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U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
Just two years after blowing out Democrats in the state, Republicans are looking seriously troubled in the king of Battleground States, Ohio.

Exhibit A:

John Kasich's not getting any more popular. 33% of voters approve of him to 53% who disapprove. Only a little more than half of Republicans think he's doing a good job (58/25), while Democrats (9/80) are almost universal in their disapproval. If voters could do the 2010 election over again they'd vote for Ted Strickland by a 20 point margin, 56-36, numbers that not coincidentally track closely with the Senate Bill 5 repeal result from last fall.
I've long posited that unpopular wingnut governors in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida would end up being some of the best allies of the Obama reelect effort. At least in Ohio, that much seems true.

Exhibit B:

Sherrod Brown continues to look like a strong favorite for reelection to the Senate from Ohio, leading Republican challenger Josh Mandel 47-36. The race has tightened a little bit though since PPP's last poll, which found Brown leading by a 49-34 spread.
Brown is below 50 percent, so he's not out of the woods. But he's looking surprisingly spry for what was supposed to be one of the biggest GOP opportunities in 2012. Those numbers are particularly heartening since conservative groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove's outfit have already spent millions attacking him.

Exhibit C:

Ohio pres poll composite Obama 46.2 Romney 42.0
Of course, a 4.2-point composite lead isn't exactly a dominant advantage (even if PPP's latest has it 49-42), but it's not far off the 4.6-point margin Obama won in 2008. Kind of makes a mockery of the narrative that Obama and the Dems are losing the Midwest. While Ohio may not be crazy about Obama, they certainly aren't rushing to Mitt Romney's bandwagon. Turns out, Ohio dislikes Romney as much as we do:
Romney in Ohio, Favorable 31.3 Unfavorable 43.7
The trajectory is decidedly downward, with the latest PPP poll pegging his numbers at 28 percent favorable, 56 percent unfavorable. (By comparison, Obama is at 48-48.)

So to recap, Ohioans hate their governor and wish they'd reelected the Democrat instead, they like their freshman senator enough to give him the big early lead, and they really really really don't like the GOP frontrunner, and give the Democratic president a solid and consistent lead.

Again, Republicans will spend hundreds of millions in attack ads, but none of those will make people like Romney or Kasich or Mandel any better. They can try to drag the Democrats in the muck, but thus far, it hasn't even worked against Sherrod Brown, a freshman senator who is far less defined than the president of the United States of America.

These are not good numbers for Republicans in what is a must-win state for them.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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