In the last few months Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D) re-election prospects in Ohio have improved significantly according to new polling from PPP.

There’s been a fundamental shift in the Ohio political landscape over the last three months and it looks like the biggest beneficiary of that could be Sherrod Brown.

When PPP polled Ohio in December Brown looked extremely vulnerable for reelection, polling at only 40-43% in match ups against four potential Republican opponents. That gave him anything from a tie (against Mike DeWine) to an eight point lead (against Jim Jordan.) Now Brown is at 48-49% against six different Republicans we tested and his leads range from 15 to 19 points.

This is some of the first data showing that the high profile fights in Wisconsin and Ohio over collective bargaining rights are having a real impact on politics beyond just hurting the popularity of the state level Republican directly involved.

It will be interesting to see if the public anger over the GOP’s attack on unions spills over into neighboring states or will be remembered over a year from now in the 2012 election.

Brown might be in an unique strong position to capitalize on this issue given that there is a strong possibility a referendum to protect collective bargaining rights will also be on the ballot in 2012. That would definitely help keep the issue fresh in the mind of Ohio voters.