What can I say? Once again we're saturated with loads of useful info from Rasmussen's latest poll on the Ohio Senate Race between Rob Portman and Brunner/Fisher.
The topline is easy: Portman is in a statistical deadheat with both.
But when you look deeper, there is some very good news for Rob Portman.
So, what caught my eye? Let's start at the beginning...
While the most likely matchup will be Portman v. Fisher, the results of both matchups are comparable. With that in mind, we'll look at them both together.
1) The only gender gap is among men when Portman pulls a 6 point lead over Brunner. All other gender breakdowns between the candidates are statistical dead heats. Seeing as female candidates usually enjoy some sort of gap among women, Brunner's insignificant 1 point lead is surprising.
2) Unlike the Quinnipiac polls for Guv and Senate, Rasmussen has all candidates drawing relatively similar support from their own Party. With that said, slightly more Dems support Portman than GOPers support Fisher/Brunner.
3) But the kicker is the independent voters. Wow. In the famous 'other' Party ID tab, Portman wins 46-19 vs. Fisher and 42-20 vs. Brunner. That is ri-damn-diculous. But where can Portman improve? Moderates. And he will.
4) Not surprisingly, Portman is the least well known among the candidates, but not by much. With Fisher and Portman, both have similar approval ratings within their own Party, a sign of solid support from the base which is vital for GOTV. But it's the approval ratings among Indies where things turn sharply towards Portman. While Fisher's approval rating with them is a net -10, Portman enjoys a +15. A 25 point gap. With Brunner, things are a bit stickier. Her net approval among Indies is -13. A 28 point gap against Portman.
5) The economy. The number one issue in Ohio. And with the Democrats in power, that's bad news for the donkeys. In the only number that really matters, only 29% of Ohioans think things are getting better. Even among Democrats, the quantity of those thinking things are getting worse or staying the same(which is not good) is higher than those that believe things are getting better. As you can well imagine, the number among Indies is even worse news for the Dems - 49 think things are getting worse, only 19 believe they are getting better. Without an incumbent to run against and the Democrats perceived to be in control, this is clearly bad news for the left.
6) Rasmussen was kind enough to tease us a bit by asking voters their thoughts on the Gov. As we've hit on before when discussing the Quinnipiac polls, the numbers detailing support within one's own Party are vital in determining how well the candidate will do with GOTV. And after looking at these numbers, Ted Strickland should be worried...a whopping 1/4 of Democrats disapprove of his job as Governor. Among indies, his approval is negative -17.
As you can see, lots of good news for Portman and Ohioans.
Special thanks to Matt at WMD for getting me the numbers. It's great to see some teamwork among the GOP Ohio blogosphere. Check out his analysis here.
UPDATE: One more point I forgot to mention, while Brunner's negatives tend to be higher than Fisher's, thereby making her a more attractive opponent for Portman, it's important to note that the toughest card has yet to be played against the Lt. Governor - his time as Director of Development where he oversaw massive job loss and his obvious ties to Toxic Ted. Brunner, on the other hand, has had her hand in several controversial headlines since months before the '08 election. Lesson being, don't get too caught up with these numbers. Remember, we still have a long way to go.