The 2022 midterm elections may have been a disappointment for Republicans, but fear not, dear conservatives! The 2024 Senate map is shaping up to be a much more promising playing field for our side. One particular race worth keeping an eye on is in the great state of Ohio, where Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown is hoping for a smooth ride to reelection. However, a recent poll from Emerson College has thrown a wrench in his plans.
According to the poll, Brown is facing fierce competition from Republican contenders, some of whom are even leading or trailing him by just a couple of points. State Senator Matt Dolan has managed to secure 38 percent support, with Brown trailing slightly at 36 percent. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Frank LaRose is nipping at Brown’s heels, garnering 39 percent support to the incumbent’s 38 percent. Only businessman Bernie Moreno seems to be lagging behind, scoring 33 percent support to Brown’s 35 percent. The poll showed that a considerable chunk of voters, about 32 percent, remained undecided.
It’s worth noting that Brown seems to be lacking the enthusiasm typically associated with Democratic candidates. Polling Director Spencer Kimball highlighted this issue, pointing out that younger voters and Black voters in particular seem to be less than thrilled about Brown’s reelection bid. These voter groups are either considering other candidates or remain undecided. Of those under 30, around a third indicated they would vote for someone else or were still undecided in a Brown versus Dolan matchup. The numbers were similar among Black voters, with 38 percent expressing the same sentiment.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Brown. Among Independent voters, he enjoys a slight lead over his Republican challengers. This should provide some comfort for the incumbent senator, as Independents will undoubtedly play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the election. Brown has managed to capture 27 percent support among Independents, compared to Dolan’s 21 percent, LaRose’s 18 percent, and Moreno’s 17 percent.
2024 U.S. Senate Matchups
Matt Dolan 38%
Sherrod Brown 36%
Frank LaRose 39%
Sherrod Brown 38%
— Emerson College Polling (@EmersonPolling) October 10, 2023
But here’s where things get interesting. Brown has chosen to run for reelection in a presidential election year, and the current occupant of the White House, President Joe Biden, isn’t particularly popular in Ohio. The same poll revealed that a whopping 58 percent of Ohioans disapprove of Biden’s job performance, while only 25 percent approve. On the other hand, former President Donald Trump, who may once again throw his hat into the ring, leads Biden by a significant margin of 12 points in a hypothetical matchup. Trump captures 45 percent support, while Biden lags behind with just 33 percent. For those keeping score, that’s an even wider margin than Trump’s victories in Ohio in 2016 and 2020.
This discrepancy can be attributed partially to lower enthusiasm among younger and minority voters, who appear to be undecided or considering alternative candidates. The lackluster support for Democratic candidates at both the state and national level is cause for concern among the party faithful.
Despite Biden’s unpopularity, Brown hasn’t shied away from embracing the president. In February, he declared in a POLITICO interview that he had no qualms about campaigning with Biden, asserting that he’s “fine” with the president being on the ballot. Brown even went as far as to assume that he would campaign alongside Biden, praising the Democratic leader’s accomplishments.
While forecasters currently label the Ohio Senate race as a “Toss-Up,” conservatives can find solace in the fact that there is hope on the horizon. The primary is still a few months away, scheduled for March 19, providing plenty of time for Republican candidates to gain momentum and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. So, fellow conservatives, keep your eyes peeled and your spirits high as we ride the roller coaster of politics in the great state of Ohio!