Elsewhere in Ohio, the campaign of Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman is amused by the turnout for candidates at the Fourth of July parades. They catch Democrat Lee Fisher declaring, via Twitter that he had 50 or even more volunteers marching in the Northland, Ohio, parade, and check the video to estimate a total closer to . . . two.
I would note that as amusing as this is, I’m not sure whether it reflects that no one wanted to march with Lee Fisher or whether it reflects a broader midsummer exhaustion with politics among the electorate. We’ve just endured a two-year presidential campaign, the birth of the tea parties, the angry town halls of last summer, the ridiculous process of health care from late last fall and this winter and spring, the Scott Brown earthquake . . . and everyone knows this fall will feature one of the most intense and broadly-fought midterm elections in recent memory. People may need a breather from intense political fights during the dog days of summer . . .
Health care is going to be a big deal, foreclosures will be a big deal, the oil spill is going to be a big deal in certain states, and the possibility of some Islamist radical nut blowing up something will be a big deal in this election. But I think the dominant concern of voters in most parts of the country remains what Joe Biden calls a three-letter word: “J-O-B-S.”
The first ad of the general election from Rob Portman, GOP Senate candidate in Ohio, aims to hammer that point home.
The first University of Cincinnati Ohio Poll of the general election campaign finds Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and former Republican congressman Rob Portman are just about even in their bids for the Senate.
The poll says Fisher has 47% to 46% for Portman.
In the governor’s race, Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland has a slight lead over Republican challenger John Kasich.
The landline and cell phone survey puts Strickland ahead 49-44%.
The unemployment rate in Nevada is 13.7 percent; the unemployment rate in Ohio is 10.9 percent.
We shouldn’t be surprised by a close race in Ohio, but if I were the Rob Portman campaign, I would be a little concerned about this:
43% Fisher (D), 42% Portman (R)
What’s really surprising is that Portman has a nice 45/26 favorable/unfavorable split, better than Fisher’s 48/34, yet he trails a bit.
I don’t worry if the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll puts Portman down. I don’t even worry that much if it’s Quinnipiac. But when Rasmussen finds similar numbers, I think it’s a sign that Democrat Lee Fisher came out of the primary in pretty good shape. I’m not panicking because of a couple of other factors — an improved GOP ground game in the Buckeye State, the high unemployment throughout Ohio, the broad indicators of independents preferring Republicans this year, etc. — but this race will probably be a tougher fight for the GOP than it has appeared for the past few months.