COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The two candidates vying for an Ohio U.S. Senate seat are still in a statistical dead heat, according to the latest poll from NBC4, The Hill and Emerson College, with Election Day less than a month away and some ballots already cast.

The race for U.S. Senate is still deadlocked

Republican J.D. Vance and Democrat U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan are neck-and-neck: 45.5% of Ohioans polled said they’d vote for Vance, while 44.7% were planning to vote for Ryan, according to the results released Thursday. That is within the poll’s 3% margin of error.

Less than 9% of the 1,000 respondents said they were undecided but support for Vance increased by 2% and for Ryan by 5%, compared with a poll from September.

“Men are breaking for the Republican candidate and women are breaking for the Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate Election,” said Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College polling.

But a larger percentage of women over men were also undecided, according to poll results.

One early voter at the Franklin County Board of Elections told NBC4 on Thursday she favored Ryan because he highlights a number of priorities, as opposed to focusing solely on taxes.

“He actually thinks about real politics, and sometimes he goes one way, sometimes the other, depending on the policy, and that’s what I want,” Peg Kelley said.

Another said Vance's status as an "outsider" appealed to him.

"I like that he’s not bought into the system in D.C., that I think works against us in both parties" Landon Wolfe said.

Polling was conducted Oct. 6-7 before the candidates met for an hour-long debate that aired Monday on NBC4.

PollsterFiveThirtyEight ScoreDate ConductedVance (R)Ryan (D)Net ResultWithin margin of error?
Emerson CollegeA-Oct. 6-746%45%Vance +1Yes (+/- 3%)
CygnalB+Oct. 6-846%44%Vance +2
Siena CollegeA Sept. 18-2243%46%Ryan +3Yes (+/- 4.4%)
Baldwin Wallace University B/C Sept. 12-1545%48%Ryan +3Yes (+/- 4.1%)
Marist CollegeASept. 12-1346%45%Vance +1Yes (+/- 3.6%)
Emerson CollegeA-Sept. 12-1344%40%Vance +4No (+/- 3.2%)
CiviqsB-Sept. 10-1348%45%Vance +3Yes (+/- 4%)
Suffolk UniversityB+Sept. 5-746%47%Ryan +1Yes (+/- 4.4%)
Echelon InsightsB/C Aug. 31-Sept. 739%45%Ryan +6 No (+/- 4.3%)
Emerson CollegeA-Aug. 15-1645%42%Vance +3Yes (+/- 3.2)
Suffolk UniversityB+May 22-2442%39%Vance +2 Yes (+/- 4.4%)
A rundown of recent polls, via polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.

“Whoever’s elected to the senate, I would like to see them accountable to the people,” voter Barry Graham said. “The people who sent them to Washington, not to a party, not to an ideology.”

DeWine holds at 50% in latest poll

In the gubernatorial race, support for Democratic challenger Nan Whaley increased by 3% compared with September, but incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine still leads by double digits at 14%.

Half of those polled said they would vote for DeWine, and 36% would vote for Whaley.

PollsterFiveThirtyEight ScoreDate ConductedDeWine (R)Whaley (D)Net ResultWithin margin of error?
Emerson CollegeA-Oct. 6-750%36%DeWine +14No (+/- 3%)
CygnalB+Oct. 6-857%35%DeWine +22
Siena CollegeASept. 18-2255%32%DeWine +23No (+/- 4.4%)
Baldwin Wallace UniversityB/CSept. 12-1549%33%DeWine +16 No (+/- 4.1%)
Marist CollegeASept. 12-1350%33%DeWine +18No (+/- 3.6%)
Emerson CollegeA-Sept. 12-1349%33%DeWine +17No (+/- 3.2%)
CiviqsB-Sept. 10-1344%41%DeWine +3 Yes (+/- 4%)
Suffolk UniversityB+ Sept. 5-754%39%DeWine +15 No (+/- 4.4%)
Echelon InsightsB/CAug. 31-Sept. 754%35%DeWine +19No (+/- 4.3%)
Emerson CollegeA-Aug. 15-1649%33%DeWine +16 No (+/- 3.2)
Suffolk UniversityB+May 22-2445%30% DeWine +16 No (+/- 4.4%)

For voters, the economy is key

Those polled ranked the economy as their No. 1 issue, with 45% of respondents saying it was top of mind in deciding how to vote. Threats to democracy ranked No. 2 at 15%, and abortion access ranked No. 3 at 13%.

Two of those three issues, the economy and abortion access, were also decisive when it came to how respondents said they would vote in the race for U.S. Senate.

“For voters whom the economy is the top issue, 66% plan to vote for Vance and 22% Ryan. For those who say threats to democracy is their top issue, 81% plan to vote Ryan, and for those who say abortion is their top issue, 89% plan to vote for Ryan,” Kimball said.