Poll Shows Dead Heat In Ohio Special Election

A special election next Tuesday in a Republican-leaning congressional district in Ohio has narrowed significantly, according to the results of a Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday.

The poll found that 44 percent of potential voters support Republican State Senator Troy Balderson, while 43 percent back Democratic Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor. Eleven percent of potential voters remain undecided.

Balderson’s slim one-point lead compares to the 43 percent to 33 percent advantage he held among potential voters in a poll conducted just over a month ago.

A standard voter turnout model and a Democratic “surge” model both show tight races, while Balderson leads O’Connor by 49 percent to 44 percent under a lower turnout model.

However, O’Connor performs better in all three possible voter turnout models than he did in the poll conducted in June.

O’Connor benefits from an increase in support among independent voters, who prefer the Democratic candidate over Balderson by 48 percent to 32 percent.

Many independents have moved from being undecided to favoring the Democrat, as Balderson’s support is similar to the 33 percent seen in June but support for O’Connor has jumped from 30 percent.

The tight race comes even though the district has largely been held by the GOP since the late 1930s, including the last 35 years consecutively.

Reflecting Republican concerns about the race, President Donald Trump is scheduled to travel to Ohio on Saturday to campaign for Balderson.

“This is still a Republican leaning district with many metrics that continue to favor Balderson, but growing Democratic enthusiasm has made this race surprisingly competitive,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

He added, “O’Connor’s chances hinge on generating a larger than usual share of the vote from the suburbs north of Columbus.”

The Monmouth survey of 512 voters in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District was conducted July 26th through 31st and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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