Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by four points in Ohio, according to a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports and released on Wednesday.
The poll of 750 likely 2020 general election voters in Ohio shows the former vice president with the support of 47 percent of respondents, while the president has the support of 43 percent. Only four percent were undecided. The poll was conducted between July 15 and 16 and has a four percent margin of error.
President Trump easily won the Buckeye State by nine points in 2016, 52 percent to 43 percent. This key battleground state, along with its critical 18 electoral college votes, now appears to be in play in the 2020 race for the White House.
With just over three months until election day, Wednesday’s poll is not an outlier. The Real Clear Politics Average of Polls shows Biden with a 2.3 percentage point lead over Trump. Though the results of all three polls included in that average are within the margin of error, the dramatic difference between current polling and the president’s margin in 2016 suggests that a Trump 2020 victory in Ohio is not the sure thing many Republican insiders considered it to be at the beginning of 2020.
There are a number of reasons for this.
First, much of the Ohio Republican Party establishment remains loyal to former Gov. John Kasich, who has repeatedly made clear his opposition to President Trump. A leader of the Never Trump wing of the Republican Party, Kasich is apparently about to go one step further and support the other side. Recent published reports indicate he plans to speak at the Democratic National Convention next month in support of Biden.
Second, Kasich’s successor, Gov. Mike DeWine, also a Republican, has been inconsistent in his support of the president, a point emphasized to Breitbart News by several grassroots leaders in the state.
“We are well aware that we cannot take anything for granted. Certainly the actions of Gov. DeWine have undermined support from Trump voters who were really benefiting from the economic prosperity and promises kept by Trump since his election. Many of these supporters are the small business owners and blue collar workers who carried Trump to victory in 2016 and who are now disillusioned by what’s happened to their lives in the last four months. The overreaction by DeWine to the coronavirus pandemic is directly responsible for this economic pain these Trump voters are feeling,” Tom Zawistoski, president of the We The People Convention and executive director of the Portage County Tea Party told Breitbart News.
Third, dissension within the state’s party establishment, combined with conservative grassroots antipathy to the perceived unenthusiastic support provided to the president by current State Party Chair Jane Timken, has led to a fractured effort in support of the president’s re-election campaign.
Finally, and very significantly, the blockbuster news on Tuesday that both the Republican Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Householder, and former State Party chairman Matthew Borges, a well known Never Trumper and long time Kasich ally, have been arrested by the FBI in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme, has further eroded the state party’s unity.
As Breitbart News reported:
The founder of a prominent political action committee opposing President Donald Trump’s reelection was arrested on Tuesday in part of a public corruption probe.
Matthew Borges, a lobbyist and former chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, was arrested in connection to a year-long $60 million federal bribery scheme. According to prosecutors, Borges and three other lobbyists allegedly conspired with the Republican Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives to secure a $1.3 billion taxpayer bailout for an Ohio-based energy company, FirstEnergy Solutions.
Law enforcement officials claim that in exchange for helping FirstEnergy receive the bailout, which was meant to prevent the shutdown of two nuclear power plants, a nonprofit controlled by the House Speaker received $60 million.
To what extent Borges played a role in the alleged scheme remains uncertain. Prosecutors have yet to announce formally the full scale of the indictment. As the Dayton Daily News reported, however, Borges was registered as a lobbyist for FirstEnergy as of last year.
Additional results of Wednesday’s poll included these responses to questions about defunding police departments and job approval ratings of President Trump and Gov. DeWine:
There is a growing movement to defund police departments nationwide. Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose reducing the police budget in the community where you live?
13% Strongly favor
20% Somewhat favor
13% Somewhat oppose
50% Strongly oppose
5% Not sure
How would you rate the job Donald Trump has been doing as president… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job he’s been doing?
35% Strongly approve
14% Somewhat approve
9% Somewhat disapprove
41% Strongly disapprove
1% Not sure
How would you rate the job Mike Dewine has been doing as governor… do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job he’s been doing?
33% Strongly approve
41% Somewhat approve
15% Somewhat disapprove
9% Strongly disapprove
2% Not sure
Other recent polls have indicated Gov. DeWine’s job approval rating is higher among Democrats than Republicans, while President Trump’s job approval rating is much higher among Republicans in the state than Democrats.
Despite President Trump’s current deficit in the polls in Ohio, We The People Convention’s Zawistowski is upbeat the president’s chances of winning the state in November.
“If Trump is only down by four points according to these polls, that’s a big improvement from the same time four years ago when those same polls showed him down 16 points. Therefore if we work hard and get the truth out about the difference between Trump and the socialist agenda of Joe Biden, Trump should win Ohio again,” Zawistowski told Breitbart News.