Donald Trump has taken a five-point lead over Hillary Clinton in the critical swing state of Ohio, his largest yet, and Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) has a 17-point lead over challenger Ted Strickland for the Senate seat, according to a new poll.
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The poll, conducted over the weekend by Selzer & Co. and sponsored by Bloomberg Politics, shows Republican Donald Trump leading in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up with Democrat Hillary Clinton 48 percent to 43 percent among self-identified likely Ohio voters. That margin held when interviewers asked about third-party candidates — in this scenario, Trump led Clinton 44 percent to 39 percent, with independent Gary Johnson pulling 10 percent and the Green Party's Jill Stein with 3 percent.
Meanwhile, the poll also found Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman leading Democratic challenger Ted Strickland, the former governor, 53 percent to 36 percent.
The findings are notable in two ways. First, Trump's 5-point lead in Ohio is his largest of the year, and caps a series of recent polls that have trended away from Clinton, who consistently has held a narrow lead over Trump in polls performed here.
According to the poll, Portman has a +30 net favorability rating among Ohio voters, which is "the highest of any American politician the pollster asked about." With that lead over Strickland, according to the report, Portman appears "on his way to a safe re-election."
The new poll also found that 57 percent of Ohio voters have a favorable opinion of Portman, compared to 27 percent who hold an unfavorable view. This +30 net favorability rating is the highest of any American politician the pollster asked about, compared to Gov. John Kasich (+24), Strickland (-9), Trump (-7), Clinton (-17), Democratic President Barack Obama (-5) and Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin (-64.)
The last significant finding of this poll is that voters in Ohio are more bothered by Clinton's problems with her campaign than they are with Trump's issues:
It also found that Ohio voters are more troubled with issues that have dogged Clinton than they are with issues involving Trump. A majority said they were bothered "a lot" by Clinton's handling of her private email server (57 percent), her handling as U.S. Secretary of State of the 2012 attack of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya (59 percent) and the Clinton Foundation's acceptance of money from foreign governments during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state (53 percent.)