Ohio voters consider this year’s midterm elections to carry weight. In fact, many voters (67%) believe the midterms are very important and consider them a referendum on the administration of President Donald Trump. Democrats (76%) and Republicans (71%) acknowledge the importance of the elections.
A majority of registered voters (51%) say their midterm vote will send a message that the country needs more Democrats to serve as a check and balance on President Trump. 35% of Ohio voters think more Republicans are needed to push through the president’s agenda. When looking at the generic ballot question in Ohio, Democrats (46%) edge Republicans (42%). Similarly, 43% of voters want to see a Congress controlled by Democrats, and 40% hope to keep Republicans in charge.
Ohio incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown has a double-digit lead over his Republican challenger Jim Renacci in the contest for U.S. Senate. Brown receives the support of 51% to Renacci’s 38%.
This year’s campaign in Ohio occurs with a president in office whose approval rating is upside down in the Buckeye State. A majority of residents statewide (57%) also do not think President Trump deserves re-election in 2020 and think it’s time to give a new person a chance.
“Trump carried Ohio by a comfortable margin in 2016,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, today only about one-third of Ohio voters would like to see the president win another term, and even more than one in five Republicans think it’s time to give someone else a chance.”
Digging deeper into the data, demographic patterns emerge. Democrats (89%), African Americans (82%), women (59%), urban (57%) and suburban voters (53%) intend their vote to be a message that more Democrats are needed to be a check and balance on President Trump. Republicans (80%) and rural voters (53%) report their vote will be an affirmation of the president’s policies. Men (43% to 45%, respectively), and white voters without a college education (40% to 45%) are more divided.
Zeroing in on independent voters, by 29 points (53% to 24%), they describe their November vote as a counter to the president’s agenda. On the question of congressional control, 37% of independent voters prefer Democratic control, and 31% prefer Republican control. 33% are unsure. Similarly, on the congressional generic ballot question, independent voters by 39% to 32% intend to vote for the Democratic candidate over the Republican. 20% are undecided.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown (51%) has a 13-point lead over Republican Jim Renacci (38%) in the race for U.S. Senate in Ohio among registered voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. Brown leads among Democrats (91%), independents (51%), African Americans (84%), women (57%), and white voters with a college education (52%). Brown and Renacci are competitive among white voters overall (46% to 43%, respectively), men (44% to 44%), and white voters without a college education (42% to 45%).
Among Ohio voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate in Ohio, 50% strongly support their choice of candidate. More of Brown’s supporters (55%) are firmly committed to him than Renacci’s backers (43%) are to their candidate.
“Right now, Ohio, a state Trump carried handily, looks like a state the Democrats will be able to hold in the U.S. Senate,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
In Ohio’s gubernatorial race, Republican Mike DeWine (46%) has a four-point edge over Democrat Richard Cordray (42%) among registered voters in Ohio including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.
48% of registered voters with a candidate preference for governor in Ohio strongly support their choice of candidate. 52% of Cordray’s supporters, compared with 44% of DeWine’s backers, express firm support for their candidate selection.
President Trump’s job approval rating in Ohio is 40% among adults statewide. 48% disapprove, and 12% are unsure. 38% of Ohio residents strongly disapprove of how the president is performing in office, and 26% say they strongly approve.
Despite the president’s lackluster job approval rating, a plurality of Ohio residents (45%) credit an improved economy to President Trump. 24% perceive the economy to have improved under the Trump administration but do not attribute that improvement to Trump. One in four (25%) say the economy has not really improved. Only 1% think the economy has gotten worse.
Nearly half of Ohio residents (48%) say Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible wrongdoing and Russian interference in the 2016 election is fair including 22% of Republicans. 32% of state residents think it is a “witch hunt,” and 20% are unsure.