Poll: Sen. Sherrod Brown leads potential GOP opponents by double digits


Brown was in a dead heat with former Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), who has since said he won't run for Senate in 2012, and held just an eight-point lead over Jordan. 

The Democrat's newfound strength is thanks to independent voters, who are solidly in Brown's camp in the latest PPP numbers. He has also consolidated some support among Democrats. 

"Whether it's John Kasich doing it or something else, independents and conservative Democrats' preferences are all of a sudden looking a lot more like 2008 than 2010," writes pollster Tom Jensen. 

Unions in the state have been battling a bill that would roll back some of their collective bargaining rights over the past several weeks, with Brown offering vocal support to organized labor interests in Ohio. 

But Brown's numbers shouldn't be taken as a sign the first-term Democrat isn't still among the most vulnerable of Senate Dems next year. The potential GOP field is still largely unknown to Ohio voters at this point and Brown is among the more liberal of those facing tough reelection races in swing states in 2012.   

Part of the problem for Republicans is finding a candidate to jump in the race. Despite the senator's vulnerability, Republicans have been slow to express an interest in the contest. 

Jordan, who is seen by Ohio Republicans as one of the party's best options to run against Brown next year, has already said he's leaning against a bid and would rather focus on his role as head of the Republican Study Committee.