An Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll of Ohio voters finds Republican JD Vance with a four-point lead over Democrat Tim Ryan, leading 44% to 40% in the race for U.S. Senate. Thirteen percent remain undecided, and 3% plan to vote for someone else. The August Emerson College Polling survey of Ohio voters found Vance up three points over Ryan, 45% to 42%. 

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said, “Independent voters favor JD Vance by a two-point margin, 51% of which name the economy as their most important issue. Additionally, a stark gender divide exists on the Senate ballot, reflective of other Senate polling this cycle. Men break for Vance by 19 points, whereas women break for Ryan by eight points.”

In the gubernatorial election, half of voters (50%) support incumbent Republican Mike DeWine while a third (33%) support Democratic Nan Whaley. Twelve percent are undecided and 5% plan to support someone else. Since August, DeWine has gained one point and Whaley has held her third of support. 

“Unlike the Republican candidate for the Senate election, Mike DeWine is not only winning the support of men two-to-one with 54% of their vote, but more importantly, he also leads Nan Whaley amongst women, 47% to 38%. Without the support of Ohio women voters, Whaley’s success is unlikely,” explained Kimball. 

The economy is considered the top issue for 43% of voters, followed by abortion access (16%), and healthcare (11%). 

Ohio is evenly split between those that oppose (50%) and those that support (50%) its abortion law, prohibiting abortion after six weeks or when a fetus has a heartbeat, with exceptions to save a mother’s life, but not for cases of rape or incest.

As there is neither a Senate or gubernatorial debate scheduled with both major parties in attendance, 80% of Ohio voters find it very (60%) or somewhat (20%) important that candidates for office participate in a debate prior to the November election.

In a 2024 hypothetical matchup between President Biden and former President Trump, 50% would support Trump and 40% would vote for Biden. If Florida Governor Ron DeSantis were to be the Republican nominee in 2024 facing President Biden in a hypothetical matchup, 48% would support DeSantis and 38% would vote for Biden. A majority of Ohio voters (56%) disapprove of the job that Joe Biden is doing as President–five points above the national average–while, while 41% approve. 

A plurality of Ohio voters (38%) are more likely to support Donald Trump in 2024 because of the recent FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. Thirty-two percent are less likely to support Trump because of the Mar-a-Lago search, and 30% say it makes no difference. Thirty-five percent say the events of January 6 make them more likely to support Trump in 2024, 34% say it makes them less likely, and 31% say it makes no difference. 

As sports betting becomes legal in Ohio on January 1, 84% of voters say they do not plan to bet on any sports. Fifteen percent plan to bet in some capacity: 8% plan to use a combination of online and in-person betting, 4% plan to bet online, 2% plan to bet in person at casinos, and 1% plan to bet in person at a stadium or arena.  

Kimball noted, “The intention to bet legally is higher among male voters, 20% of men plan to bet in some capacity compared to 12% of women voters.”

Caller ID

The Emerson College Polling Ohio poll was conducted September 12-13, 2022. The sample consisted of very likely voters, n=1,000, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, region and race/ethnicity based on 2022 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using a cellphone sample using SMS-to-web, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines, web survey via email, and an online panel.