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Republican Congressional Candidate Holds Eleven-Point Lead Over Democrat in OH-15 Special Election

The Emerson College/WCMH poll of the Ohio 15th Congressional District Special Election finds Republican Mike Carey leading Democrat Allison Russo 50% to 39% among likely voters. Eleven percent (11%) of voters are undecided. These undecided voters break to Carey, and when their support is allocated Carey’s lead extends to 13 points, 57% to 44%.

Carey holds the plurality of support among suburban (48%) voters and the majority of support among rural (58%) voters, while Russo leads with urban/city (54%) voters. Among non-white voters Russo holds the majority (55%) of support, and Carey has the majority (51%) of support among white voters.

A wide education divide exists in the special election: 56% of voters without a college degree support Carey and 34% support Russo, while 46% of voters with a college degree support Russo and 42% support Carey. 

The majority (60%) of voters in the Ohio 15 district special election have an unfavorable opinion of President Joe Biden, while 34% have a favorable opinion of the President.

A plurality (49%) of voters have a favorable view of Governor Mike Dewine, while 41% view him unfavorably, and 10% have no opinion. Senator Rob Portman’s favorability is significantly lower than the governor: 52% have an unfavorable opinion and 33% have a favorable opinion, 15% have no opinion. Senator Sherrod Brown’s favorability is more split: 44% have an unfavorable opinion, 42% have a favorable opinion, and 14% have no opinion. 

Democrat Allison Russo has 32% favorability in the district, while 30% have an unfavorable opinion of her, 29% have no opinion, and 9% are unfamiliar with her. Republican Mike Carey is at 41% unfavorable, 30% favorable, 19% no opinion and 9% have never heard of him. 

The plurality (42%) of all voters think Trump should not run again in 2024, but the majority (75%) of Republican voters think he should run again. Half (50%) of Independents say he should not run again, 27% think he should, and 23% are undecided. 

Voters were asked about their view of President Biden’s legitimacy in office: 58% of voters said they accept him as the legitimate president while 42% said they do not accept him as the legitimate president. 

When asked if they support a vaccine mandate, 49% said they oppose a mandate, 37% support a mandate, and 15% are unsure or did not have an opinion. 

Twenty-two percent (22%) say healthcare is a top priority issue, followed by jobs (18%), immigration (16%), corruption (11%), COVID-19 (9%), education (7%), and infrastructure (7%). Immigration ranked as the top priority among Republicans, at 28%, while a plurality (45%) of Democrats said healthcare was their top priority.

Regarding the corruption case surrounding House Bill 6, a combined 51% are very familiar (19%) or somewhat familiar (32%), while a combined 49% are not very familiar (34%) or not at all familiar (15%) with the issue. Thirty-three percent (33%) said the corruption issue impacts their vote in the special election, while 25% said it did not. Forty-one percent (41%) are unsure or have no opinion. The plurality (45%) of Democrats say it impacts their vote in the special election while the majority (50%) of Republicans are unsure or have no opinion. 

Caller ID

The Ohio 15th Congressional District Emerson College/Nexstar Media Group poll was conducted October 14-16, 2021. The sample consisted of Ohio 15th likely voters, n=445, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 4.6 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, and region based on 2020 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected via a cellphone sample using SMS-to-web and a landline sample using IVR.



Key Takeaways
  • Biden favorability at 34% in OH-15
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown seen as more favorable in OH-15 than Sen. Rob Portman
  • Healthcare, jobs, and immigration are priority issues in the district
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