-PPP's newest poll of the Ohio Senate race finds no change in the state of the contest over the last three weeks. Sherrod Brown continues to lead Josh Mandel by 8 points. The spread is 49-41 this time after being 48-40 on the previous survey.
Ohioans have mixed feelings about Brown. 42% approve of the job he's doing while 43% disapprove. But Mandel has proven to be a very unappealing candidate with only 33% of voters seeing him favorably to 48% with a negative opinion. It's going to be interesting to see how much long term damage he's done to his political career after this campaign.
While Mitt Romney leads with independents in the Presidential race in Ohio, Brown has the 41-35 advantage over Mandel with them in the Senate contest. Brown's also winning over 16% of the Republican vote. The most notable crosstab may be Brown's 46-44 advantage with white voters. Obviously any Democrat who wins white voters in Ohio is going to win overall by a healthy margin.
-When we polled Ohio right around this time last year John Kasich was one of the most unpopular Governors in the country with only 37% of voters approving of him to 54% who disapproved. What a difference a year makes. Kasich's seen a huge recovery in his image and now has a 44% approval rating with 40% of voters disapproving of him. He leads a hypothetical Democratic opponent by a 46-41 margin, including 43-32 with independents. And in a rematch with Ted Strickland he would lead 45-42 right now, pretty comparable to his 2010 margin of victory. Throughout 2011 it looked like Kasich had the potential to be a major liability for the top of the ticket in Ohio but now it looks as if he could actually be an asset.
-The share of Ohio voters with an opinion about Rob Portman briefly spiked when he was being considered as a Vice Presidential candidate, but that's quickly reverted to normal. Our latest poll finds 32% of voters approving of him, 24% disapproving, and 44% not holding an opinion one way or another.
-Ohio's referendum to create an independent redistricting commission continues to struggle. Only 26% of voters now say they support it to 49% who are opposed, down from a 33/38 spread on our poll three weeks ago. It's going to be hard for advocates to overcome the ballot language which makes reference to 'removing the authority of elected representatives.' Democrats only narrowly support the proposal (37/34), while Republicans are pretty overwhelmingly opposed to it (12/70).
Full results here