Rust Belt Strong

Republicans are looking strong in Ohio, a state that went for Obama handily two years ago. In the governor's race, John Kasich has opened up a substantial lead.

The Ohio Poll sponsored by the University of Cincinnati shows the former congressman in front of Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland 51 percent to 43 percent.

Most polls taken in recent weeks have shown the race tightening.

There's also a senate election to replace retiring Republican George Voinovich that the GOP fully expects to hold.

The Ohio Poll also finds that former Republican congressman Rob Portman has a 22-point lead over Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher in the race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.

A similar trend is happening in Pennsylvania, which favored Obama over McCain by 11%!

In the U.S. Senate match-up, the poll found Republican nominee Pat Toomey with 49 percent support compared to Democratic nominee Joe Sestak's 39 percent. Ten percent of respondents said they are still undecided.

In the governor's race survey, GOP hopeful Tom Corbett garnered 54 percent to Democratic nominee Dan Onorato's 40 percent with 5 percent of voters undecided. The poll found Corbett holds a three-to-one lead among independent voters.

West Virginia is cause for concern - the popular governor, Joe Manchin, has been trailing in the race - until he began running an ad a few days ago that had him putting down (parts of) Obama Care and shooting a copy of the cap and trade bill while out hunting.

Recently the Republican Party pulled an ad they had released in the state.  The casting call for the ad asked for “Hicky, blue collar” actors to play West Virginians.  Manchin criticized his opponent over the ad.  Manchin also announced he was suing the Obama administration over coal regulations, a move possibly designed to distance himself from the President. 

Manchin's moves seem to be working.  Earlier this month nearly every poll had him trailing Raese, but now Manchin either leads or finds himself tied with Raese in most polls.

There's the answer for Dems who are struggling - pretend harder that you're not a Democrat.