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Poll Has Mixed News for Obama, Brown in Ohio

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A Quinnipiac University poll in Ohio found President Barack Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) ahead of generic Republican opponents in the state in their bids for re-election in 2012.

Obama led an unnamed GOP challenger 41 percent to 34 percent, while Brown, running for a second term, led a generic Republican 45 percent to 29 percent.

Overall, the results were good but not great for the two Democrats. Voters were split on Obama’s job performance, giving him a 47 percent approval rating, while 48 percent disapproved.

They were also split on whether he deserves re-election, with 45 percent saying yes and 46 percent saying no. Plus, 49 percent of independents said Obama does not deserve to be re-elected, and just 40 percent said he does. Obama carried Ohio by 5 points in 2008.

“The small lead over an unnamed Republican and the split verdict on whether he deserves another term indicate that, as has been the case in most presidential elections over recent decades, Ohio will be closely contested,” Quinnipiac Assistant Director Peter Brown said.

Brown had a 43 percent approval/27 percent disapproval rating, putting him well into positive territory but still below 50 percent — the mark that often portends an incumbent’s success. Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown said the Senator “is in decent shape heading into 2012.”

No Republicans have stepped up to run against Brown yet, but the Columbus Dispatch reported this week that state Treasurer Josh Mandel is leaning toward running. Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell led a GOP primary poll conducted earlier this month by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. He is weighing the race.

In the Quinnipiac poll, newly elected Sen. Rob Portman (R), in office for less than three months, had a 30 percent approval/25 percent disapproval rating, with 45 percent unsure.

The poll, conducted March 15-21, was taken of 1,384 registered voters and had a 2.6-point margin of error.

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