A poll released by the Columbus-based “progressive” think tank Ohio Innovations on Thursday shows that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) now leads Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH), the Republican challenger, by a mere four points in Ohio’s U.S. Senate election to be held in November.
The poll shows Brown leads Renacci among likely voters 46 percent to 42 percent. The poll of 822 likely Ohio voters was conducted by Change Research on behalf of Ohio Innovations between August 31 and September 4 and has a three percent margin of error.
While there was little surprise that the poll results showed the other statewide races – including those for Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Treasurer–are either tied or are very close, it was a significant surprise to see that Brown’s once double digit lead, considered almost insurmountable by many political pundits, has now shrunk to only four points – barely beyond the poll’s three percent margin of error.
Brown’s downard trajectory in the eyes of Ohio voters is unmistakable.
In a Quinnipiac Poll released on June 13, Brown held a 17 point lead over Renacci, 51 percent to 34 percent.
In an NBC/Marist Poll released in late June, Brown held a 13 point lead over Renacci, 51 percent to 38 percent.
In a little over two and a half months since Brown’s high water mark on June 13, Renacci has gained 13 points on him, and appears to have the advantage of momentum.
One element of that momentum is related to Brown’s opposition to the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a marked contrast to Renacci’s steadfast support of Kavanaugh.
Renacci addressed that issue in a conference call with journalists on Thursday, as Breitbart News reported:
“In a recent poll of Ohioans, 56 percent believe he should be confirmed,” Renacci pointed out.
But the Democrats in the Senate, including Brown, his November opponent, have engaged in unprecedented obstructionism to oppose the nomination.
“Every one of the Democrats on the panel [the Senate Judiciary Committee holding the hearings] have already decided they are going to vote no. They interrupted the hearings 76 times,” Renacci noted.
“It’s something the people of Ohio are fed up with. The people of Ohio are saying enough with the theatrics!” he added.
Renacci noted that Brown announced his opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination even before the Judiciary Committee hearings began on Tuesday.
With a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation now likely to be held on the floor of the Senate before the end of September, Brown’s opposition to Kavanaugh and his support for the obstructionist theatrics of his Democrat colleagues in the Senate is likely to cut into his shrinking lead even further.