Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) is facing another competitive re-election campaign largely because of her continued unpopularity among the Republican base, according to a poll commissioned by her Democratic opponent, physician Vic Wulsin.
Schmidt leads Wulsin 41 to 33 percent, but is well below the 50 percent mark considered to be a healthy total for an incumbent. Her mediocre showing is primarily attributable to her inability to win over the GOP base. Only 62 percent of Republican voters said they would support her, according to the poll.
Schmidt also holds fairly high disapproval ratings, with 45 percent of respondents saying they viewed her unfavorably (45 percent also said they viewed her favorably). A 53 percent majority of respondents said they viewed her job performance unfavorably, including 40 percent of Republicans disapproving of her tenure in office.
Only 36 percent of voters said they would definitely vote to re-elect Schmidt, while 33 percent would replace her. Just 50 percent of Republicans said they would definitely vote to re-elect her.
Since first running in a 2005 special election, Schmidt has always faced competitive races despite representing a Cincinnati-area district that gave President Bush 64 percent of the vote in 2004. In 2006, Schmidt only won 50 percent of the vote against Wulsin, scraping by with less than a 3,000 vote margin.
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