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Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) starts his re-election campaign “in decent, but not overwhelming shape,” according to new polling numbers released Thursday morning by Quinnipiac University.
Forty-five percent of Ohio voters said that the first-term Senator deserves to be re-elected, while 30 percent said he does not. The survey also found that it’s unclear whether President Barack Obama’s place atop the ballot in 2012 will help or hurt Brown.
Specifically, 48 percent of Ohioans reported that the president should be re-elected; 44 percent said the opposite.
Brown would “like to be above the magic 50 percent threshold, but he is within hailing distance,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “President Barack Obama is in a slightly weaker position than Sen. Brown when it comes to carrying Ohio, perhaps the nation’s premier swing state, in the 2012 election.”
Brown’s favorables are roughly unchanged from a June Quinnipiac survey.
In a matchup against an unnamed Republican, the Senator holds a healthy lead: 45 percent to 33 percent. Not surprisingly, Democrats back Brown 84 percent to 4 percent, while Republicans back the generic GOP candidate 75 percent to 6 percent; independent voters, meanwhile, split with 35 percent for Brown and 32 percent for a Republican.
Ohio was one of the major battlegrounds in 2010, with the GOP winning five House seats held by Democrats and Republicans capturing the governorship.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,299 registered voters Jan. 12-17. The poll, in which live interviewers called voters’ home and cell phones, had a 2.7-point margin of error.