COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The latest political poll of Ohio voters conducted this month has placed two high-profile Republicans ahead of their competition yet again.
A poll released Monday by polling and survey company The Trafalgar Group – graded an A-minus in accuracy terms and described as a partisan Republican pollster by U.S. polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight – surveyed 1,087 Ohioans over a four-day period in mid-August about their favorite candidates in the state’s governor and U.S. Senate races.
Mirroring the results of an Emerson College poll released last week, survey respondents preferred incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine by nearly 16 points, edging out his Democratic opponent and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley with 53.8% of the vote, compared to Whaley’s 37.9%.
“If Nan Whaley believes she has any chance of winning this race, then she has truly lost touch with reality,” Ohio GOP spokesperson Dan Lusheck said in a news release. “It is already clear that Ohioans have wholly rejected her radical policies and failed record.”
Despite DeWine’s 16-point lead in the latest poll, Whaley maintained in a social media post that her campaign has “got the momentum in this race,” citing an internal Ohio Democratic Party poll conducted by progressive pollster Lake Research Partners that positioned her just one percentage point behind DeWine
“Two polls released late last week show that this is a one point race,” said a spokeswoman for Nan Whaley’s campaign. “With abortion access, gun safety, and rising costs on the ballot this November, we know that Ohioans are sick and tired of the same old leadership offered under Governor DeWine that got us into this mess – they’re ready for something new and polling indicates that.”
The race for Ohio’s next U.S. Senator is more competitive, however. Republican candidate J.D. Vance surpassed Democratic challenger and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan by 4.6% – a gap that widened since Vance’s 3% lead within the margin of error of the Emerson College poll.
The polling results for Ohio’s U.S. Senate race – Vance with 49.5% and Ryan with 44.9% – are outside of The Trafalgar Group’s 2.9% margin of error.
A spokesperson for J.D. Vance’s campaign said in a news release that the venture capitalist and author of Hillbilly Elegy has defeated his Democratic challenger in every independently conducted poll: Trafalgar, Emerson College and USA Today/Suffolk University.
“One of the most interesting factors to me is that Tim Ryan has thrown the kitchen sink at JD Vance, and isn’t in the lead,” Trafalgar chief pollster Robert Cahaly said in a news release. “He isn’t even within the margin of error.”
Although Ryan spokesperson Izzi Levy did not comment on the Trafalgar Group’s poll results, she blasted Vance for hiring someone affiliated with Purdue Pharma — a pharmaceutical company that has paid out millions of dollars for its role in contributing to the opioid crisis — to work on his non-profit Our Ohio Renewal aimed at combating the opioid epidemic, citing an AP report.
“JD Vance is a San Francisco fraud who feels ‘out of place’ in Ohio by his own admission and would rather hide from press than answer questions about why his sham non-profit’s biggest accomplishment was hiring a Purdue Pharma mouthpiece who’s spent the last two decades downplaying the role of OxyContin in the opioid epidemic that has ravaged communities in every corner of Ohio,” Levy said in an email.
Of those surveyed, 45.1% identified as Republican, 40.6% as Democrat and 14.3% as independent or affiliated with another party, according to The Trafalgar Group. The majority of respondents were white, 80.8%, and a plurality fell between the ages of 45 and 64.
Like in other elections, however, Ohio State University emeritus professor of political science Paul Beck cautioned voters in July to take poll results with a grain of salt.
“It may not last, you know, the polls are sort of one-time snapshots of what the electorate may be thinking,” Beck said. “But of course, a lot of things can intervene between now and November to change that around.”