Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, holds a 7 point lead over GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel in a new poll of the Buckeye State's Senate contest.
Brown leads Mandel 52 percent to 45 percent in the poll, which was conducted for the Ohio Newspaper Organization by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati.
The senator is helped by a 14 point advantage among female voters. Brown's lead in the race is holding in spite of $18 million in outside spending targeting him.
Brown's 7 point lead is consistent with several other race polls of the race, though others haven't shown him surpassing 50 percent support.
The survey shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by a similar margin in the state: He takes 51 percent to his opponent's 46 percent. Romney and Paul Ryan are embarking on a 3-day bus tour of Ohio this week, underscoring its importance in the presidential race.
The poll was conducted Sept. 13-18. It surveyed 861 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.3 percentage points.