Trump Endorsed Candidate for Senate Jumps from Third to First

A new Emerson College Polling survey of Ohio finds Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in a tight re-election contest against potential Republican opponents. In a matchup between Brown and current state senator Matt Dolan, 38% support Brown, 37% Dolan, 5% someone else, and 20% are undecided. Between Brown and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, 39% support Brown, 37% LaRose, 6% someone else, and 18% are undecided. Similarly, in a matchup between Brown and businessman Bernie Moreno, 39% support Brown, 37% Moreno, 6% someone else and 18% are undecided.

This reflects a tightening of the election since the November Emerson/Nexstar Media survey, where Brown led Dolan by three points, LaRose by five, and Moreno by 11. 

“Senator Brown holds an edge among both independent voters and women voters.” Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said. “Independent voters break for Brown over each of the three Republican candidates: 31% to 21% over Dolan, 34% to 22% over LaRose, 34% to 23% over Moreno. Women voters also break for Brown over his potential Republican opponents, while men break for the Republican candidate. Brown leads among women over Dolan 42% to 32%, LaRose 42% to 30%, and Moreno 43% to 30%. Men break for Dolan 43% to 34%, LaRose 44% to 36%, and Moreno 44% to 36%.”

In the Republican Senate Primary between Dolan, LaRose, and Moreno, 22% of Republican Primary voters plan to support Moreno, 21% LaRose, and 15% Dolan. A plurality (42%) are undecided. Since last month, Moreno’s support has increased 12 percentage points from 10% to 22%, LaRose’s support increased three points from 18% to 21%, and Dolan’s support has stayed at 15%. 

“Moreno had the most substantial movement from the November poll following former President Trump’s December endorsement,” Kimball noted. “A quarter (25%) of Trump general election voters support Moreno in the U.S. Senate primary. Twenty percent would support LaRose, and 12% would support Dolan. Forty-two percent are still undecided ahead of the primary.”

“Moreno appears to be the preferred choice to challenge Brown among older voters – just over a quarter (26%) of voters ages 50 or older support Moreno, compared to 19% who support LaRose, and 16% who support Dolan,” Kimball said. “Conversely, LaRose performs better among younger Republican voters, earning 26% support from GOP voters under 30.”

In a likely 2024 presidential election between former President Trump and President Biden, Trump leads among Ohio voters with 47% support to Biden’s 36%. Nine percent would support someone else, and nine percent are undecided. Support for both Trump and Biden dipped slightly from November, when Trump led 50% to 38%. 


The Emerson College Polling Ohio poll was conducted January 23-25, 2024. The sample consisted of 1,844 registered voters, with a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, party, race, and education based on U.S. 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), along with an online panel 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 in this release were sponsored by Emerson College. These questions are part of a larger study conducted with the MiddleWest Review. All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results and cross tabulations can be found here