Ken Blackwell, the former Republican nominee for Ohio governor, has an early Republican primary lead in the 2012 U.S. Senate race and runs best against Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Blackwell trails Brown 44-35 percent, compared with State Treasurer Josh Mandel, running 45-31 percent behind, and former State Sen. Kevin Coughlin, 44-28 percent. Among Republican voters, Blackwell gets 33 percent in the Senate primary, with Mandel at 17 percent and Coughlin at 5 percent. Another 43 percent are undecided.
Despite Brown's leading numbers now, he doesn't have a lock on re-election, says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “He is unable to get 50 percent against any of the three potential challengers, which is the dividing line for incumbents who are overwhelmingly favored for re-election," Quinnipiac's Brown said.
Women are the key to Brown’s lead over the three potential Republican challengers, according to Quinnipiac:
- Women back Brown over Blackwell 49-27 percent, while men back the Republican 43-38 percent
- Brown leads Mandel 40-36 percent among men and 50-26 percent among women
- Men split with 38 percent for Brown and 36 percent for Coughlin, but women go with the Democrat 50-22 percent.
“In the Republican primary, Blackwell’s lead is not much of one at all, given how much better he is known than the other GOP aspirants and the fact that almost half of GOP voters are undecided at this point,” Quinnipiac’s Brown said.
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