-Sherrod Brown continues to hold a good sized lead in the Ohio Senate race, 48-40 over Josh Mandel. Brown is not a popular incumbent. Only 42% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 44% who disapprove. But Mandel is not proving to be a strong challenger either, with 33% of voters rating him favorably to 44% with a negative opinion.
A few things stick out in the crosstabs. Brown is winning over 16% of Republican voters, while losing just 10% of Democrats. And even though Barack Obama trailed with independents on this poll, Brown has a 44-40 advantage with them. Brown is winning with white voters, 46-44, and any time a Democrat can manage that they're going to win in Ohio. Brown's still not cracking 50% but Mandel's road to victory looks pretty tough.
-Democrats are winning the battle for public opinion when it comes to early voting in the state. 58% think it should be available the weekend before the election to 35% who think it should not. A strong majority of Democrats (78/18), a slight majority of independents (52/37), and even 40% of Republicans think it should be open.
Secretary of State Jon Husted is mostly unknown to voters in the state, with 62% having no opinion about him. But he's not making a good impression on the folks who are familiar with him- only 14% rate him favorably to 24% with a negative view.
-Republicans knew what they were doing with the ballot wording for the Ohio redistricting referendum. Last month we found voters in the state supported an independent redistricting commission by a 37/24 margin. But with the official ballot language, which frames the commission as 'removing the authority of elected representatives' and giving it to appointed officials, only 33% of voters now say they support the amendment to 38% who are opposed.
We know from our poll last month that voters generally favor the concept of independent redistricting and with 29% undecided there are still plenty of votes up for grabs but it's going to take a very strong campaign to get this passed given how people react to the ballot language.
-John Boehner continues to be quite an unpopular figure in his home state, with only 36% of voters approving of him to 45% who disapprove. Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot in Ohio by a narrow 46-44 margin.
-Rob Portman has a 36% approval rating with 28% of voters disapproving of him. This is our second poll in a row that has found him with better numbers than he had at any other point in his first year and a half in office. He may not have been selected but the buzz about Portman as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney seems to have helped his standing on the home front.
Full results here