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Portman leads Ohio senate race by 5

Republican Rob Portman now picks up 44% support while his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, earns the vote from 39% in the latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters of Ohio’s U.S. Senate race. Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate while another 11% are undecided. The race is a bit closer than it was two weeks ago, when Portman held a 45% to 37% lead over Fisher. The latest numbers move this race from Leans Republican to Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings. In every survey conducted this year, Portman’s support has stayed in the very narrow range of 42% to 45% of the vote. Fisher’s support has ranged from 37% to 43% in that same period. When leaners are included in the new totals, Portman still leads. With the leaners, 47% will vote for Portman and 41% for Fisher. This is now the second Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey in Ohio to include leaners. Two weeks ago, Portman led Fisher 48% to 39% when leaners were included. Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. Early in any campaign, the numbers without leaners are generally more significant. Later in a campaign, the numbers with leaners matter more. After Labor Day, Rasmussen Reports will report the numbers with leaners as the primary indicators of the campaign. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Portman’s voters now say they are certain of how they will vote, up four points over the past two weeks. Nearly the same number of Fisher’s supporters (62%) say they are certain of their vote, down slightly from the previous survey. (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The statewide survey of 750 Likely Voters in Ohio was conducted on August 30, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. Rasmussen Reports will release new numbers from the state’s gubernatorial contest tomorrow. Additional data from the survey will be released during the coming week at Portman earns 84% of the vote from Republicans, while Fisher is backed by 77% of Democrats. Portman leads Fisher 47% to 23% among voters in the state not affiliated with either major political party. Like voters nationwide, Ohio voters put the economy first in terms of how they vote. A plurality (48%) says economic issues are the most important in terms of how they vote, while fiscal issues take a distant second with 15%. Twelve percent (12%) say national security issues are most important to their vote, while another 12% name domestic issues such as social security and health care. Portman and Fisher are almost even among voters who put economic issues first, with the Democrat just ahead 45% to 41%. Portman holds a dominant lead among voters who see fiscal issues as being most important. Portman is viewed Very Favorably by 16% and Very Unfavorably by nine percent (9%). Fisher’s reviews are 14% Very Favorable, 12% Very Unfavorable. However, roughly one in five voters in Ohio do not know enough about either candidate to venture even a soft opinion of them. Forty-five percent (45%) of voters in Ohio now approve of the job Obama is doing as president, but 54% disapprove. This is unchanged from last month and is comparable to his job approval ratings nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

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