Republican J.D. Vance has expanded his lead over Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) in the race for Ohio’s open Senate seat, according to a new poll.
Emerson College’s final survey of the state’s midterm elections found Vance leading Ryan by 8 points, 51 percent to 43 percent. Vance’s support improved 5 points from Emerson’s poll of the race last month, while Ryan’s support fell 2 points.
Only 4 percent of respondents said in the new poll that they were undecided, but Vance’s lead increases to 9 points when their preferences are included.
Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College Polling, said in a release that Vance was leading by 13 points among men and Ryan was leading by 10 points among women in mid-October. But Vance has since expanded his lead among men to 18 points, and Ryan’s lead among women has narrowed to 1 point.
A large plurality of respondents, 47 percent, listed the economy as the most important issue in determining their vote. Threats to democracy came in second with 14 percent, followed by abortion access with 12 percent.
President Biden’s approval in the poll is significantly underwater in the state, with 57 percent saying they disapprove of his job performance and only 35 percent saying they approve. Biden has largely stayed away from campaigning in certain key Senate race as his national approval rating has stayed in the low 40s.
Other states like Pennsylvania and Nevada have been considered the most competitive races in the contest for each party to win control of the Senate, but some polls have shown the race to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R) in Ohio as tight.
Vance led Ryan by only 1 point in a Marist poll released late last month, but FiveThirtyEight’s polling average has Vance ahead by about 5 points. Republicans in several key Senate races have also seen their polling improve in recent weeks as Election Day has approached.
The new survey was conducted from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 among 1,000 very likely voters. The margin of error was 3 points.