Republican candidates hold strong advantages in the Ohio races for governor and U.S. Senate according to the first Columbus Dispatch poll of the 2010 election season. Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich led by 12 points over Governor Ted Strickland while Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman led Lt. Governor Lee Fisher by 13 points in the paper’s September 5th survey. The Dispatch poll, which surveyed over 1,600 registered voters, is in line with the results of other polling agencies, like Rasmussen Reports and Reuters, whose recent polls also show Kasich and Portman leading their Democratic opponents. The Dispatch poll also shows Republican candidates leading for all down-ticket statewide offices - attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer. A Republican sweep of all statewide offices would guarantee control of the Apportionment Board, which redraws state legislative districts, and thus an upper hand in General Assembly races for the next decade. But with increased early voting, candidates will begin taking to the airwaves sooner, meaning candidates with big campaign war chests may be able to make headway in the coming two months.