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Poll shows Portman with commanding lead

With three weeks to go until Election Day, Strickland trails 54-41.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman is winning the support of a majority of men and women in Ohio as he holds a commanding 13-point lead over Democratic challenger Ted Strickland, a new poll shows.

The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University and released Tuesday, shows Portman winning 57 percent of the male vote and 51 percent of support among women. Overall, Portman leads Strickland, 54-to-41 percent.

Although the poll shows a slight uptick of support for Strickland from the 38 percent he had in a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month, the poll contains grim news for the former Democratic governor in the final weeks of the election.

The poll shows despite the divisiveness of Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Portman has consolidated support from state Republicans. The poll shows 95 percent of Republicans plan to vote for Portman while 88 percent of Democrats will vote for Strickland.

In addition, the poll shows Portman overwhelmingly has the backing of independent voters by a margin of 59 percent to 34 percent for Strickland.

Although Strickland, a former governor and congressman, was originally expected to be a formidable opponent, he has not been able to raise enough money to mount an aggressive advertising campaign.

In reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission, as of Sept. 30 Portman had $7.6 million in the bank compared to just $1.4 million for Strickland.

Nationally, Democrats have scrapped millions of dollars of TV commercials they originally scheduled to air on Strickland’s behalf.

The telephone poll of 624 likely voters in Ohio was conducted from Oct. 10 through Sunday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 points.

Quinnipiac reported that among those voters asked which party they belong to, 31 percent described themselves as Republicans, 31 percent called themselves Democrats and 30 percent independent.

There are signs that voters in Ohio may not be as enthusiastic in this presidential campaign as opposed to four years ago when President Barack Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney in the state.

In the number of absentee ballots requested by mail through last Friday, the requests were down 11.5 percent in the counties Obama carried, and up 1.5 percent in the counties carried by Romney.

At the beginning of the year, Democrats believed Strickland had the name recognition and connections to defeat Portman. The Republicans control the Senate with 54 seats to 44 for the Democrats, with independents Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine siding with Democrats on most issues.

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