POLL: Tim Ryan Leads J.D. Vance 48% to 39% in Ohio’s Senate Race

Rep. Tim Ryan (left) leads J.D. Vance in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race.

Center Street PAC’s latest poll on Ohio’s U.S. Senate race shows Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) continues to lead Republican J.D. Vance 48% to 39% among likely voters, with 13% undecided. While there was little movement since August polling, Vance saw some improvement, as previously undecided Trump voters began to break for Vance.

Methodology: Between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, 2022, 1,193 adults 18+ were surveyed, including 987 Registered Voters and 519 Likely Voters. Results are weighted to age/gender of U.S. Census and then by 2020 Presidential vote preference. Margin of error is 3.5. Source: Center Street PAC via Momentiv AI. 

“Tim Ryan has a big lead, but it’s by no means a comfortable lead,” said Center Street Co-Founder Matt O’Brien. “We’ve been expecting see undecided voters break in a big way for Vance, and these results show that’s started happening. The closer we get to the election, the more partisan breaks we’ll see. But we see indicators that Ryan has a real chance at winning.”

Ryan also continues to lead Vance in favorability, with 44% of voters saying they view Ryan Somewhat Favorably (25%) or Very Favorably (19%). By comparison, despite being able to halt overall an overall decline in favorability, only 30% of voters have a favorable view of Vance, with only 11% in the Very Favorable camp. Ryan’s numbers might have peaked for the moment, as he saw some decline among Republican voters. In August only 23% of voters viewed Ryan as unfavorable, compared to Vance’s 46%. In September, Ryan’s unfavorable ratings creeped to 26%, while Vance’s decreased slightly to 42%.

“Vance just isn’t likable. Even many Republicans are unimpressed. While Republicans might hold their noses and vote for him anyway, it’s a tough sell for independents, particularly when Tim presents as a more likable, “real” Ohioan,” said Center Street Co-Founder Jacob Perry. “Tim speaks their language and shows he understands Ohio voters and what they’re worried about. JD can’t match that connection.”

Vance’s grim electoral prospects are highlighted by the fact that Republican Governor Mike DeWine holds a 16-point advantage among likely voters over his Democratic opponent, Nan Whaley. By contrast, Vance is down 8 points against his Democratic opponent.

Another key finding showed Democrats lost momentum in Ohio voter enthusiasm. In May polling, Trump voters held the enthusiasm advantage, 62% vs 55%. In August, the enthusiasm advantage swung to Biden voters, 62% vs 59%. However, September data shows enthusiasm is currently balanced, at 62% (Trump voters) to 61% (Biden voters).

“As we’ve seen in other states, like Florida, the candidate who started media earlier gained the advantage in favorability. While Ryan was out front, Vance held off. But once Vance responded with his own ad campaign, the race stabilized somewhat,” said Center Street Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Kurt Jetta.

Methodology: Between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, 2022, 1,193 adults 18+ were surveyed, including 987 Registered Voters and 519 Likely Voters. Results are weighted to age/gender of U.S. Census and then by 2020 Presidential vote preference. Margin of error is 3.5. Source: Center Street PAC via Momentiv AI. 

Center Street has developed an unparalleled data set, led by Dr. Jetta. A 30-year innovator in consumer analytics and former CEO of TABS Analytics, Dr. Jetta applies his consumer analysis developments to political analysis, allowing Center Street to determine and choose a select number of winnable races.

Center Street is a nonpartisan super PAC designed to combat the destructive tribalism threatening democracy by supporting credible candidates, regardless of political party, against extremist challengers and incumbents. Founded by former Republican strategist Jacob Perry and private businessman Matt O’Brien, Center Street advocates for the election of candidates who demonstrate stable and effective governing policies. 

Methodology: Between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5, 2022, 1,193 adults 18+ were surveyed, including 987 Registered Voters and 519 Likely Voters. Results are weighted to age/gender of U.S. Census and then by 2020 Presidential vote preference. Margin of error is 3.5. Source: Center Street PAC via Momentiv AI. 

Analytical Notes:

  1. All data is now weighted both by age/gender and 2020 voting preference.
  2. Therefore, Waves 2 and 2 have been restated, as the Wave 2 sample showed a significant bias toward Biden voters.
  3. All results will have 2020 stated voter preference aligned with actual voter preference (53% Trump/46% Biden).
  4. Ohio voters do not declare a party when they register; therefore stated party is only based on party identification.