Trump and Biden Comfortably Lead Republican and Democratic Primaries

A new Emerson College Polling/WJW-TV Fox 8 Cleveland survey of Ohio voters finds Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown leading potential Republican opponents in the 2024 U.S. Senate election. In a hypothetical U.S. Senate matchup between Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican Matt Dolan, Brown leads 41% to 38%, with 22% undecided or supporting someone else. Between Brown and Republican Frank LaRose, Brown holds 41% while LaRose holds 36%; 24% are undecided or supporting someone else. Between Brown and Republican Bernie Moreno, Brown receives 42%, Moreno 32%, while 26% are undecided or supporting someone else. 

Since last month’s Ohio poll, Republican candidates’ support has generally stayed consistent: Dolan maintained 38%, LaRose’s support decreased three points, and Moreno decreased one point, while Brown’s support in a matchup against Dolan increased five points since October, by four points against LaRose, and by seven against Moreno. 

President Joe Biden holds a 32% job approval rating, while 58% disapprove of the job he is doing in office. Governor Mike DeWine’s approval is at 41%, while 37% disapprove of the job the Governor is doing. 

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said: “The President also holds a 20% approval rating among independent Ohio voters, compared to 70% among Democrats and 11% among Republicans.”

President Biden leads the Democratic Primary in Ohio with 61%, followed by Marianne Williamson with 7%, and Dean Philips at 2%. Nineteen percent are undecided. In the Republican Primary, former President Donald Trump leads the field with 62% support, followed by Nikki Haley at 10%, Ron DeSantis at 8%, Vivek Ramaswamy with 6%, and Chris Christie with 2%. Ten percent are undecided. 

Former President Donald Trump leads Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 presidential matchup, 50% to 38%, with 12% undecided. Eighty-one percent of Trump voters say they will still vote for Trump if he is convicted in a criminal trial, while 7% say they will not. With independent candidates Robert Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein added to the ballot, Trump receives 45%, Biden 31%, Kennedy Jr. 8%, Stein 2%, and West 1%, while 13% are undecided. 

“When presented with additional independent and third-party candidates on a ballot test, Biden voters are more likely than Trump voters to move to the undecided category at 11%, compared to 4% of Trump voters,” Kimball noted. “Majorities of those supporting Kennedy, West, and Stein also say there is a chance they could change their mind and vote for someone else, while majorities of Biden and Trump voters say they will definitely vote for their candidate.”

In the 2024 Republican U.S. Senate Primary, a majority of voters (54%) are undecided or plan to vote for someone not on the ballot test. Eighteen percent support Secretary of State Frank LaRose, while 15% support Matt Dolan, and 10% support Bernie Moreno. Three percent support Joel Mutchler. 

“While Trump outperforms his 2020 vote in Ohio, Brown still leads the Republican candidates, though within the poll’s margin of error,” Kimball said. “About 1 in 10 2024 Trump voters plan to split their ticket and vote for Brown in the Senate matchup against any of the three leading Republican candidates.”

Voters were asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable view of the 2024 U.S. Senate candidates. Sherrod Brown is the most favorable at 47% favorable, while 32% have an unfavorable view of the Senator. Frank LaRose holds a 32% favorability rating, while 29% have an unfavorable view of LaRose. Matt Dolan also holds a 32% favorability, while 21% have an unfavorable view of Dolan. Moreno is the least favorable of the field at 25%, while 24% have an unfavorable view of Moreno. 

Among those who voted “yes” on Issue 1 to make the right to abortion protected by the state constitution, upwards of 67% support Brown against his three potential competitors. 

  • In addition, 64% of those who voted “yes” on Issue 1 support Biden, 26% support Trump, and 10% are undecided. Those who voted “no” break for Trump 82% to 10%. Registered voters who did not vote last week break for Trump over Biden 50% to 28%. 
  • Those who voted “yes” on issue 1 generally decrease with age: 59% of registered voters under 30 report voting “yes,” compared to 53% of voters in their 30s, 45% of voters in their 40s, 42% of voters in their 50s, 45% of voters in their 50s, and 34% of voters over 70. 

The economy is the top issue for Ohio voters at 41%, followed by “threats to democracy” (9%), abortion access (8%), crime (8%), housing affordability (8%), healthcare (8%), education (7%), and immigration (7%). 

Kimball notes, “Overall 8% reported abortion access as their top issue, which is similar to what we see in other state polling. However, in Ohio 12% of those who report voting ‘yes’ on Issue 1 say abortion access is the top issue facing the state; based on the high turnout and majority approval of Issue 1 — abortion’s impact on elections appears understated in the generic most important issue question.” 


The Emerson College Polling/Nexstar Media Ohio poll was conducted November 10-13, 2023. The sample consisted of 1,000 registered voters, with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, party, race, and education 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 sponsored by Nexstar Media. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found under “Full Results.”