• 59°

Brown up by double digits in Senate race

A new poll shows Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown with a double digit lead over two of his Republican rivals for this fall’s general election.

The survey, conducted by Baldwin Wallace University’s Community Research Institute, interviewed 1,011 registered voters from Feb. 28-March 9.

The results found Brown leading the frontrunner of the Republican field, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, 41-29 percent.

While Renacci is ahead in recent polling for the Republican primary and has been endorsed by the state Republican Party and President Donald Trump, the survey found that his challenger, Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons, fared slightly better against Brown. The senator led Gibbons, 41-31 percent.

Baldwin Wallace did not test a match-up between Brown and Marysville businesswoman Melissa Ackison, though she had edged out Gibbons for second place in the Republican field in recent polling.

A February survey from Gravis Marketing put Renacci in the lead at 16.5 percent, Ackison second at 6.7 percent and Gibbons third at 5.7 percent.

While Brown enjoys a strong lead over Renacci and Gibbons, his numbers at 41 percent, are still below the threshold where an incumbent is usually deemed “safe” by analysts, shows his Republican challengers have room to improve.

The Gravis survey found that most voters were unfamiliar with the Republican candidates at this stage in the race and all had low name recognition.

Brown was first elected to the senate in 2006 and is seeking a third term. He has been named by many political observers as a potential 2020 presidential candidate for Democrats.