The presidential race in Ohio remains too close to call as President Barack Obama gets 45 percent to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, with a 45 to 45 percent dead heat if the GOP adds home-state Sen. Rob Portman as Romney’s running mate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Ohio’s other U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, holds a 46 – 40 percent lead over State Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican challenger, compared to a 46 to 36 percent Brown lead in a March 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University. This is the first survey showing the race in single digits.
The Romney-Portman v. Obama-Biden matchup compares to a February 15 survey in which Obama had 46 percent to Romney’s 44 percent without running mates, moving to Obama-Biden at 47 percent to Romney-Portman at 43 percent.
“Adding Sen. Rob Portman to the Romney ticket produces no measurable change, despite speculation about Portman’s potential for helping Romney carry the key state of Ohio,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute.
“Republicans have never won the White House without Ohio and in 2004, for instance, George W. Bush won the state and re-election by two percent – so every little change is important.”
The gender gap remains substantial, with or without Portman:
• In an Obama-Romney matchup, men vote Republican 50 to 40 percent while women go Democratic 49 to 38 percent
• Matching Romney and Portman against Obama and vice president Joseph Biden leaves men at 51 to 40 percent Republican, with women at 49 to 41 percent Democratic.
Interestingly, 59 percent of Ohio voters say they don’t know enough about Portman to have an opinion of him, with 26 percent viewing him favorably and 14 percent unfavorably.
Vice president Biden has a split 39 to 39 percent favorability. Romney gets a 35 to 37 percent favorability and Obama gets a 48 to 47 percent score.
In the Obama-Biden v. Romney-Portman matchup, Republicans stay loyal 89 to six percent while Democrats go with their ticket 90 to six percent.
Independent voters, the key bloc, go Republican 45 to 39 percent.
Ohio voters give Obama a split 49 to 48 percent job approval.
In the Senate race, Brown wins Democrats 85 to five percent, while Mandel wins Republicans 79 to 10 percent. Brown leads among independent voters 42 to 38 percent. Brown’s 50 to 34 percent lead among women swamps Mandel’s 46 to 41 percent margin with men.
Brown sports a 41 to 30 percent favorability rating. Mandel has a 30 to 18 percent favorability, with 51 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
“Is Sen. Sherrod Brown hearing the footsteps of State Treasurer Josh Mandel?” Brown asked. “Ohio voters say 44 to 38 percent that Brown deserves another six years in the Senate, matching his six-point margin over Mandel, but short of the 50 percent any incumbent would like to have.
“Meanwhile, voters are getting to know Mandel. In February, 71 percent didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion. That ‘don’t know’ number is now 51 percent.”
Brown gets a 46 to 33 percent job approval from voters, compared to 38 to 23 percent for Portman.
From May 2 to 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,069 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.