Chabot counting on Portman popularity

Like an old neighbor, Rob Portman is there.
 
At least that's how Steve Chabot sees it. The two former Republican congressmen both represented parts of Cincinnati for several years in the House.
 
"He was just as popular in my district as he was in his district," recalled Chabot, who represented Ohio's 1st district while Portman represented the 2nd.
 
Now, the former colleagues will share the same ticket as Portman is expected to be the GOP nominee in the Senate race and Chabot is running against Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) in a bid to get his old job back. Portman is expected to face either Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) or Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D) in the general.
 
Chabot is counting on Portman's lingering popularity to generate voter turnout in November.
 
"He's a hometown guy, so he's going to clearly help to generate turnout down here," he said. "The top of the ticket helps us this time."
 
In 2008, Chabot lost to Driehaus by five points but he's expects a different race this cycle. "Conservatives and Republicans are very energized, they weren't last time," he said.
 
While he expects healthcare to be a favorable issue for the GOP this cycle, Chabot said it's too early to say whether he'd campaign on repealing the healthcare bill.
 
"Relative to a repeal, I'm inclined to say that it would be an issue, probably not the key issue of the campaign, but it would certainly be an issue," he said. "Maybe repeal some things and maybe modify the thing in some capacity."
 
"It's hard to overturn an entire law," he added. "And obviously, you couldn't do it until after the [2012] election because [President Barack] Obama would veto anything that Congress did. Even if we took over both the House and Senate, we're not going to have veto proof numbers."

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