Poll Highlights Ohio’s Razor-Thin U.S. Senate Race
A Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll shows the race for US Senate in Ohio is a pure toss-up, with Democrat Tim Ryan (47%) leading Republican J.D. Vance (46%), with 1% leaning toward other candidates and 6% undecided. The poll is well within the margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.
Ryan has significantly improved his standing since a late May poll, taken before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, in which Ryan trailed Vance 42%-39%, with 17% undecided. Much of Ryan’s lead can be attributed to women voters, with whom he a saw a 5-point gain after the high court ruling. Among Ohio’s women, Ryan is now beating Vance 53%-40% compared to 43%-35% in a poll from early May.
In the spring’s three-way Democratic primary, Ryan secured 70% of the vote, while Vance won a plurality of 32% of the Republican primary vote, defeating six other opponents.
“J.D. Vance has yet to completely unify his Republican base while Tim Ryan has solidified support among Democrats and is competitive among independents,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Ryan is even winning a small slice of Republicans and those who say they want the upcoming election to change the direction that President Biden is leading the nation.”
Among Democrats, Ryan led 90%-3%, while he trailed Vance among Republicans 87%-12% and edged him slightly among independents 42%-41%. Ryan was winning 13% of those voters who said they wanted their vote in November to change the direction Biden is leading the nation. He is also winning 20% of those planning to vote for Republican Governor Mike DeWine, affirming his more populist approach. Ryan has distanced himself from Biden on some issues, and even joined with Republicans to oppose the president’s student debt relief plan.
Vance dominated among those likely Ohio voters concerned about the economy (75%-17%) and immigration (87%-13%) while Ryan bested Vance with voters focused on the issues of climate change (85%-7%), threats to democracy (78%-19%), healthcare (69%-22%), abortion rights (60%-28%), and education (58%-35%).
Recently, national Republicans have moved $30 million into Ohio to protect the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Rob Portman which was assumed to be an easier Republican win than other midterm Senate races.
Ryan’s gain can be attributed to women voters, with whom he a saw a 5-point gain after high court Roe v. Wade ruling.
The statewide survey of 500 Ohio likely midterm voters was conducted September 5-7 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely to vote in the November 2022 general election for governor and US Senate. Each area’s quota and demographic information—including party affiliation, gender, race, and age—was determined from midterm exit polls and 2020 census data. The 88 Ohio counties were grouped into five general regions. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is +/-4.4 percentage points. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, or at [email protected].
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