Ohio (WDTN) – A statewide survey of 855 likely voters shows that it will be a close race for a U.S. Senate seat, but the race for governor shows a clear leader. 

According to a poll run by the Baldwin Wallace Community Research Institute, Democrat Tim Ryan holds a three-point lead over Republican J.D. Vance at 48% to 45%. Seven percent of voters are still undecided.

“Ryan’s candidacy remains strong in the face an influx of GOP PAC money to buy television advertising for Vance and support from former President Donald Trump, who most recently staged a rally with Vance on Ryan’s home turf of Youngstown,” said Dr. Thomas Sutton, head of BW’s Community Research Institute.

“With two-and-a-half weeks until early voting begins in Ohio on October 12, a lot is riding on the final weeks of the campaign and how the undecideds break.”

While the race for the senate seat may be close, that is not the case in the race for Ohio Governor.

Current Ohio Governor and Republican candidate Mike DeWine is significantly outpacing the former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley with an 18-point lead overall, BW CRI said. Among Independents, he holds an even greater lead of 34 points, with 12% of the group remaining undecided.

“Whaley has struggled to gain traction against DeWine,” said Cait Kennedy, assistant director of BW CRI.

“While she has worked to contrast her stand for reproductive rights with DeWine’s support for Ohio’s restrictive ‘heartbeat’ abortion law, DeWine is emphasizing economic development.”

So what could be causing such a drastic lead? According to the survey, most voters identified economic issues as those most likely to affect their vote. The economy was considered of “high importance” by 71 percent of participants. It also holds high importance when broken down for each individual party:

  • Republicans – 82% agree
  • Democrats – 63% agree
  • Independents – 66% agree

“The Governor recently stood side-by-side with Democratic President Joe Biden at the ribbon cutting for a much-ballyhooed Intel microchip manufacturing facility in central Ohio, which aligns with the issue that tops the list of voter concerns,” Sutton said.

Only 51 percent of those polled considered the overturning of abortion precedent with Roe V. Wade, one of the issues Whaley is championing, to be of high importance, however, this number does change when broken down by demographic.

The poll says that 72 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of women consider abortion an issue that would highly affect their vote. Only 35 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of Independents saw it that way.

Investigations into former president Donald Trump ranked even lower. According to the poll, only 38 percent of voters considered it as “high importance.”  This breaks down into 68 percent of Democrats, 20 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of independents.

The full breakdown of the poll results can be seen below:

Baldwin Wallace University Ohio conducted their Pulse Poll online from between 9/12/22 until 9/15/22 using online web panel respondents, the university said.  Data collection was provided by SurveyUSA.