Public Policy Polling has an interesting explanation for the dismal poll results being suffered by Ohio’s Democrats in the current race for the U.S. Senate.
According to PPP, if the race were between Fisher and retiring Senator Voinovich instead of between Fisher and Portman, the Dems might actually have a fighting chance:
One of the most striking things in our Ohio poll last week was the incredible unpopularity of George Voinovich. Only 22% of voters in the state approve of the job he’s doing, while 48% disapprove. The most remarkable thing about his numbers is how consistently bad they are across party lines- he’s actually doing best with Democrats at 23/44, followed by Republicans at 21/49, and gets his highest level of disapproval from Republicans at 22/53.
Voinovich’s numbers are indicative of one thing that hasn’t received a lot of attention this cycle- one reason so few Republican held seats are in play on the Senate side is that most of the party’s really unpopular incumbents retired. Democrats would be in much better shape running against Voinovich this fall than Rob Portman, although you have to wonder given Voinovich’s numbers if he might have been primaried had he run again.