October 20, 2010 - Portman Cruising To Big Win In Ohio Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Want Republicans To Control U.S. Senate

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Republican Rob Portman heads into the home stretch with a 55 - 34 percent likely voter lead over Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher in the race for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey, conducted by live interviewers, finds Portman's lead statistically unchanged from his leads of 55 - 35 percent September 17 and 55 - 36 percent October 6.

"Given that Lt. Gov. Fisher has been trailing Portman by roughly 20 points since the fall campaign got underway, there's not much reason to think he can close that gap appreciably in the final two weeks of the campaign," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Other than self-identified Democrats, it is hard to find a demographic group that supports Fisher."

One reason for Portman's prohibitive lead is that Ohio likely voters are in favor of Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate, 44 - 34 percent. Also, voters say 54 - 40 percent they want the state's next senator to oppose, rather than support, President Barack Obama's policies.

Portman is beating Fisher 92 - 2 percent among Republicans and 65 - 23 percent among independent voters, while the lieutenant governor wins Democrats 77 - 11 percent.

"There is a gender gap, but Portman still dominates among men and women," said Brown. Portman is carrying men 58 - 32 percent and women 51 - 37 percent.

"For Fisher to win he'll need to get every undecided voter and peel away a sizable chunk of those who are already in the Portman camp," said Brown. "But only 10 percent of Portman voters say they might change their minds, while 11 percent of Fisher backers feel that way."

Portman is viewed favorably by 47 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 22 percent. Fisher, on the other hand, receives a 42 - 29 percent unfavorable rating. Fisher is viewed favorably by just 20 percent of independents, compared to Portman who gets a thumbs up from 54 percent of unaffiliated likely voters.

Portman also swamps Fisher 53 - 32 percent when likely voters are asked which candidate most shares their values.

Ohio's economy is getting worse, 36 percent of Ohio likely voters say, while 19 percent say it is getting better and 45 percent say it is unchanged.

Portman wins likely voters who think the economy is getting worse 75 - 11 percent. Fisher carries voters who see the economy improving 82 - 9 percent. Voters who see no change in the economy back Portman 58 - 33 percent.

"This is obviously shaping up to be a Republican year in Ohio, and Rob Portman is riding the wave while Lee Fisher is drowning under it," said Brown. "In a year in which the national influence on the Senate election was not as great nor as pro-Republican, Lee Fisher might have had a better chance. But politics is not fair, the tenor of the times matters to voters, and Lee Fisher drew the short straw."

From October 12 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,188 Ohio likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.
4. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Lee Fischer the Democrat and Rob Portman the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Fisher or Portman? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fisher               34%     2%    77%    23%    32%    37%    22%
Portman              55     92     11     65     58     51     67
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                10      5     10     12     10     10     10
 
                     RATING ECONOMY Q19
                     Better Worse  Same
 
Fisher               82%    11%    33%
Portman               9     75     58
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                 9     12      8
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Lee Fisher the Democrat and Rob Portman the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Fisher or Portman? (This table includes Leaners.)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 20  Oct 6   Sep 17
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Fisher               34      36      35
Portman              55      55      55
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       -       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                10       8       9
 
 
4a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY...............
                            CAND CHOICE Q4
                     Tot    LF     RP
 
Made up              90%    88%    90%
Might change         10     11     10
DK/NA                 -      -      -
 
 
5. (If Fisher voter) Is your vote for United States Senator mainly for Fisher or against Portman? (*Subgroup not large enough to report)
                     LIKELY FISHER VOTERS(Includes Early Voters).......
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    *Rep   Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    *Evnglcl
 
For Fisher           64%           68%    55%    61%    67%
Against Portman      27            26     29     33     21
DK/NA                 9             7     16      6     12
 
 
6. (If Portman voter) Is your vote for United States Senator mainly for Portman or against Fisher? (*Subgroup not large enough to report)
                     LIKELY PORTMAN VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)......
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    *Dem   Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
For Portman          70%    77%           66%    72%    68%    71%
Against Fisher       24     20            27     24     24     22
DK/NA                 6      3             8      4      8      7
 
 
7. Is your opinion of - Lee Fisher favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            29%     7%    61%    20%    28%    31%    21%
Unfavorable          42     68     12     47     45     40     49
Hvn't hrd enough     27     23     25     31     27     27     29
REFUSED               2      1      2      2      1      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Lee Fisher favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........
                     Oct 20  Oct 6  Sep 17
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            29      30      29
Unfavorable          42      44      36
Hvn't hrd enough     27      24      33
REFUSED               2       2       2
 
 
8. Is your opinion of - Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            47%    77%    12%    54%    51%    43%    57%
Unfavorable          22      2     47     15     21     22     13
Hvn't hrd enough     29     20     38     29     26     32     30
REFUSED               2      1      3      2      1      3      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 20  Oct 6   Sep 17
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            47      45      44
Unfavorable          22      18      20
Hvn't hrd enough     29      35      34
REFUSED               2       2       2
 
 
9. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you believe most shares your values, Lee Fisher or Rob Portman?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fisher               32%     2%    74%    21%    32%    32%    19%
Portman              53     89     10     63     56     49     65
NO DIFFERENCE(VOL)    3      1      3      3      2      5      2
DK/NA                12      8     13     13      9     14     14
 
 
10. Would you like to see the next United States Senator elected from Ohio generally support Barack Obama's policies or oppose Barack Obama's policies?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              40%     2%    85%    31%    37%    43%    23%
Oppose               54     96     10     60     57     51     72
DK/NA                 6      2      5      9      5      6      5
 
 
11. Would you prefer to have Democrats or Republicans control the U.S. Senate next year or doesn't it matter to you?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Democrats            34%     1%    83%    17%    30%    38%    21%
Republicans          44     89      5     44     49     39     57
Doesn't matter       19     10     11     33     18     19     18
DK/NA                 3      1      1      6      3      4      4
 
 
18. Would you describe the state of Ohio's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Excellent             -      -      -      1%     1%     -      -
Good                  9      2     16      9      9      9      5
Not so good          45     37     58     41     45     45     40
Poor                 45     61     25     48     45     45     54
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      -      1
 
 
19. Do you think Ohio's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Better               19%     3%    37%    16%    18%    20%    13%
Worse                36     53     15     38     33     39     38
The same             45     43     48     45     48     40     47
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      1