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Poll: Portman/Strickland race tied

WASHINGTON — Ohio’s race for U.S. Senate remains a dead heat, according to a new poll.

A Public Policy Polling survey, taken from April 26-27, found incumbent Republican Rob Portman tied at 38 percent with his challenger, former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

The poll was similar to a Quinnipiac poll, taken in February, which had Strickland ahead by only 2 percent, within the survey’s margin of error.

PPP found that 32 percent of voters approve of the job Portman is doing as senator, while 40 percent disapprove.

In contrast, the state’s senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown has a 42 percent approval rating, while 33 percent disapprove.

PPP surveyed voters on the issue of the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is likely to be a contentious subject in Senate races nationwide this fall.

The survey found 53 percent of voters feel the Republican-controlled Senate should vote to fill the seat this year, while 39 percent are opposed to it.

President Barack Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to position, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans have said they will not hold hearings on Garland’s nomination.

PPP found 65 percent of voters feel the Senate should hold hearings, while 21 percent are opposed.

The poll of 799 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.