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Breaking it Down: The 12/10 Rasmussen Ohio Senate Poll

Some Democrats like to question the reliability of Rasmussen.

They claim he doesn’t accurately poll voters until right before an election, and that’s why he’s always rated one of the most accurate pollsters in the nation.

No, really. They’re serious.

These same skeptics should ask the famous left-wing number cruncher, Nate Silver of, what he thinks of Rasmussen:

In summation, none of these tracking polls are perfect, although Rasmussen — with its large sample size and high pollster rating — would probably be the one I’d want with me on a desert island.

In other words, Rasmussen should be respected as an accurate poll.

But I digress.

This post is about Portman and the Dems, so let’s get to it

1) The Topline(s)
Portman leads Fisher 38-36 and Brunner 40-33.

Obviously, leads are good. But Portman is far from in command of this race. Remember, the magic number is 50, and Portman has a ways to go. In the meantime, the two state officeholder Dems both getting just about a 1/3 of the electorate is extremely weak – particularly against someone who has only run in a single congressional district.

2) The Gender Non-Gap
Sure, we’re seeing the usual males preferring the Republican and females preferring the Democrat. But what’s interesting is the lack of support Jennifer Brunner is getting from women, relative to Lee Fisher. In fact, Fisher wins 4% more women than Brunner. This kind of result may be why Emily’s List has shied away from supporting Ms. Brunner.

3) Party ID
Brunner and Fisher are both suffering the same major challenge facing Strickland – only 2/3 of self-identified Democrats are supporting them. The different being that rather than the other 1/3 supporting Portman, they’re simply saying they’re unsure. In other words, the Democratic nominee shouldn’t count on their vote in 11 months.

Additionally, Brunner has to be disappointed that she loses by two points to Fisher among self-identified liberals/progressives. She has tried to frame herself as the choice of the far left, and it’s clearly not working.

Portman utterly dominates among Independents, winning 41-19 vs. Fisher and 45-13 vs. Brunner. If that rate continues through the election, Portman will win Indies 68-32. In other words, Portman wins.

4) Name ID
Amazingly enough, despite their status as elected statewide officeholders, Fisher and Brunner both have virtually the same Name ID as Portman with all three averaging about 70%.

The difference is what these folks think about them.

Portman’s favorable/unfavorables are 48/21. Fisher is at 36/35. And Brunner is at 34/36. That’s a net difference of 26 and 29, respectively.

So with the fierce attacks on Portman’s record as a Bush appointee, how does he fare among the most targeted audience – Independents? 43-17. Among those that know Portman, the attacks aren’t sticking.

5) Where’s Ganley?
How insignificant is Tom Ganley’s primary challenge versus Portman? So insignificant that he wasn’t even included in this poll. If Ganley wants to mount any kind of serious challenge to Portman, he better start dropping a hefty sum of that cash he claims to be willing to spend.

6) Conclusion
Obviously, it’s a close race. Brunner has to be discouraged yet again by failure to perform better than Fisher among women and progressives. Fisher clearly hasn’t yet been tagged as a lackey of the poisonous Governor Strickland. I wish Rasmussen had included a question asking opinions on each specific candidate’s record on the economy. It would have given an indication of how much the electorate associates Portman with Bush and Fisher with Strickland.

Still a long way to go, but considering Portman is performing this well without having ever run statewide as his potential opponents have, he has to be feeling pretty good.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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