In a Quinnipiac University political poll of registered voters in Ohio, Republican Rob Portman has overtaken his Democratic rivals, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Democratic Governor Ted Strickland is in a dead heat with Republican Challenger John Kasich at 40% support for each. Given the recent decline in President Barack Obama's numbers in Ohio and the relative surge in the Republican brand, this is not terribly surprising. However, because of the large number of undecideds in the race, anything could happen between now and May and November.
What is shocking, however, is the fact that Fisher has yet to pull away from Brunner despite the backing of many heavyweights in Ohio's political establishment and despite Brunner's anemic fundraising. Democrats do not seem overly excited about Fisher's candidacy and may be ripe for the picking if Brunner can turn around her listless campaign and demonstrate that she is viable.
Expect the primaries to start getting nasty on both sides of the aisle as the May primary is beginning to loom large on the campaign calendar. Tom Ganley, the conservative car dealer, has indicated he is in it to the end and will dip into his wallet. Likewise, Brunner appears to be in it to win it as well. The next few months should make for some good political theater during the winter doldrums.