Five of thirteen polls [i.e., only five] taken since last July have shown Ted Strickland leading or tied with John Kasich. Four of those polls are Quinnipiac polls [demonstrated earlier in the article to tilt Democrat] (see also, Ohio Senate, supra). Regardless, Quinnipiac has Strickland leading Kasich by only 43% to 38%. An incumbent below 50% falls into the "vulnerable" category, and an incumbent below 45% starts to fall into the "needs a freak circumstance to win" category. Strickland hasn't broken 45% since October.Overall, however, the RCP average has Kasich ahead by 4.2 %. In the Senate race, Portman leads both of his Democrat challengers by 2% . . . but RCP still contends that the Senate race in Ohio presents the, "toughest open seat for the GOP to keep." Based on the analysis provided (in particular, Portman's ties to the Bush administration) and given the conditions of an ordinary election, everything RCP says makes perfect sense. But the evidence seems also to be suggesting that the 2010 midterms are going to be anything but an ordinary election. It seems to be suggesting that there are far more embarrassing political ties than Bush (Obama, Pelosi, Reid) for a politician to have or to promise having . . .