An Emerson College Polling survey of Ohio voters finds incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in a tight re-election campaign with potential Republican 2024 U.S. Senate candidates. In a matchup between Brown and State Senator Matt Dolan, 38% support Dolan and 36% support Brown. Against Frank LaRose, 39% support LaRose, 38% Brown. In a matchup with Bernie Moreno, 35% support Brown, a third of voters (33%) support Moreno.
“With just over a year until the 2024 Ohio U.S. Senate election, many established Democratic demographics, like voters under 30 and Black voters, are demonstrating a lower level of enthusiasm toward Brown,” Kimball noted. “It is not that these voters are supporting the Republican candidate over Brown, they are choosing to select someone else or note they are undecided at this point. About a third of voters under 30 indicate they would vote for someone else or are undecided in a Brown/Dolan matchup; 38% of Black voters indicate the same.”
“An encouraging sign for Brown is that he leads Republicans by several points among independents voters,” Kimball said.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine holds a 34% approval among Ohio voters, while 28% disapprove of the job he is doing in office, and 37% are neutral. President Biden holds a majority disapproval in Ohio at 58%, while a quarter of voters (25%) approve of the job he is doing as President, and 17% are neutral.
In a 2024 hypothetical presidential election matchup between former President Trump and President Biden, 45% support Trump, a third of voters (33%) support Biden, and 12% plan to support someone else. Eleven percent are undecided.
“Trump leads Biden by 12 points in Ohio, a larger lead than his 2020 and 2016 victories of about eight points,” Kimball noted. “Like in the U.S. Senate race, younger and minority voters are more likely to be undecided or voting for someone else — indicating lower enthusiasm for Democratic candidates both at the statewide and national level.”
Trump and Biden voters were asked if there is anything that their preferred candidates could say or do in the next several months that would make them choose not to support them for office in 2024. Among Trump supporters, a majority (55%) say there is nothing he could say or do that would make them change their minds, while 20% say they could change their minds. Among Biden voters, nearly half (49%) say there is nothing that Biden could say or do in the next several months that would make them choose not to support him for president in 2024, while 21% can think of something that could make them change their mind.
Ohio voters were asked separately which comes closest to their view on the 2016 and 2020 Presidential Elections: if Donald Trump in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020, won fair and square, or if they stole their respective elections. A majority of voters (64%) think Trump won the election in 2016 fair and square, while 18% think he stole the election. Nineteen percent are unsure. A plurality of Ohio voters (46%) think Biden won the 2020 election fair and square, while 36% think he stole the election. Eighteen percent are unsure.
Kimball notes “political affiliation appears to be driving perceptions on whether the 2016 and 2020 elections were stolen or won fairly: 40% of Democrats thinking the 2016 election was stolen compared to 65% of Republicans in 2020 thinking the election was stolen. Independents were more likely to think both elections were won fair and square at 59% in 2016 and 44% in 2020.”
Midwest Study: The Ohio general election survey is part of a 22-state study on the Midwest region and surrounding states. States that have been released as of October 10 include Kentucky and Oklahoma. (LINK) Additional states will be released over the next few weeks, along with the study results by the Middle West Review that is researching perceptions of the Midwest region.
The Emerson College Polling Ohio poll was conducted October 1-3, 2023. The sample consisted of 438 registered voters, with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, party, race, and education based on the general population using a sample of n=479 participants and allowing the natural fallout to create the sample of n=438. Turnout modeling is based on US Census parameters, and Ohio voter registration and voter turnout data by regions (OH SOS). Data was collected by contacting a list of landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and emails provided by Aristotle, along with an online panel of voters provided by Alchemer.
It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and know with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.
This survey was conducted by Emerson College Polling, and questions included in this release are all sponsored by Emerson College. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here.