Public Policy Polling
(PDF). 11/4-6. Likely (2011) voters. MoE ±3.1% (10/13-16 results
Sherrod Brown (D-inc): 49 (48)
Josh Mandel (R): 34 (40)
Undecided: 17 (12)
Public Policy Polling's latest look at the Ohio Senate race has things looking pretty good for one-term Democratic incumbent, and progressive champ, Sherrod Brown. Brown's share of the vote is pushing the 50 percent mark, and his approval has improved incrementally to 42/33 (from 40/35 last month). Their October poll showed a surge by Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel, but that seems to have worn off in part because of some movement by independents back to Brown, who now break for Brown 38-34. That leaves Mandel—the only Republican left in the race, thanks to Kevin Coughlin's dropout—falling behind again by double digits.
It's basically a return to Brown's August PPP numbers; there, he led 48-33. I doubt Mandel will stay down at this level, simply by virtue of the fact that the state's Republican votes are starting to get more familiar with Mandel, who's held statewide office for only a year. For now, though, Mandel's favorables are only 14/19.
Bear in mind that we can feel pretty confident about this sample, as it got cross-checked on Tuesday; this same sample predicted a 59-36 defeat for anti-union Issue 2, where the actual result was 61-39. (It's also the same sample that raised eyebrows by giving Barack Obama a 9-pt lead over Mitt Romney and double-digit leads over the rest of the Republican crew.) Other bits of data from today's release include humdrum approvals for Ohio's other senator, GOPer Rob Portman (25/24), and a surprisingly large lead for Democrats on a statewide generic ballot for the U.S. House: 49-39.