A red-and-white "I voted" sticker.

The Institute for Civics and Public Policy (ICAPP) at Ohio Northern University has released the Northern Poll, a web-based poll of 668 registered voters in Ohio taken from October 16th to October 19th. The margin of error is +/-3.8%. Leading the project are Robert Alexander, Ph.D., political science professor and ICAPP director; and John Curiel, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science.

Trump is the clear choice among Ohio Republicans and there’s little he can do to change their minds.

Donald Trump continues to be popular among Buckeye State Republicans. He is the clear choice among GOP voters for their nominee (64%). Just 6% say it is likely they would support another candidate and only 5% say they would not support him if he was convicted of a felony.

Ron Desantis (10%) and Vivek Ramaswamy (9%) are the next highest contenders.

Trump leads Biden, both are unpopular, and RFK Jr.’s potential impact in Ohio.

Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are deeply unpopular in Ohio. Trump holds a net favorability rating of -14%, while Biden is even less popular at -22%. Conversely, newly announced Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. holds a net favorability rating of +17%. Kennedy’s favorability has lots of room to grow or fade as a sizable number of Ohioans either are unsure or are neutral in their feelings toward him (39%).

In a head-to-head matchup, Trump is the leading Republican, topping Biden 45%-40%, with 10% undecided. When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is added to the mix, Trump’s lead expands to 42%-35%, with RFK Jr. netting 11% with 10% undecided.

“It is hard to see at this point how Donald Trump will not be the nominee of the Republican party. Regardless of his legal troubles, his support in the GOP is rock solid.”
- Robert Alexander, Ohio Northern University

“We find an electorate that is not particularly fond of Donald Trump or Joe Biden, with a significant number who are undecided or taking a look at Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s longshot bid as an Independent. Because so few people have their mind made up on Kennedy, his campaign could be a serious threat or could fade quickly like many Independent candidacies of the past have.”
- Robert Alexander, Ohio Northern University

Ohioans hold a favorable view of Sherrod Brown, although signs suggest he will be in for a tough race.

Incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown holds a net favorability rating of +10%, which is among the highest of public officials we queried. His opponent is far from settled as 49% of Republicans in our sample are undecided, 30% support Frank LaRose, 13% support Matt Dolan, and 7% support Bernie Moreno.

Regardless of who he faces, Brown is expected to be in for a close contest. In head-to-head matchups he draws a plurality of support against Moreno (48-26, 25% unsure), Dolan (45-30, 25% unsure), and LaRose (44-31, 25% unsure).

“Sherrod Brown continues to be viewed positively by Ohioans voters, which will serve him well in what promises to be a very difficult re-election campaign.”
- Robert Alexander, Ohio Northern University

Ohioans are afraid to talk about politics, fear political violence, and believe the United States is weaker because of our toxic political environment.

While 85% agree that it is important for people who have differences of opinion to talk to one another, most believe average people are afraid to talk about politics (62%), relationships have been strained because of politics (54%), and 71% believe the political environment is as toxic as it has ever been in their lifetimes.

Democrats and Republicans agree that the United States has been weakened on the world stage because of our political environment (79%), most are worried about America’s future because of this environment (80%), and two-thirds are worried it will lead to increased violence (66%).

“That so many Ohioans are afraid to talk about politics is concerning to those of us who care about the health of the democratic process.”
- Robert Alexander, Ohio Northern University

The political environment is making Ohioans angry, exhausted, and concerned about America’s future.

We find that respondents do not feel good when they think about politics. Forty-nine percent often feel exhausted, with 80% at least sometimes feeling exhausted. Similar numbers also feel angry when they think about politics (52% often, 80% sometimes). Very few feel hopeful (17% often, 43% sometimes).

Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe democracy is under serious threat. Democrats and Republicans put the blame on very different factors.

Large majorities of Democrats and Republicans see the “other side” as immoral, dishonest, and close minded.

We find few glimmers of hope in how Americans view one another. This is especially true when it comes to how Democrats and Republicans view one another. Majorities of Democrats view Republicans as close-minded (73%), dishonest (71%), and immoral (63%). Majorities of Republicans view Democrats as dishonest (74%), close-minded (70%), immoral (68%), lazy (61%), and unintelligent (50%).

When thinking about Americans more generally, a majority of respondents agree that Americans are hardworking (68%), intelligent (59%), close-minded (56%), and dishonest (52%).

Most Ohioans believe things are on the wrong track (82%), that the nation’s economic situation has gotten worse (63%), and that their own economic situation has gotten worse (54%).

“Our poll suggests we are in a bad state of affairs when it comes to politics. It is hard to promote civility when you believe the “other side” is immoral, dishonest, and close-minded. We really need to invest in our civic infrastructure.”
- Robert Alexander, Ohio Northern University