COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Gov. Mike DeWine’s lead in polls for November’s election reached its widest point.

A Siena College poll of nearly 650 likely voters found that Ohioans favored the Republican incumbent over his Democratic opponent, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, by 23 points. Conducted Sept. 18-22 by Siena’s Research Institute, the poll placed Ohio’s U.S. Senate candidates — Republican J.D. Vance and Democrat Tim Ryan — in a statistical dead heat.

The race for Ohio’s next chief justice could be a close one, polling indicated, and some Ohioans continue to dispute President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020.

The survey sample leaned slightly to the right, with 33% of respondents identifying as Republican, 27% as Democrat, and 34% as Independent or Other. A plurality of respondents, 49%, said they voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Governor’s race

With about six weeks left until Election Day on Nov. 8, the vast majority of Ohio’s independent polls — considered by polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight to be non-partisan and unaffiliated with campaigns — have pointed in DeWine’s favor.

The Trump-endorsed DeWine raked in 55% of voters’ support in the Siena College poll, compared with Whaley’s 32%, a 23-point gap the falls far outside the poll’s 4.4% margin of error. About 10% of respondents, the poll found, remain undecided.

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

U.S. Senate race

The Siena College poll found Vance and Ryan in a dead heat, mirroring a majority of independent polls that positioned the contenders neck and neck. Ryan took a 3-point lead over Vance, but it’s within the poll’s 4.4% margin of error. About 9% of respondents remain undecided.

All but two of Ohio’s independent polls found a statistical dead heat between Vance and Ryan, who are competing to replace Rob Portman, a Republican who decided not to seek reelection.

Both candidates accepted an invitation from NBC4 and its parent company Nexstar to participate in a debate in northeast Ohio on Oct. 10.

PollsterFiveThirtyEight ScoreDate ConductedVance (R)Ryan (D)Net ResultWithin margin of error?
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%)

Supreme Court Chief Justice race

The election to determine the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court could be competitive, as the Siena College poll found Ohioans split down the middle.

Two current justices, Sharon Kennedy, a Republican, and Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, are competing to replace Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who is retiring. Both candidates received 40% of the vote in the Siena College poll, but neither is well-known by Ohio voters. About 18% said they’re undecided, the poll found.

Ohioans’ election ballots will look different this year as party affiliations will be listed next to the names of candidates running for Ohio Supreme Court and the state’s 12th appellate courts.

Economy top concern for Ohioans

Economic issues, like inflation and cost of living, rose to the top of Ohioans’ minds as the issue that will determine who they’ll vote for in November.

About 41% of Ohioans selected economy as the No. 1 concern, followed by threats to democracy (15%) and abortion (13%).

One-third of Ohioans believe ‘Big Lie’

The Siena College poll posed a number of questions pertaining to the results of the 2020 election, a fact that more than 30% of Ohio’s population continues to call into question, prompting some to file records requests with the Franklin County Board of Elections.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation revealed no evidence of a coordinated voter fraud effort that could have altered the results of the election, NBC News reported.

Question: 2020 election winnerBidenTrump Don’t Know/Refused
Which candidate do you think was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election?57%32%11%
Questions: Election integrityYesNoDon’t Know/Refused
Do you think the upcoming election will be conducted fairly with every attempt being made to prevent fraud while insuring that all eligible Americans can vote?57%36%7%
Do you think you will be able to trust the accuracy of the 2022 election results?58%33%9%
Question: FBI search of Mar-a-LagoProtect national securityPolitically motivated attack Don’t Know/Refused
Do you think the recent search of former President Trump’s home was a legitimate effort on the part of the Justice Department to protect national security, or a politically motivated attack on the former President?43%49%8%