The Washington Times - September 1, 2010, 11:39AM

The two U.S. Senate candidates in Ohio have agreed to three one-hour debates.

The race, pitting Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fischer against Republican Rob Portman, has garnered a lot of attention given the state’s role as a battleground in recent elections. 

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Rasmussen Reports released a poll this week that shows Mr. Portman with a 44 percent to 39 percent edge over Mr. Fisher, with 11 percent undecided and 7 percent supporting another candidate, the poll said.

Perhaps more important, another poll released this week from Public Policy Polling portends a tough slog for Fisher and Democrats in general. The PPP survey shows that by a 50 to 42 vote margin voters say they’d rather have George W. Bush in the White House right now than President Obama.

On Wednesday, the Fisher campaign issued a press release saying the three debates are scheduled to take place in Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus and will be done in accordance with the Ohio Newspaper Organization rules and will feature a panel of four journalists and a local broadcast partner.

So far only one date is set in stone — Oct. 8 at the City Club in Cleveland.