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Baldwin Wallace Poll Finds Biden Tied With Trump In Ohio

42 percent of voters in Ohio say they plan to vote by mail in this year's presidential election. [Maria Dryfhout / shutterstock]
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A new poll of likely voters from Baldwin Wallace University found a statistical tie in the presidential race in Ohio, a tightening race in Pennsylvania and substantial leads for Democrat Joe Biden in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Donald Trump won all four states in 2016.

In Ohio, 44.9 percent favored Biden while 44.3 went for Trump, with 7 percent of those polled remaining undecided.

The Baldwin Wallace findings for Ohio match up with 538.com’s polling average for the state, which has Trump up by one point and has shown a close race since March

Baldwin Wallace political science professor Tom Sutton said Wisconsin and Michigan appear to be pulling away in favor of Biden.

“There’s some effect, we think, related to the protests and demonstrations over the George Floyd killing and other situations over the summer which may be affecting these poll results as well,” Sutton said.

Voters in Michigan and Wisconsin who said the protests over the killing of George Floyd would affect their vote also favored Biden over Trump -- by as much as 6 points in Michigan and 3 points in Wisconsin.

Trump appears to be closing the gap in Pennsylvania, where Biden has a 4-point lead in the polling average – within the poll’ 3-4 percent margin of error for the four states – after seeing as much as an 8-point advantage in the summer.

Biden appears to also be leading among voters who describe themselves as moderate or independent, Sutton said. Trump’s campaign had tried to paint Biden as a puppet for far-left parts of the Democratic Party.

“Whether it’s because of defunding police or the progressive agenda or the possibilities of changes in zoning laws that might lead to different groups into your neighborhood, quote-unquote, who threaten your neighborhood” said Sutton. “Some of that is just very veiled language that is intended to scare and polarize. And I don’t think it’s working.”

The online poll of about 1,000 likely voters in each of the four states was conducted between Sept. 8 and Sept. 22, mostly before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Sept. 18 death and the announcement that Republicans in the Senate would seek to confirm her replacement before the end of the year.

“Her death and replacement is something that’s going to galvanize voters on both sides,” Sutton said. “We’re going to see renewed attention to that as an issue for voters who haven’t already cast a vote.”

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.