Portman's hard work is paying off

Rob Portman has been working hard. He is well on his way to visiting all eighty-eight counties in Ohio; and with real meetings and events not just drive throughs. And he has been a fundraising monster; out raising Brunner and Fisher by significant amounts each and every cycle. Soon we will find out just how badly he has beaten the Dems this cycle. I am guessing: DOOM! (OK, it is still early but I wanted to communicate the impending dominance …)

And the polls continue to look good as well:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the Buckeye State shows the Republican hopeful picking up more votes than he did a month ago and leading both Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Portman, who also served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Trade Representative under President George W. Bush, now leads Fisher by seven points, 44% to 37%. Four percent (4%) like some other candidate, and 14% are undecided.

You want to know what will really stick in the craw of the netroots? This:

While the candidates are vying to fill the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Senator George Voinovich, both Fisher and Brunner for now appear to be hurt by the strong sentiments against the national health care plan being pushed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

In Ohio, just 39% favor the plan while 56% oppose it. Those numbers include 18% who Strongly Favor it versus 49% who Strongly Oppose. These findings are virtually identical to voters’ views on the health care plan nationally.

Portman carries more than 70% of the vote of the much larger group who strongly oppose the plan against either Democrat. Brunner and Fisher both carry an even higher percentage of those who strongly favor the health care initiative.

And if you look at the numbers it seems clear that voters know that the current plan is going to cost a fortune and not provide the coverage and quality of care it promises. Which is exactly the message Portman has been focusing on.

This can’t make the lefties very happy either:

In the wake of the Christmas Day terrorist attempt on a U.S. airliner, 44% of voters in Ohio say the U.S. legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights in cases involving national security. Only 17% think the system worries too much about protecting national security. Twenty-five percent (25%) say the balance is about right. This is a slightly more critical assessment of the legal system than is found nationally.

Given the backlash against health care reform and inept terrorism response, I sure the best plan would be to run the ideological extremist Brunner. Then again with the economy in the tank and the jobs report ugly as ever, perhaps they should run the economic development experet Fisher…

My intial sense from this is that Portman has positioned himself very well as a serious and pragmatic candidate who understands voters distrust of Washington’s over-reach but also understands that voters want someone who can get things done. Ohio voters want a center-right candidate who projects confidence and competence. Portman is working hard to be that candidate.

And so far it is working.