COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — One of former President Donald Trump’s political picks in Ohio has soared to the top of pollsters’ surveys. His second endorsee, however, is gearing up for a competitive match-up.

Consistent with other independent polling conducted after the May primary election, the latest survey of Ohio voters conducted by Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute from Sept. 12 to 15 found Ohioans continue to favor, often by double digits, incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine over his Democratic challenger, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. About 12% of respondents remain undecided.

But the race for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat is neck-and-neck, with most polling finding the gap between Republican nominee J.D. Vance and Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan within the margin of error — a statistical dead heat. The BW poll placed Ryan with 48% of the vote to Vance’s 45%, still within the margin of error. About 7% of respondents remain undecided.

“With two-and-a-half weeks until early voting begins in Ohio on October 12, a lot is riding on the final weeks of the campaign and how the undecideds break,” Dr. Thomas Sutton, the director of BW’s CRI, said in a news release.

DeWine takes double-digit lead in most polling

Of the eight independent polls conducted after Ohio’s May primary election — considered by polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight to be non-partisan and unaffiliated with campaigns — the Trump-endorsed DeWine leads Whaley by at least 15 percentage points in all but one poll.

Civiqs’ poll of Ohio voters from Sept. 10 to 13 deemed the Buckeye State’s gubernatorial race a dead heat, the only independent poll whose results fell within the margin of error.

“Whaley has struggled to gain traction against DeWine,” Cait Kennedy, assistant director of BW CRI, said in a news release. “While she has worked to contrast her stand for reproductive rights with DeWine’s support for Ohio’s restrictive ‘heartbeat’ abortion law, DeWine is emphasizing economic development.”  

PollsterFiveThirtyEight ScoreDate ConductedDeWine (R)Whaley (D)Net ResultWithin margin of error?
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%)

Candidates in dead heat for Ohio’s U.S. Senate race

All but two of Ohio’s independent polls found a statistical dead heat between Vance and Ryan, indicating Ohioans are more divided when it comes to electing their next U.S. Senator.

“The race to replace retiring Republican Senator Rob Portman continues to poll surprisingly close considering the state’s tilt to the right in recent years,” Sutton said. “The candidates are in a statistical tie with leaners added in.”

Despite the “influx of GOP PAC money” to fund Vance’s TV ads, Sutton said Ryan’s campaign remains strong against the Trump-endorsed candidate.

PollsterFiveThirtyEight ScoreDate ConductedVance (R)Ryan (D)Net ResultWithin margin of error?
Baldwin Wallace University B/C Sept. 12-15 45%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%)

Pocketbook issues are No. 1 concern among voters

Most voters who responded to BW’s poll, or 71%, said economic issues are of “high importance” as they determine who to vote for in November, including 82% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats and 66% of Independents.

“The Governor recently stood side-by-side with Democratic President Joe Biden at the ribbon cutting for a much-ballyhooed Intel microchip manufacturing facility in central Ohio, which aligns with the issue that tops the list of voter concerns,” Sutton said.

Just over half of Ohio voters, 51%, said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was of “high importance,” including 61% of women, 72% of Democrats, 35% of Republicans and 44% of Independents, the poll found.

An Emerson College poll sponsored by NBC4 and The Hill found voters split down the middle when it comes to Ohio’s six-week abortion ban, with 500 respondents in support and 500 opposed.

Investigations into Trump — whether it be the alleged storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago or New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil suit against Trump and his children — were considered of “high importance” to 38% of Ohio respondents, including 68% of Democrats, 20% of Republicans and 28% of Independents.