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New poll: President Trump holds slim lead over Joe Biden in Ohio

The latest Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll has President Trump leading Joe Biden by a 47% to 45% margin in Ohio.

BEREA, Ohio — The race for the White House continues and things are still very tight between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in Ohio.

According to the latest Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll, President Trump holds a slim 47%-45% lead over Biden in the Buckeye State. That is an improvement for Trump from the last BW poll released September 24 that showed the two in a virtual tie. However, the president's lead is well within the margin of error with at least 5% of those surveyed indicating they were unsure about who they would be voting for. 

“In this poll we had Trump diagnosed with coronavirus and we thought that might push numbers toward Biden,” said Professor Lauren Copeland, Baldwin Wallace University, “but in fact, they stayed largely the same.”

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Although he is trailing in Ohio, Biden is doing better in several other Great Lakes states in the poll. He holds a 7-point lead in Michigan, a 6-point lead in Wisconsin and a 5-point lead in Pennsylvania. 

“People who have already voted are equally likely to be democrats and republicans,” Copeland said. “That surprised me a bit. I thought that perhaps Democrats would be more mobilized, especially in the wake of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

Here were some other key takeaways from the poll. 

Debate wrap-up

Results suggest Trump’s performance in the first presidential debate didn’t help him in the poll, with a plurality of voters saying that Biden won. In Ohio, nearly 49% of those surveyed said Biden had the better performance, to just 33% for the president. 

Perhaps more concerning for President Trump would be the response to the following question: "After watching, listening to, or reading about the debate, do you have a more favorable or less favorable opinion of Donald Trump?"

40% of those polled in Ohio say they have a much less favorable opinion of the president following the debate. That number was was similar to the reaction from those surveyed in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

Job approval

More than half of the voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, compared to about 45% of Ohioans who disapprove. The President received higher marks for his handling of the economy and lower ratings for his handling of the coronavirus.

Voters in all four states say Biden would do a better job handling the coronavirus and uniting the country, although Ohioans are more closely divided. Ohio voters also narrowly say Trump is the candidate who would better address the protests around the country, while voters in the other three states choose Biden.  

A peaceful transition?

While a near supermajority of voters believe Biden will concede if Trump wins, just one in four voters in Ohio believes Trump will concede if Biden is declared the winner. 

Supreme Court vacancy

By a three-point margin, only Ohio voters say Trump and the current U.S. Senate should decide who should fill the current vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. By a similarly narrow margin, voters in the other three states say the decision should be left to the winner of the presidential election. About 40% of voters are more motivated to vote based on the issue.

What method are Ohioans are planning on using to vote?

Nearly 48% of Ohioans surveyed say they are planning on voting in-person on Election Day. 39% say they are voting by mail or absentee ballot, while 9% are planning on voting in-person prior to November 3.

You can read the complete results of the poll below.

The Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll was conducted between September 30, 2020 and October 8, 2020 in partnership with Oakland University (Michigan) and Ohio Northern University. The survey was conducted online among self-identified registered, likely voters in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania using Qualtrics, an online sample aggregator. Data were weighted by sex, education, race, income and age.

MORE: VOTER GUIDE | Everything you need to know about Ohio's 2020 election from important dates to finding your polling place