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Government and Politics

Poll says Portman is not a factor in Ohio presidential race
Republicans adding a “favorite son” may not help the ticket
This story is part of a special series.

Bill Cohen
In The Region:
The presidential race in Ohio remains too close to call..…..and if the Republicans add what you might call a “favorite son” as a running mate, it may not help the ticket surge ahead. That’s the bottom line of the latest independent poll. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.
Polls says Portman not a factor in Ohio presidential race

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Source: Quinnipiac Poll

The presidential race in Ohio remains too close to call as President Barack Obama gets 45 percent to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, with a 45 - 45 percent dead heat if the GOP adds home-state Sen. Rob Portman as Romney's running mate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 

Ohio's other U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, holds a 46 - 40 percent lead over State Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican challenger, compared to a 46 - 36 percent Brown lead in a March 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University. This is the first survey showing the race in single digits. 

The Romney-Portman v. Obama-Biden matchup compares to a February 15 survey in which Obama had 46 percent to Romney's 44 percent without running mates, moving to Obama- Biden at 47 percent to Romney-Portman at 43 percent. 

"Adding Sen. Rob Portman to the Romney ticket produces no measurable change, despite speculation about Portman's potential for helping Romney carry the key state of Ohio," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute. 

"Republicans have never won the White House without Ohio and in 2004, for instance, George W. Bush won the state and re-election by 2 percent - so every little change is important." 

The gender gap remains substantial, with or without Portman:
  • In an Obama-Romney matchup, men vote Republican 50 - 40 percent while women go Democratic 49 - 38 percent;
  • Matching Romney and Portman against Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden leaves men at 51 - 40 percent Republican, with women at 49 - 41 percent Democratic.
Interestingly, 59 percent of Ohio voters say they don't know enough about Portman to have an opinion of him, with 26 percent viewing him favorably and 14 percent unfavorably. 

Vice President Biden has a split 39 - 39 percent favorability. Romney gets a 35 - 37 percent favorability and Obama gets a 48 - 47 percent score. 

In the Obama-Biden v. Romney-Portman matchup, Republicans stay loyal 89 - 6 percent while Democrats go with their ticket 90 - 6 percent. Independent voters, the key bloc, go Republican 45 - 39 percent. 

Ohio voters give Obama a split 49 - 48 percent job approval. 
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