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Mandel leads GOP primary for Ohio Senate seat: internal poll

Mandel leads GOP primary for Ohio Senate seat: internal poll
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Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel holds a massive lead in that state's GOP Senate primary for the nomination to face Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Memo: Dem hopes for 2020 grow in midterms afterglow On The Money: Funding fight to dominate dramatic lame duck | Trump blames Dems for stock slide | Trump hits Comcast after antitrust complaint | Officials reportedly moving closer to imposing auto tariffs Sherrod Brown mulling presidential run in 2020 MORE (D) in the general election, according to new Mandel internal polling obtained by The Hill. 

The internal survey shows Mandel with 50 percent of the vote among likely Republican primary voters, with his top opponent, businessman Mike Gibbons, at just 5 percent.
 
Gibbons is tied in the poll with Melissa Ackison, an Ohio woman whose family's health-care woes were highlighted by President Trump at a recent event. 
 
The internal polling reinforces the hold that Mandel has on the primary so far, as he's worked quickly to consolidate support for his bid. Mandel announced his bid a month after Election Day in 2016 and soon touted the endorsements of a broad swath of political figures, including Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanThe case for bipartisan solutions GOP lawmakers condemn attempted attacks on Democrats Trump takes steps to punish Saudi Arabia MORE (R-Ohio) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzProgressives flex muscles as Dems return to Washington Election Countdown: Florida braces for volatile recount | Counties race to finish machine recount | Trump ramps up attacks | Abrams files new lawsuit in Georgia | 2020 to be new headache for Schumer | Why California counts its ballots so slowly Beto supporters urged to 'upgrade' campaign signs for 2020 run MORE (R-Texas). 
 
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But some high-profile Republicans aren't sold on sending Mandel to a rematch against Brown, who beat him by 6 points in 2012. Gov. John Kasich (R) has refused to endorse Mandel's bid. And establishment Republicans grumbled after Mandel picked a fight with the Anti-Defamation League over its criticism of two far-right internet personalities. 
 
As Mandel's leading primary opponent, Gibbons has been campaigning across the state and releasing television ads to introduce himself to Republican voters, but the Mandel internal polling suggests that has not yet been effective. 
 
The survey shows Gibbons with low name-identification, as 80 percent of likely voters had no opinion on him yet. His favorable and unfavorable ratings are about even — 9 percent of likely voters approve of him while 11 percent have an unfavorable view. And the plurality of voters said that Gibbons's television ads have not affected their support. 
 
Mandel, who has run multiple statewide races, sits at 42 percent favorable and 17 percent unfavorable, with 41 percent holding no opinion. 
 
The race still hasn't hit a fever pitch yet, as the candidates still have long before the May 8 primary. But so far, both major candidates have been looking to seize Trump's mantle in a state he won by 8 points in November. 
 
The Mandel internals show that Trump still remains very popular among likely Republican voters, boasting a 78 percent approval rating. 
 
The Republican polling firm Remington Research Group conducted the polling for Mandel's campaign, using data from 1,268 likely 2018 Republican primary voters. The data has a margin of error of 2.8 percent.