A new Quinnipiac poll of registered voters shows Ohio may be a swing state once again. The race between President Trump and likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden is a virtual dead heat with a little over four months to go before the November election.
Biden is at 46%. Trump – who won Ohio by eight points in 2016 – is at 45%.
“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 four 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 whites by the same margin.
The poll also shows Biden has an unfavorable rating with 45% of voters, but Trump’s is at 53%.
But there’s good news in the poll for Trump’s fellow Republican, Gov. Mike DeWine.
Malloy said the poll showed three quarters 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.”
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", gyms and fitness centers, amusement parks and now dance studios. Some of them came to the Statehouse to protest the continuation of shutdown orders.
Protestors back again at the Ohio Statehouse - they can’t be heard from the room where Gov. DeWine is doing the briefing, but they’re loud outside the Atrium where reporters are answering questions. pic.twitter.com/8QQ5mvsGvQ— Karen Kasler (@karenkasler) April 13, 2020
The poll also measured reactions to current issues on race and police. Malloy said 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. And we’ve seen this kind of number in every state we’ve done," Malloy said. "People in America are more willing to get rid of the Confederate flag than they are of a statue in a square.”
More than 80% in the poll approve of their local police, and well more than half oppose cutting funding for police and shifting it to social services.
But there was a sharp breakdown when voters were asked whether being a victim of police violence is something they personally worry about. 82% said “no”. But the 18% that said yes included 60% of black voters, and just 9% of white voters.