Poll: Portman in command of Ohio Senate race


By Christina Flom - CQ-Roll Call



WASHINGTON (McClatchy) — Senate races in battleground states of Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania remain close, while the race in Ohio appears to be a loser for Democrats, a new poll shows.

Democrats had high hopes to flip Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s seat in their efforts to win control of the Senate, but have largely written off the race as challenger former Gov. Ted Strickland has steadily fallen behind the incumbent over the summer.

The poll showed Portman leading Strickland by 17 points, 55 percent to 38 percent. Portman leads among men, 64 percent to 32 percent, and women, 48 percent to 44 percent.

“Anything can happen in politics, but it would take a collapse of historic proportions for Sen. Rob Portman to lose his reelection bid to former Gov. Ted Strickland,” Brown said.

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Republican Favored.

In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio has consistently held the lead over challenger Rep. Patrick Murphy, but the margin in some polls has been bigger than the 48 percent to 44 percent margin the poll Quinnipiac University released Wednesday showed.

Rubio has the support of likely male voters, 59 percent to 30 percent, while Murphy leads among women, 57 percent to 38 percent.

“Sen. Marco Rubio has led in the polls for reelection since he changed his mind and decided to seek a second term,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “But his margin over (Murphy) has never been large enough to make Sen. Rubio comfortable.”

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race Leans Republican.

In North Carolina, the poll shows the race is virtually tied at 46 percent between Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Deborah Ross. Burr’s previous 6-point lead in early September has disappeared.

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Tilts Republican.

There is also a tight governor’s race in North Carolina between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper. The poll found Cooper has a 2-point advantage, 48 percent to 46 percent over the incumbent.

In Pennsylvania, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has some breathing room in his re-election race against Democratic challenger Katie McGinty. The poll shows he has an 8-point lead, 52 percent to 40 percent.

Likely female voters are divided in this race, with 45 percent supporting Toomey and 44 percent supporting McGinty, the poll found.

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Tossup.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 545 likely voters in Florida, 507 in North Carolina, 497 in Ohio, and 535 in Pennsylvania from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2 by landline and cell phones. Florida and Pennsylvania had a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points. North Carolina and Ohio had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

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By Christina Flom

CQ-Roll Call

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