Swing-state battle begins in Ohio for Trump, Biden

Democratic presidential candidate, former vice President Joe Biden addresses a crowd at Wilson High School on October 26, 2019 in Florence, South Carolina. | Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

The presidential race is now set: it will be President Trump, a Republican, vying for reelection against Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Biden, a former two-term vice president, wrapped up the Democratic nomination with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont ending his campaign on April 8. Biden previously campaigned for Democratic party’s presidential nomination  in the 1988 and 2008 cycles before this third time proved a charm. 

It will be a slower transition into a General Election focus than in previous years. The primary election season is still ongoing, with about two-dozen states still left to vote, and the COVID-19 pandemic has put traditional campaigning around the country to a halt. 

Trump has mostly remained in Washington D.C. to manage the federal government’s crisis response, while Biden has shifted to campaigning through digital means.

Biden was part of a successful ticket with Barack Obama, with the duo winning Ohio in both 2008 and 2012.

Trump won Ohio in 2016, however, 52-44% over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

An early poll shows the race in Ohio between Trump and Biden to be neck-and-neck.

The “Great Lakes Poll” was conducted March 17-25 by Baldwin Wallace University, with help from Oakland University and Ohio Northern University. A total of 1,025 registered voters in Ohio were polled. 

In a match-up between Trump and Biden, 47% of registered voters said they would “definitely” or “probably” vote for Trump compared to 43% who said they would definitely or probably vote for Biden. Another 10% said they weren’t sure.

That differential is within the poll’s margin of error, meaning it is essentially a statistical tie. 

However, those polled were separately asked: would they vote for Trump or for “the Democratic Party’s candidate?”

The Democratic placeholder fared slightly better than when Biden’s name was inserted, though again the result remained a statistical tie. 

Trump has a break-even approval rating in Ohio, with as many people viewing him favorably as unfavorably. The president polls slightly better among men than he does women. Biden polls relatively similarly, though 1-in-6 respondents said they weren’t sure about him either way.