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Mixed Results for Ohio GOP in Poll of Senate and Gubernatorial Races

Richard Cordray
Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

An NBC News/Marist Poll has mixed results for Republicans in Ohio.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine leads his Democrat rival, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, by four points, 46 percent to 42 percent.

But the picture is not so encouraging for Republicans in the U.S. Senate race, where incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) leads the GOP nominee, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) by 13 points, 51 percent to 38 percent.

“This survey of 946 adults was conducted June 17th through June 22nd, 2018 by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with NBC News . . . The samples were then combined and balanced to reflect the 2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region. Results are statistically significant within ±4.0 percentage points. There are 778 registered voters. The results for this subset are statistically significant within ±4.4 percentage points,” The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion said in a release that described the poll’s methodology.

The party affiliation of the 778 registered voter poll respondents was Democrats +2 : Democrat: 34 percent, Republican 32 percent, Independent 34 percent.

In the 2016 Presidential election, President Trump defeated his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton in Ohio by nine points, 52 percent to 43 percent.

“Trump carried Ohio by a comfortable margin in 2016,” Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion said.

“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,” he continued.

“Right now, Ohio, a state Trump carried handily, looks like a state the Democrats will be able to hold in the U.S. Senate,” Mirengoff added.

The poll indicates that Brown leads Renacci in the Senate race while Cordray trails DeWine in the gubernatorial race due to a higher level of intensity of support for Brown among Democrats, compared to Cordray.

Ninety-one percent of Democrats said they would vote for their party’s nominee, Sherrod Brown, in the Senate race, while 83 percent of Republicans said they would for for GOP standard bearer, Rep. Jim Renacci.

In the race for governor, 80 percent of Democrats said they would vote for their party’s nominee, Richard Cordray, while 85 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Republican nominee Mike DeWine.

The NBC News/Marist Poll results are included in the four recent Real Clear Politics Average of Polls, which shows Brown leading Renacci by 15 points in the Senate race.

In the gubernatorial race, the NBC News/Marist Poll results showing DeVine with a four point lead now suggests a trend away from the controversial Cordray, who led by seven points in the Suffolk Poll conducted between June 6 and June 11, and by two points in the Quinnipiac Poll conducted June 7 to June 12.

It has been a tough month for Cordray, despite his victory in the May 8 Democratic primary over former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

On Friday, the Cincinnati Enquirer gave Cordray a “thumbs down” for a recent spate of ill advised comments:

You would’ve thought Ohio gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray would have learned about the dangers of over-the-top comments from fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” faux pas. But that didn’t stop him from likening some Republicans to Nazi collaborators during a speech to the Allen County Democratic Party Women’s Club on March 8. Cordray’s campaign said he “regrets” the comment, but this kind of foot-in-mouth moment can haunt a candidate (just ask Mitt Romney about his 47 percent comment). It may amount to nothing in the end, but Cordray should stick to policy and ditch the political pot shots.

Of equal significance, Cordray’s distant demeanor on the campaign trail has made it difficult for him to shake the reputation of arrogance and authoritarian control he earned during his controversial tenure as the director of the CFPB in Washington. Many Republicans have characterized the CFPB as an unconstitutional independent agency that was “out-of-control” under his leadership.

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