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Baldwin Wallace Great Lakes Poll: Ohio A Toss-up, Trump With Slight Lead

The Baldwin Wallace Great Lakes Poll surveyed self-identified, likely voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. [Maria Dryfhout/Shutterstock]
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Results from a recent Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll show President Donald Trump with a slight lead over Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Ohio, but trailing Biden in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. 

In Ohio, it’s a statistical toss-up, with 47 percent of surveyed likely voters stating they would vote for Trump and 45 percent stating Biden will get their vote.

Biden held a 7-point lead in Michigan, a 6-point lead in Wisconsin and a 5-point lead in Michigan in the poll. Results for Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania fell within the margin of error.

Lauren Copeland, associate director of Baldwin Wallace’s Community Research Institute, in a statement said that while the percentage of undecided voters seems small – 4 percent in Ohio to 6 percent in Wisconsin, undecided voters could still make the difference.

“Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by razor-thin margins,” Copeland said, referring to the 2016 presidential election.

The fourth and most recent installment of the Great Lakes Poll for the 2020 election, in partnership with Oakland University and Ohio Northern University, was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 8 and surveyed 1,009 voters Ohio, 1,134 voters in Michigan, 1,140 voters in Pennsylvania and 883 voters in Wisconsin.

Questions gauged the sentiment of self-identified likely voters in each state on a gamut of subjects, ranging from Trump’s handling of the pandemic and the economy to the current U.S. Supreme Court vacancy and attitudes about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and abortion.

Of the Ohio voters surveyed, 45 percent disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, while more than half the voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin said the same.

Results also showed a plurality of voters considered Biden the winner of the first presidential debate.

While voters surveyed in all four states said Biden would do a better job uniting the country and handling the coronavirus, Ohioans were more evenly divided. Buckeye State voters also said, by slight margins, that Trump is the candidate who would better address the protests nationwide, while voters in the other states chose Biden.

While a near supermajority of voters believe Biden will concede if Trump wins the election, just one in four voters polled said they think Trump will conceded if Biden is declared the winner.

“On Wednesday night, Vice President Pence joined President Trump in refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power if Biden wins the election,” said Copeland.  “Instead sowing skepticism about the electoral process, including unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.”

By a 3-point margin, only Ohio voters say Trump and the current U.S. Senate should decide who fills the vacancy on the Supreme Court. By a similarly narrow margin, voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin said the decision should be left to the winner of the presidential election.

About 40 percent of all voters surveyed are more motivated to vote based on that issue.

Somewhat surprisingly, to the Baldwin Wallace pollsters, a majority of voters in all four states said abortion should be ‘mostly’ or ‘always’ legal.  Only 12 to 14 percent of voters believed abortion should always be illegal.


Jenny Hamel is the host of the “Sound of Ideas.”