A new poll shows Republican Mike DeWine leading Democrat Richard Cordray in the governor’s race by about three percentage points.
DeWine, the current attorney general, polled at 39.7 percent of about 1,000 likely voters, while Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, polled at 37.1. Third party candidates accounted for 7.7 percent of the vote while 15.4 percent of voters remain uncertain. The poll is still within its poll’s margin of error, which is 3.5 percent.
According to the likely voters, the three most important issues in the governor’s race are health care, the economy and taxes.
More than two-thirds of likely voters approve of or strongly approve of current Republican Gov. John Kasich’s Medicaid expansion, which both major party candidates support. Fifty-five percent approve or strongly approve of Kasich’s job on the economy, while slightly more than a quarter disapprove or strongly disapprove.
The two candidates held a debate Monday night touching on many of these issues, where they found some agreement and some disagreement. For instance, both candidates supported Kasich’s Medicaid expansion, but the two sparred over DeWine’s support for work requirements, which have been supported by Kasich.
Both candidates also spoke negatively about tax increases. Although Cordray said he would not raise Ohio’s taxes, DeWine accused him of supporting a spending plan that would either force a tax increase or a large deficit. DeWine encouraged prudence in government spending.
The polls have been close throughout most of the campaign for the governor’s seat. All other statewide races have mostly stayed within five percentage points of each other, although Republicans have been leading all but the senate race. Republicans have historically showed better turnout than Democrats in midterm elections.