New Ohio poll shows tight race for governor and widening race for U.S. Senate

Posted at 11:19 AM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 11:35:34-04

A new poll out on Tuesday by Baldwin Wallace University’s Community Research Institute shows a tightening race for Ohio governor and a widening race for U.S. Senate with still a good number of Ohioans undecided.

The poll of over 1,000 likely voters conducted by BW’s Community Research Institute (CRI) from September 5 through 15 shows in the race for Ohio Governor was held today, Republican Mike DeWine leads Democrat Richard Cordray 41.8 percent to 37 percent. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.6 percent.

"Not surprising DeWine has a slight lead given that he is better known,” said Dr. Tom Sutton, Director of the Community Research Institute. “I think that Cordray has a chance here, but Cordray really has an issue when it comes to people really knowing enough about him. We showed 44 percent don't know enough about him to have an opinion one way or the other."

In the race for U.S. Senate between Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Congressman Jim Renacci, Brown holds a 17 point lead - 49.2 percent to 31.8 percent.

"Again, not surprising,” Sutton said. “He has the overwhelming name recognition. He's the incumbent running for his third term, but what's interesting is that it's not the blue wave that's carrying Brown; I would suggest that in Ohio it's Brown that is carrying other Democrats."

“I would reiterate the large number of undecideds that we see in each of the races,” Sutton said of the roughly 20 percent still unsure.

Last month, President Donald Trump called out Governor John Kasich in a tweet for being “unpopular,” a move which prompted Kasich to respond with a GIF of a laughing Russian President Vladimir Putin. The poll asked voters if they approve or disapprove of the job both men are doing; Kasich’s job approval rating was 49.8 percent compared to Trump’s 42.9 percent, while the disapproval rating for Kasich was 32.1 percent, with Trump’s coming in at 51.6 percent.

Still, a job approval rating of 43 percent for the president is higher than some of the recent national polls.

“It was not an anomaly that he won by eight points in 2016," Sutton explained. "I think that there's a bedrock of support and we're still seeing the residuals from that bedrock in this poll that we've just released."

“To see that he’s that kind of approval rating speaks to again people who are separating Trump the person from Trump the policies, I think that’s part of it," Sutton added.

Interesting to note: Kasich’s approval rating is 50.2 percent with Democrats and 53.2 percent with Republicans. That being said, voters were asked if they would like to see Kasich run for president in 2020, and only 30.3 percent of respondents said yes while 45.3 percent overall said no.

“Really interesting, he’s got upwards of 50 percent of Democrats approving of his performance, but when it comes to 2020, neither side wants him,” Sutton said. “I think it really is, he thinks he’s carved out a third way place for himself, that maybe you could call him a progressive Republican in the style of a Teddy Roosevelt, but what he’s really done is created, I think, a political "No Man’s Land" where we’re not really talking about the need for third-party candidates.”