PPP's newest poll on the Ohio Senate race finds things tightening up a little bit. Sherrod Brown continues to lead Josh Mandel, but the 8 point margin at 45-37 is down from 11 points when we last polled the state in late January.
One reason for the closing may be that Mandel has become much better known over the last three months. His name recognition is now 55%, up from 39% on our previous poll of the state. Brown continues to have ok but unspectacular approval numbers with 40% of voters approving of him to 35% who disapprove.
The most encouraging sign for Brown in the poll is probably his 13 point lead with independents. But there continue to be more undecided Republicans (19%) than there are Democrats (14%) so although Brown certainly remains the favorite there's reason to believe the race could continue to get closer.
We also tested another pair of potential Democratic Gubernatorial hopefuls and basically found a tied race. Congressman Tim Ryan leads Kasich 41-40 and former Attorney General Richard Cordray ties him at 42. Cordray (43% name recognition at 25/18) and Ryan (31% name recognition at 15/16) are both known to less than half of voters in the state.
A few other notes from Ohio:
-Voters in the state are opposed to gay marriage by a 52/35 margin. We see the standard enormous generational gap there- young voters favor it by a 57/30 spread but seniors are against it 60/26. When you expand the discussion to civil unions though 65% of voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples to only 32% who are opposed. Even a majority of Republicans at 50/46 support either gay marriage or civil unions.
-Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot in the state by a 45-41 margin.
-Dennis Kucinich is an unpopular figure statewide with only 24% of voters rating him favorably to 40% with a negative opinion.
Full results here