election vote preview

A BW CRI poll of Ohio voters finds many still undecided about who they will vote for in the May 8 primary.

BW Ohio Poll: Primary voters favor Renacci, DeWine, Cordray; Many still undecided

May 3, 2018

election vote previewA poll of Ohio registered voters conducted by the Community Research Institute at Baldwin Wallace University finds that many are still undecided about who they will vote for in Ohio's May 8 primary. The survey of 811 voters was conducted April 24 – May 2.

"It is surprising that this close to the primary there are still large percentages of identified Republican and Democratic voters who are still undecided," said Dr. Tom Sutton, director of the Community Research Institute. "86% of respondents told us they intend to vote, while only 3.3% have sent an early ballot. In the 2016 primary, about 20% voted early."

US Senate

More than half (55%) of respondents who identified as Republican said they remain unsure of how they might vote in the U.S. Senate primary. Among candidates already favored by those surveyed, Congressman Jim Renacci leads with 25%, while businessman Mike Gibbons is at 11%, businesswoman Melissa Ackinson at 4%, financial planner Dan Kiley at 4%, and former Dayton fiscal analyst Elijah Eckhart at less than 1%.

Ohio Governor

In the primary for governor, more Republicans have made up their minds. Just one in four (25%) of Republicans remain unsure, while 52% favor Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, and about one quarter (25%) prefer Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor. 

On the Democratic side, 41% are unsure, while 31% favor former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray, 15% support former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, 7% are for State Senator Joe Schiavoni, and 6% choose former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill. 

Ohio Treasurer

The only other contested statewide primary is for Ohio Treasurer. On the Republican side, 54% of respondents identifying as GOP voters are unsure, while 29% favor State Representative Robert Sprague and 17% support former Ashtabula County Auditor Sandra O’Brien.

Some 63% of Democratic respondents are unsure about the Treasurer’s race, while 24% favor attorney Rob Richardson, and 12% prefer businessman Neil Patel.  

Strong support for Issue 1 on gerrymandering

Survey respondents strongly favor passage of State Issue 1, the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would change the process for drawing congressional district lines to minimize splitting counties and municipalities and provide a stronger voice for the minority party in approving a new district map.

Almost 54% of respondents favor passage of the amendment intended to reduce gerrymandering; 15% are opposed, and 28% are unsure how they will vote. Another 4% said they will not be voting on Issue 1. 

Steady Support for President Trump

About three-quarters (74%) of respondents said they voted in the 2016 election. Of these, 48% voted for Donald Trump. Support for Trump among respondents remains steady at 51% who indicated they give 'full support' or 'some support' to the president.   

Survey Methodology

The Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute conducted an online panel survey of 811 self-identified registered voters across the five regions of Ohio (NE, SE, NW, SW, Central). Based on stratification of respondents for gender, region and age, the survey has an estimated error of + 3.5%, with higher error estimates for subgroups (e.g., party ID). The survey was fielded by Qualtrics, LLC during the period of April 24 – May 2, 2018.  Response percentages for each question are followed by cross-tabulations for respondent gender, age, educational attainment and race/ethnicity (see pp. 51-52 of the full report for survey demographics).