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Quinnipiac Poll: Portman Would Lose To Strickland If Election Held Now

A Quinnipiac University Poll shows if the election were held today, Democratic Former Governor Ted Strickland would beat Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman by nine points in a head to head matchup.  And it’s worse when you throw in Independent voters.  They back Strickland by an 18 point margin. That’s something University of Akron Political Science Professor John Green says he didn’t expect.

"Well actually, that poll, it is surprising that an incumbent Senator would be that far behind, albeit in a head to head match up with a former Governor," he says. "Typically, incumbents, even incumbents that might have an element of unpopularity tend to be closer at this point in the cycle.”

But Corry Bliss with Portman’s campaign says don’t mistake this poll as a sign that Portman is unpopular with voters.

“Look, I think this poll shows one thing and one thing only – that Ohio is doing so much better since Ted Strickland left that people forget what an awful Governor he was.”

Bliss says his candidate is in a good financial position right now to remind voters of why they should re-elect Ohio‘s junior senator. Portman has more than eight million dollars on hand. And that number is climbing. It’s too early to know how much Strickland has since he just announced his candidacy a little over a month ago. One Democrat who had already announced he was running before Strickland threw his hat in the ring has about 750,000 dollars on hand. P.G. Sittenfeld, a Cincinnati City Council Member, intends to stay in this race, even though the poll shows his numbers lag far behind both Strickland and Portman. Dale Butland speaks for the Sittenfeld campaign. He says this poll shows Portman is vulnerable.

“Senator Portman wants to make this election about the past. Democrats have to make sure it is about the future. And as voters get to know P.G., hear his ideas, feel his energy, I believe they are going to rally to his call for a new generation of leadership."

Sittenfeld is 30 years old and the lesser known of the three candidates.  This poll shows 89% of those surveyed don’t know enough about Sittenfeld to form an opinion about him. Compare that with Strickland. He has a 49% favorability rating in this poll while Portman has a 38% favorability rating.