September 17, 2010 - GOP's Portman Up 20 Points In Ohio Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Give Obama A 22-Point Thumbs Down

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Republican Rob Portman holds a 55 - 35 percent lead over Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher among likely voters in the race for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, while President Barack Obama has a 60 - 38 percent disapproval rating, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

By a 58 - 37 percent margin, likely Ohio voters want a U.S. Senator who opposes President Obama's policies, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey, conducted by live interviewers, finds. And by 49 - 31 percent, voters want Republicans rather than Democrats to control the U.S. Senate.

This is the first general election survey of likely voters in Ohio in this election cycle and can not be compared to earlier surveys of registered voters.

Portman, a former congressman and cabinet member under President George W. Bush, has a commanding 55 - 30 percent lead among independent voters. He leads 91 - 2 percent among Republicans and trails Fisher 81 - 13 percent among Democrats. Portman leads 61 - 30 percent among men and 49 - 41 percent among women. Among likely voters who choose a candidate, 18 percent say they might change their mind. Among Fisher backers, 26 percent might change their mind, compared to 13 percent of Portman backers.

"It's difficult to find any good news for Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher in these numbers. Likely voters in Ohio, as is the case nationally, are angry at the status quo and with Democrats controlling Congress and the White House. Fisher is taking it on the chin from those who are trying to send a message to the White House," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "A Democrat who is losing among women likely voters by 8 points is a candidate in trouble."

Although a major player in Ohio politics for two decades, Fisher remains somewhat unknown to voters, with 33 percent not knowing enough about him to have an opinion, while 36 percent view him unfavorably; 29 percent favorably. Portman is viewed favorably by 44 percent and unfavorably by 20 percent, while 34 percent haven't formed an opinion.

"For someone who has been around for some time, Fisher has somehow failed to catch the public's attention," said Brown.

"Among the likely Ohio electorate for this November, President Barack Obama is not a popular fellow. Independent likely voters disapprove 65 - 31 percent of the job he is doing. With the president such a heavy weight around the neck of Democratic candidates, it will be hard for one to win such a high-profile office this year in Ohio," Brown said.

One reason for the president's poor rating, at least in Ohio, is his health care overhaul plan. Likely voters disapprove of it by a 65 - 30 percent margin.

"White House senior advisor David Axelrod says Americans will come to like the health insurance plan, but it sure doesn't look like that will be the case in Ohio by Nov. 2," said Brown.

From September 9 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 730 Ohio likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 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.


6. 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 q6) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Fisher or Portman? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fisher               35%     2%    81%    30%    30%    41%    14%
Portman              55     91     13     55     61     49     77
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 9      6      6     14      8      9      9
 
 
6a. (If express choice q6) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..........
                            CAND CHOICE Q6..
                     Tot    LF     RP
 
Made up              82%    74%    87%
Might change         18     26     13
DK/NA                 -      -      -
 
 
7. (If voting for Fisher) Is your vote for Senator mainly for Fisher or against Portman? (*subgroup not large enough to report)
                     LIKELY FISHER VOTERS..............................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep*   Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl*
 
For Fisher           63%           65%    56%    69%    57%
Against Portman      26            24     31     28     24
DK/NA                12            11     13      3     19
 
 
8. (If voting for Portman) Is your vote for Senator mainly for Portman or against Fisher? (*subgroup not large enough to report)
                     LIKELY PORTMAN VOTERS.............................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem*   Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
For Portman          64%    67%           63%    65%    63%    68%
Against Fisher       30     27            34     32     27     25
DK/NA                 6      7             3      3     10      8
 
 
9. Is your opinion of - Lee Fisher favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            29%     8%    56%    26%    28%    31%    12%
Unfavorable          36     56     11     38     41     32     49
Hvn't hrd enough     33     33     32     35     30     36     39
REFUSED               2      3      1      1      2      2      1
 
 
10. Is your opinion of - Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            44%    69%    13%    43%    51%    37%    60%
Unfavorable          20      9     39     16     19     21      8
Hvn't hrd enough     34     20     47     38     28     41     32
REFUSED               2      1      1      3      2      2      1
 
 
11. Which one of these four qualities matter most in deciding how you vote for United States Senator; the candidate is honest and trustworthy, has the right experience, can bring about needed change to Washington or shares your values?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Trustworthy          22%    14%    31%    21%    19%    26%    22%
Experience            8      4     15      7      7     10      6
Change               28     31     22     29     27     29     22
Shares values        38     46     29     39     44     32     46
DK/NA                 4      5      2      4      4      4      3
 
 
12. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you believe most shares your values Lee Fisher or Rob Portman?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Fisher               33%     5%    75%    24%    31%    35%    13%
Portman              49     79     10     50     53     43     67
NO DIFF(VOL)          2      1      -      5      3      2      2
DK/NA                16     14     14     20     13     20     18
 
 
13. 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.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              37%     1%    85%    32%    32%    41%    16%
Oppose               58     97      8     62     63     52     79
DK/NA                 5      2      6      7      5      6      4
 
 
14. Would you prefer to have the Democrats or the Republicans control the U.S Senate next year, or doesn't it matter to you?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Democrats            31%     0%    81%    20%    28%    35%    12%
Republicans          49     88      5     50     53     45     69
Doesn't matter       16     10     13     24     15     17     16
DK/NA                 4      2      1      6      4      3      3
 
 
15. Which type of candidate would you prefer to see as a United States Senator, someone with years of government experience or a government outsider?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Experience           40%    29%    67%    30%    34%    46%    34%
Outsider             46     58     21     53     53     38     56
DK/NA                14     13     12     17     12     17     10
 
 
24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Lee Fisher is handling his job as Ohio's lieutenant governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              31%     7%    65%    28%    27%    36%    15%
Disapprove           45     70     11     48     52     37     61
DK/NA                24     23     24     24     21     28     24
 
 
25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              38%     4%    86%    31%    35%    41%    15%
Disapprove           60     96     11     65     63     56     83
DK/NA                 3      -      3      4      2      4      2
 
 
28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              32%     2%    73%    28%    30%    34%    12%
Disapprove           65     98     21     69     68     62     84
DK/NA                 3      -      6      4      3      4      4
 
 
29. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Right thing          55%    74%    37%    54%    59%    51%    62%
Shldn't be invl      36     18     55     36     35     36     28
DK/NA                 9      9      9     10      6     13     11
 
 
30. Do you approve or disapprove of the federal health care overhaul?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.....................................
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              30%     3%    72%    22%    28%    32%     8%
Disapprove           65     96     23     70     69     60     86
DK/NA                 5      1      6      9      3      7      6