Republican J.D. Vance slightly leads Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in the race for Ohio’s open United States Senate seat.
The Marist Poll of 1,200 registered voters in Ohio conducted between September 12 and 15 showed Vance slightly in the lead, but within the 3.6 percent margin of error, less than two months before the election.
Forty-six percent of the respondents said they would support Vance to fill retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s seat. In comparison, only 45 percent said they would support Ryan, the failed 2020 presidential candidate. Nine percent said they were undecided.
Additionally, the poll found that Vance also led with the voters who said they were definitely planning to vote with 48 percent compared to Ryan’s 47 percent — also a one-point lead for the Trump-endorsed Republican.
However, among independent voters, Ryan received slightly greater support, with 42 percent compared to Vance’s 40 percent.
Overall, 62 percent of the respondents who named a preferred candidate said they “strongly support their choice. 66 percent of Ryan’s supporters, compared with 58 percent of those behind Vance, say they are firmly committed to their candidate pick.”
Regarding name recognition and favorability, only 40 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Ryan, while 25 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of him; 35 percent of the respondents said they either had never heard of him or were “unsure how to rate him.”
For Vance, 30 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of him, while 36 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him. However, like the Democrat, 34 percent of the respondents said they had never heard of him or were “unsure how to rate” him.
“This open Senate seat is hotly contested and is top of the list for political pundits,” said Lee M. Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Expect both campaigns to paint their opponent in a negative way given that each candidate has low name recognition and is not well-defined to voters.”
The poll also found that 48 percent of the registered voters in the state were more likely to support the Republican running in their congressional district, compared to 42 percent who said they would support the Democrat candidate.