You can watch NBC4’s weekly political show “The Spectrum with Colleen Marshall” in the video player above.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohioans are less than one week away from deciding who will serve them in a slate of federal, state, and local offices — and the closest statewide race is still neck-and-neck, according to the latest Cygnal tracking poll released Wednesday.
“Hillbilly Elegy” author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, a Republican, led his opponent Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan by a little more than 4.5%, which was within the poll’s 2.51% margin of error, according to Cygnal.
The market researcher has conducted ongoing tracking polls every other day since Oct. 18, with one more set to release Friday, before Election Day on Nov. 8. The Wednesday survey was conducted between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, and surveyed 1,520 likely voters, including some who had already cast ballots.
Vance, Ryan again within margin of error
Cygnal’s latest poll placed Vance at 48.7% and Ryan at 44.1%. Undecided voters totaled the other 7.2%, a smaller margin than the others published in the last two weeks.
In each tracking survey put out by the pollster, Vance has had a small lead over Ryan, usually within the margin of error. Vance only broke outside a Cygnal margin of error once in the last two weeks, and the bulk of other independent pollsters have also ranked the candidates in a statistical dead heat.
Data scientist Noah Rudnick said in a press release the biggest change in this poll was that respondents who identified as Catholic were recently breaking substantially more for the Republican on a generic U.S. Senate ballot -- saying they'd vote for the "Republican candidate" over the "Democratic candidate."
Clear frontrunner in governor’s race
While the race for U.S. Senate is down to the wire, the governor's race has polled as more decided among Ohio voters.
Former Dayton mayor and Democratic candidate Nan Whaley lags behind incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, according to Cygnal. Most other independent pollsters have shown DeWine with a double-digit lead.
If respondents were voting at the time of the poll, 56.1% would have cast a ballot for DeWine and running mate Jon Husted and 36.2% would have gone with Nan Whaley and Cheryl Stephens -- a nearly 20% gap between the two tickets.
The tracking polls have also consistently shown Ohioans favoring Republicans in all of the other statewide races, including for attorney general and secretary of state.