who disapproved in November and 36 percent who approved.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they are more likely to vote against incumbent congressmen if they supported health-care reform, compared with 25 percent who said the opposite.

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