Strickland leading Portman by 9 in new Senate race poll

The poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University has Strickland, a Democrat, leading Portman, a Republican, 48 percent to 39 percent. Independent voters back Strickland 50 percent to 32 percent.

If the matchup were between Portman and Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, Portman would come out ahead, 47 percent to 24 percent, the poll found.

Forty-nine percent of Ohio voters approve of the job Portman is doing in the Senate and 38 percent give him a favorable rating. Strickland has a 49 percent favorability rating while 89 percent of voters don’t know enough about Sittenfeld to have an opinion.

Just over half — 52 percent of voters — like the job that U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is doing. And Gov. John Kasich gets a 61 percent job approval rating.

The poll was conducted March 17 to March 28 on land lines and cell phones. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Battle for cash

On Monday, the campaign for Sittenfeld said it has raised more than $757,000 in the first three months of this year.

The announcement comes after Portman’s campaign announced last week it raised more than $2.75 million so far this year, giving the Republican incumbent more than $8 million on hand for the 2016 race.

Sittenfeld’s campaign spokesman Dale Butland said in a statement that the financial support for Sittenfeld — a first-time candidate for statewide office — shows people are hungry for new leadership.

Strickland’s campaign hasn’t yet reported totals for the quarter just ended.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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