Republican Troy Balderson has a razor-thin 44-43 percent lead over Democrat Danny O’Connor in the race to fill the open seat in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, according to a new Monmouth University poll.
Balderson’s slim lead falls within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. Eleven percent of voters remain undecided in the race. And 2 percent of those polled backed Green Party candidate Joe Manchik. The special election to fill the seat vacated when Republican Pat Tiberi’s retired will be Aug. 7.
Just over a month ago, Balderson had led in the race 43-33 percent, the pollsters noted in their report.
The poll results, released Wednesday, break down like this:
- 33 percent of voters have a favorable impression of Balderson, compared to 26 percent who view him as unfavorable.
- 34 percent have a favorable view of O’Connor, while 23 percent have an unfavorable impression of him.
- 46 percent of those in the district approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president, compared to 49 percent who disapprove.
“This race has definitely tightened in the past month,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “This is similar to the trend we saw in our polling of the Pennsylvania special election earlier this year. That race ended up with an electorate that looked more like a standard midterm turnout.
“This is still a Republican leaning district with many metrics that continue to favor Balderson, but growing Democratic enthusiasm has made this race surprisingly competitive. O’Connor’s chances hinge on generating a larger than usual share of the vote from the suburbs north of Columbus.”
The poll, conducted July 26-31, surveyed 512 voters in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District.
Trump will head for Ohio on Saturday to campaign for Balderson, CNN noted.
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