Poll Piques Blackwell’s Interest in Ohio Senate Race

Posted March 23, 2011 at 7:18pm

The findings of a Democratic polling firm’s survey of Ohio Republicans this month has intrigued Ken Blackwell to the point that he is considering a challenge to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, the former Ohio secretary of state told Politico on Wednesday.

“It means I will definitely take a serious look at it,” Blackwell said. “I feel those numbers are worthy of further examination. I believe that constitutional conservatism is on the rebound. I think getting a conservative Republican majority is very important.”

Blackwell was elected Ohio secretary of state in 1999. He has also served as state treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati, but he was blown out by Ted Strickland in the 2006 gubernatorial race and lost a 2009 bid for Republican National Committee chairman.

The March 10-13 survey of 400 usual Ohio Republican primary voters by Public Policy Polling found Blackwell leading a pack of potential GOP candidates.

But PPP did not conduct a head-to-head survey between Blackwell and Brown. “Either they didn’t think I was interested in the race, or they didn’t want to know what my numbers were against Brown,” Blackwell told Politico.

The survey tested Blackwell, Secretary of State Jon Husted, comedian Drew Carey, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Steve LaTourette, Treasurer Josh Mandel and state Sen. Shannon Jones.

No Republicans have announced their intentions to run in the 2012 race, but the Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday that Mandel, who took office in January, is leaning toward entering. The Dispatch did not indicate its sources, but it reported that Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine said Mandel would be “a formidable candidate” against Brown.