CLEVELAND — As Cleveland prepares to host the first presidential debate next month, a new poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden holding a four point edge over incumbent President Donald Trump in Ohio.
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According to the Toledo Blade, the poll was commissioned for Your Voice Ohio’s Election 2020 project, which explores the complexity of the state’s nearly 12 million residents through community engagement, data analysis, and collaborative reporting. It was done jointly by the Center for Marketing and Opinion Research in Akron and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
Conducted online between June 24 and July 15, the survey of 1,037 registered voters showed Biden leading Trump 46 to 42 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The poll also revealed the issues motivating each candidates’ backers. Supporters of Biden identified coronavirus as their top concern, while those of President Trump said it was the economy in a year defined by a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a reckoning over racial justice.
Voters who backed Trump ranked the economy as their top issue, followed by coronavirus and health care. For Biden, it was coronavirus, the economy, and health care for all respondents besides the strongest supporters, who ranked health care second.
Biden’s strongest backers also cited racism, criminal justice, and the environment as priorities, while Trump’s chose education, foreign affairs, infrastructure, and immigration.
Your Voice Ohio’s poll also broke the results down by region.
Biden leads in northeast Ohio (51 to 35 percent), the state’s most Democratic region, and by smaller margins in central (48 to 39 percent) and southwest Ohio (46 to 42 percent).
Trump is ahead in the northwest (53 to 35 percent), where Toledo is firmly blue but the surrounding rural counties are heavily red, and the southeast (53 to 33 percent).
A new survey released last week by Morning Consult shows Trump clinging to a three-point lead (48%-45%) among Ohioans. That's just outside the +/- 1.9% margin of error, with the results coming from a stratified survey of 1,741 voters based on gender, age, and language before being weighted based on other factors from state demographics.
Trump won Ohio 52%-44% over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, the largest margin of victory for any candidate in the state since George H. W. Bush's win over Michael Dukakis in 1988. No one has gained the presidency without winning Ohio since John F. Kennedy in 1960.