Adding Ohio Sen. Rob Portman as his running mate would do little to help presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney win the Buckeye state, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University
President Barack Obama has a 45 percent to 44 percent lead over Romney among Ohio voters when Portman’s name is not mentioned. That’s statistically insignificant given the poll’s 3 percentage point margin of error.
When Portman is specified as the vice presidential candidate, it becomes a 45 percent to 45 percent tie between Obama and Romney.
"Adding 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," Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s polling institute, said in a statement.
The Romney-Portman pairing, however, has improved its showing from Quinnipiac’s Feb. 15 poll. At that time, Obama-Biden led Romney-Portman 47 percent to 43 percent. Without specified running mates, Obama led Romney 46 percent to 44 percent.
Ohio’s importance is underscored by the fact that a Republican has never won the White House without winning the state, Brown says.
“In 2004, George W. Bush won the state and re-election by 2 percent, so every little change is important,” he said.
In Ohio's Senate race, incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown leads Republican challenger Josh Mandel, the state’s Treasurer, 46 to 40 percent. But Mandel has improved from a 46 to 36 percent disadvantage in Quinnipiac’s March 29 survey.
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