On the eve of a May 4th primary that will determine the Democratic nominee for Senator from the state of Ohio, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher holds a strong 20-point lead over Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in a Quinnipiac poll released today. Fisher has a 43-23 advantage over Brunner, though 32% of Democratic primary voters are undecided and 44% of those with a preference say they may change their minds.
That may lead some to think that Brunner still has a chance to capture the nomination, and it’s never over until the votes are counted. But 20 points is a big deficit to overcome in one day. Brunner would need all of her own voters to stay put and capture a large share of the undecideds.
I think Fisher will probably end up winning, not too tough of a call considering his lead in the polls. Brunner is the darling of the liberal activists, but Fisher is the Democratic establishment candidate, and as a member of the Strickland administration he has gotten a lot of support from the state party.
Looking ahead to November, Quinnipiac’s last poll on April 29th found both Democrats slightly edging Republican Rob Portman in the general election – but only slightly, and with little known about any of the candidates statewide. The governor’s race also remains tight, with incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland edging Republican John Kasich by 6 points.
In any case, after tomorrow the statewide races can begin in earnest. Nothing is as of yet set in stone, and candidates from all sides have huge opportunities to define their opponents and state their own cases for victory.
I’ll also be interested to see the results of the Republican primary between Rep. Mike Turner and supposed “Tea Party Patriot” Rene Oberer. I’m quite sure Oberer is a fine woman, but I found it a little over the top to see Mike Turner attacked as “too liberal.” He’s done just fine over the last term, and Tea Party candidates are going to have to better than just be “not Republican or Democrat” if they expect to be viable options at the ballot box.
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