Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Treasurer Josh Mandel in the Ohio Senate race, according to a new poll released Thursday by the University of Cincinnati.
Brown leads Mandel 48 percent to 47 percent in the survey, but the senator's advantage is within the poll's margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.4 percentage points. Five percent said they are undecided.
The results stand in contrast to a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll released earlier Thursday, which shows Brown leading Mandel 48 percent to 41 percent. The Cincinnati poll also yields better results for the GOP in the presidential race, showing President Obama and Mitt Romney in a statistical tie (49 percent to 46 percent) in the Buckeye State. In the Quinnipiac/CBS News/New York Times survey, Obama leads Romney 50 percent to 46 percent -- outside the margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.8 percentage points.
Brown is a top target of national conservative groups, who view his seat as a potential key to wrestling control of the Senate away from Democrats.
The University of Cincinnati poll was conducted August 16 through August 21 and surveyed 847 likely Ohio voters.