A new Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters shows Ohio may be a swing state once again. The race between President Donald Trump and likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden is a virtual dead heat, with a little over four months to go before the November election.
The poll has Biden is at 46% and Trump, who won Ohio by eight points in 2016, at 45%. The difference is within the margin of error.
“If you held an election tonight, we’d be up all night waiting for the numbers, and it may last for days. It’s that close," said Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy.
Malloy said more than 90% of voters from each party choose their respective candidate. Independents favor Trump by 4 points.
Trump has a 13-point lead with voters 50-64 years old, but Biden has a 12-point advantage with the very active bloc of voters over 65.
Biden has an overwhelming lead with Black voters and a 16-point lead with women. Trump has an 8-point lead with white voters and a 16-point advantage with men.
Biden leads college-educated white voters by 21 points, and Trump leads non-college-educated white voters by the same margin.
The poll also shows Biden has an unfavorable rating with 45% of voters, but Trump’s is higher at 53%.
There’s good news in the poll for Trump’s fellow Republican, Gov. Mike DeWine.
Malloy said the poll showed 75% of Ohio voters polled approve of DeWine’s performance on the job, while only 44% like the way Trump is doing his job.
“A lot of governors are popular in their states now," said Malloy. "The federal government is not the least bit popular in the way they’ve handled the coronavirus. But your governor may be the most popular governor in America. But if you look at the Trump numbers on that, they’re like half of what he gets.”
The poll found 60% said DeWine’s lifting of coronavirus restrictions was “about right” – the rest were evenly split over whether it was too soon or not soon enough.
That's in contrast to vocal critics who wanted Ohio open more quickly, some of whom have filed lawsuits on the reopenings of businesses closed down as "non-essential," such as gyms and fitness centers, amusement parks and now dance studios. Some of them came to the Statehouse to protest the continuation of shutdown orders.
Ohioans also weighed in on current issues about race and police. More than 80% approve of their local police, and well over half oppose the idea of cutting police funding and shifting it to social services.
Malloy says just over half of voters support banning the Confederate flag in public places, but almost the same number oppose removing Confederate statues.
"The flag is one thing, statues are another," he says. "And we've seen this kind of number in every state we've done. People in America are more willing to get rid of the Confederate flag than they are of a statue in a square."