Even in a strong year for Democrats, Republicans assumed they could count on the Ohio governor’s race.
A new Enquirer / Suffolk University poll – the first statewide, independent poll since the Ohio primary – showed Democrat Richard Cordray leading Republican Mike DeWine in the governor’s race, 43 percent to 36 percent among likely voters.
The result is a surprise. DeWine is well-known and is considered, as political analyst Kyle Kondik of Sabato’s Crystal Ball put it, a “soft favorite.” So, some caveats:
- Nearly 16 percent hadn’t made up their minds. (The rest planned to vote for an alternative candidate.)
- Among undecided voters, Republicans outnumbered Democrats nearly 2-to-1.
- The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
The poll captured a snapshot of likely voters that should serve as a warning to Republicans. People who opposed President Donald Trump were more excited about the 2018 election than those who support him and the GOP, said Suffolk pollster David Paleologos.
“Obviously, Trump won Ohio, but there are a lot of Trump voters who don’t care as much about this race,” he said.
Still, that might not hold true in November.