Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that J.D. Vance’s higher polling percentage against Tim Ryan is within Cygnal’s margin of error.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With exactly two weeks until Ohioans elect their next U.S. Senator and a slate of other public officials, an independent poll of voters released Tuesday again placed Republican candidate J.D. Vance slightly ahead of Democratic candidate Tim Ryan.
The “Hillbilly Elegy” author and venture capitalist leads Ryan, a sitting member of Congress, by 4.1% in the latest Cygnal tracking poll of Ohio statewide races — a 4.52% lead would be outside this poll’s margin of error. Vance held 48.3% of likely voters, who said they would cast a ballot for him; 44.2% said they were voting Ryan, which is within the margin of error.
Almost all independent polls — including two released Monday by Siena College and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion — have Vance and Ryan in a statistical dead heat, usually within a few points of one another. While still within the margin of error, Cygnal’s recent polls have consistently placed Vance further ahead of his opponent.
Respondents were 54% female and 46% male. Forty-four percent identified as Republicans, 35% as Democrats, and 19% as “unaffiliated.” The margin of error was 2.26%.
Undecided voters beginning to dwindle; Vance leads Ryan
With Election Day — Tuesday, Nov. 8 — exactly two weeks away, undecided voters in the U.S. Senate race dropped by two percent when contrasting a prior Cygnal poll that was released Oct. 22. That previous poll also ranked Vance as the frontrunner, by a slightly smaller margin and within the margin of error.
"Vance’s lead has stayed a steady 4%, and time is running out for Ryan. Undecideds dropped and each candidate gained a point, so the window of uncertainty is closing," Cygnal data scientist Noah Rudnick said in a press release.
|Pollster||FiveThirtyEight Score||Date Conducted||Vance (R)||Ryan (D)||Net Result||Within margin of error?|
|Cygnal||B+||Oct. 20-24||48%||44%||Vance +4||Yes (+/- 2.26%)|
|Marist College||A||Oct. 17-20||46%||45%||Vance +1||Yes (+/- 3.9%)|
|Siena College||A||Oct. 14-19||46%||46%||Tie +0||Yes (+/- 5.1%)|
|Cygnal||B+||Oct. 14-18||47%||43%||Vance +4||Yes (+/- 2.58%)|
|Lucid||B-||Oct. 11-15||41%||43%||Ryan +2||Yes (+/- 3.8%)|
|Suffolk University||B+||Oct. 11-15||47%||45%||Vance +2||Yes (+/- 4.4%)|
|Emerson College||A-||Oct. 6-7||46%||45%||Vance +1||Yes (+/- 3%)|
|Cygnal||B+||Oct. 6-8||46%||44%||Vance +2|
|Siena College||A||Sept. 18-22||43%||46%||Ryan +3||Yes (+/- 4.4%)|
|Baldwin Wallace University||B/C||Sept. 12-15||45%||48%||Ryan +3||Yes (+/- 4.1%)|
|Marist College||A||Sept. 12-13||46%||45%||Vance +1||Yes (+/- 3.6%)|
|Emerson College||A-||Sept. 12-13||44%||40%||Vance +4||No (+/- 3.2%)|
|Civiqs||B-||Sept. 10-13||48%||45%||Vance +3||Yes (+/- 4%)|
|Suffolk University||B+||Sept. 5-7||46%||47%||Ryan +1||Yes (+/- 4.4%)|
|Echelon Insights||B/C||Aug. 31-Sept. 7||39%||45%||Ryan +6||No (+/- 4.3%)|
|Emerson College||A-||Aug. 15-16||45%||42%||Vance +3||Yes (+/- 3.2)|
|Suffolk University||B+||May 22-24||42%||39%||Vance +2||Yes (+/- 4.4%)|
DeWine still leads Whaley, with some voters unlikely to vote straight-ticket
Even with a tight U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Mike DeWine has held a considerable double-digit lead over Democratic challenger and former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley in the bulk of independent polls this election cycle.
In this poll, it was an 18% lead -- 54.9% of respondents plan to vote for DeWine and 37.3% plan to vote for Whaley.
"Among the very conservative voters, Vance is even running ahead of DeWine, but both are taking almost all of these voters so DeWine is not losing any votes from his right flank," Rudnick said.
Vance, meanwhile, is struggling more with voters who fall more in the middle -- self-identified as "somewhat conservative" or "moderate" -- according to the Cygnal press release.