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Portman Holds Commanding Lead Over Strickland In U.S. Senate Race

Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau
Ted Strickland (l) and Rob Portman

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Portman leading Strickland by 18 points - not what one might expect from the challenger who was once a household name for Ohio voters.

The poll's Peter Brown says Portman actually started out the race as the lesser known candidate, but unlike Strickland, he was able to grow his initial support among voters.

What happened was Mr. Portman did a good job of introducing himself to voters in Ohio, I know it sounds a little unusual because, again, he was the incumbent but the lesser known of the two candidates in the race," said Brown.

Brown says another advantage is Portman's ability to position himself as an agent for change. Brown says that's not so for 75-year-old Ted Strickland. 

"In the classical sense it's hard to sell someone of his age and background as a change agent."