In a presidential election year where several GOP Senate candidates are seeing their numbers getting dragged down amid Donald Trump’s dismal poll numbers, Portman is seemingly crushing his opponent.
The latest poll to come from Ohio shows the incumbent senator pulling in a nine-point lead over his Democratic rival, former governor Ted Strickland. Portman has apparently found a way to harness support among usual conservative voters in the Buckeye State while also garnering a footing with independents and some Democrats.
He was endorsed last month by a Cuyahoga County chapter of Black Lives Matters – their executive director also belonging to the executive committee of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. It is also interesting to note Portman came out in favor of gay marriage in 2013 – long before the majority of Americans became supportive of the institution.
In contrast, Strickland has not been as successful in expanding his base. He has come under hot water recently for stating that late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death came “at a good time.” Strickland was ousted from the governor’s seat in 2010 among the Republican wave.
Despite Trump trailing in Ohio, Portman has consistently been ahead in all Real Clear Politics polling and even showing signs of increasing his ceiling. Roll Call currently gives the race a rating of “Tilts Republican.”
The same can’t be said for other Republican Senators in swing states. While still ahead slightly, Marco Rubio has seen his lead drop in Florida. Pat Toomey is now down in Pennsylvania by a nailbiter.