Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has cut Republican John Kasich’s lead to 49 – 43 percent among those likely to vote with a week to go before the election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, also has made some progress but still trails Republican Rob Portman 53 – 36 percent in the independent Quinnipiac University survey.
Today’s results represent a very small shift in support for both Democratic candidates, but time may be running out for them to close the remaining gap. Strickland trailed Kasich 51 – 41 percent in Quinnipiac University’s most recent poll survey October 19.
Fisher was behind Portman 55 – 34 percent in an October 20 survey.
“It is difficult to see how Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher wins the election. Despite his gains, he remains 17 points behind with a week to go. A successful comeback would make Harry Truman’s victory look like small potatoes by comparison,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Whether it was because he faced a competitive primary for the Democratic nomination, or some other reason, Fisher started out the post-primary campaign in trouble and was never able to right the ship.”
“Gov. Ted Strickland, on the other hand, has made the race for governor competitive. He still trails by six points, and certainly has his work cut out for him. But Strickland has had the momentum in the last month.”
“To be sure, one would much rather be in John Kasich’s shoes today, and the Republican remains the favorite to be Ohio’s next governor. But if Strickland can continue his momentum he might surprise people. Clearly he is in much better shape than is Fisher,” said Brown.
In the Senate race, Portman leads Fisher 96 – 2 percent among Republicans and 58 – 26 percent among independent voters, while Fisher is carrying Democrats 83 – 14 percent.
Kasich is leading 93 – 4 percent among Republicans and 47 – 42 percent among independent voters. Strickland is winning among Democrats 86 – 11 percent. Seven percent of likely voters remain undecided and 9 percent of voters who name a candidate say they might change their mind in this final week.
“The race in the last week will target undecided voters and voters who could change their mind,” said Brown.
The gender gap is immense: Strickland leads among women 51 – 41 percent, but the GOP candidate is doing even better among men, 56 – 36 percent.
In the Senate race, women split with 45 percent for Portman and 43 percent for Fisher, while Portman overwhelms the Democrat among men 60 – 29 percent.
Kasich is viewed favorably 43 – 37 percent among likely voters, compared to Strickland’s split with 43 percent favorable and 45 percent unfavorable.
Portman gets a 50 – 21 percent favorability rating compared to Fisher’s negative 32 – 42 percent rating.
From October 18 – 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 686 Ohio likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 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.
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