NBC News/Marist Poll Results and Analysis of Ohio

In the Democratic presidential primary contest in Ohio, Joe Biden (58%) leads Bernie Sanders (35%) by 23 points among likely Democratic primary voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted. Only 14% of the likely Democratic electorate are persuadable. That is, they are either undecided or might change their minds before heading to the polls.

“So far this primary season, Biden has laid claim to the industrial Midwest,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “There is every reason to think the Buckeye State will also go his way on Tuesday.”

More than six in ten Democrats likely to vote in the primary (62%) and half (50%) of those who identify as independent support Biden. This compares with 32% of Democrats and 41% of independents who back Sanders.

Biden (79%) outpaces Sanders (16%) by 63 points among those who identify as moderate. Biden also has wide leads among likely Democratic voters age 45 or older (+55 points), white voters (+25 points), and African Americans (+26 points). Regardless of gender, Biden receives majority support (60% among women and 55% among men).

Sanders leads Biden among progressives (+22 points) and has twice the support of Biden among likely Democratic primary voters under the age of 45 (+31 points). Sanders does especially well among Millennials and those in Gen Z. Among these voters, Sanders (69%) has a 47-point lead over Biden (22%).

Of note, 43% of the likely Democratic primary electorate in Ohio identify as progressives while 50% identify as moderate.

68% of likely Democratic primary voters with a candidate preference say they strongly support their choice of candidate. Similar proportions of Biden’s supporters (69%) and Sanders’ backers (66%) express a high level of support for their respective candidate.

Ohio residents divide about President Donald Trump’s job performance. 46% approve of how he is doing his job, including 33% who strongly approve of his performance. 47% disapprove, including 37% who strongly have this opinion.

In hypothetical general election matchups against President Trump, Biden (49%) is +4 points over Trump (45%) among Ohio registered voters while Sanders (48%) is +2 points over Trump (46%).

“With an eye to November, it looks like the contest for Ohio’s 18 electoral votes is very much in play,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.   “Add Ohio to the list of battleground states for the general election.”

In matchups against Trump, both Biden and Sanders receive majority support among independents and women. The Democrats do well among white women with a college education. However, Biden (+21 points) outperforms Sanders (+14 points) among this group when paired against the president. Biden and Sanders garner overwhelming support among African American voters in Ohio.

Trump receives majority support against Biden and Sanders among men. The president leads among white men without a college education. Among white voters in general, Trump (50%) is +6 points over Sanders (44%). Against Biden, 49% of white voters support Trump, and 46% are for Biden.

Both Sanders and Biden have the advantage over Trump among voters under the age of 45. However, Sanders’ margin against the president (+13 points) is more than twice that of Biden’s (+6 points) among younger voters. Among voters age 45 or older, Biden has 49% to 46% for Trump. In contrast, Trump receives 48% to 44% for Sanders among these voters.

Regarding the November 2020 elections, Ohio registered voters divide about whether they want a Congress controlled by Democrats (45%) or Republicans (44%). Among independents, 43% prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, and 36% prefer a Republican-controlled Congress. A notable 21% are unsure.

Complete March 16, 2020 NBC News/Marist Poll Release of Ohio

Complete March 16, 2020 NBC News/Marist Poll of Ohio (Annotated Questionnaire)

Complete March 16, 2020 NBC News/Marist Poll of Ohio (Tables)

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample