In the final result of a trio of competitive Senate primaries tonight, the AP is reporting that Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher easily beat Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to win the Democratic nomination tonight.
The result pits Fisher against former Rep. Rob Portman (R) in a battle for the open seat vacated by Sen. George Voinovich (R). The TPM Poll Average of that matchup shows that race to be a dead heat, with Fisher leading by a margin of 40.5-39.2.The result is disappointing for Brunner’s progressive supporters, who were extremely vocal in their support for her right up through Primary Day. But Brunner never really caught fire, trailing badly in fundraising through the entire race. Late polls showed Fisher breaking away from Brunner as well.
Now Fisher enters what could be one of the cycle’s most competitive general election fights. It remains to be seen if he can earn the backing of Brunner’s hard-working supporters.
For their part, Republicans welcomed the result. Portman has more than $7 million cash on hand for the general election (Fisher had just under $2 million in the back as of March 31) and Republicans say they can go after him for Ohio’s lagging economy. Fisher supporters say that Portman’s history in the Bush administration — he was a director of the Office Of Management and Budget under Bush — means they can tie him to continuing national economic woes.