The Rundown

New poll finds Biden well ahead of Sanders in Ohio

By: - March 16, 2020 10:57 am

Joe Biden smiles as Sen. Bernie Sanders looks on during the Democratic presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Joe Biden has the wide support of Ohio Democratic voters over Bernie Sanders, a poll released a day before the primary election finds.

Both candidates have narrow leads over Trump in theoretical match-ups, a broader survey of Ohio voters shows.

An NBC News/Marist poll of “likely voters” in Ohio, conducted March 10-13, shows Biden with 58% of support and Sanders with 35%. Tulsi Gabbard trails with just 2% of support; a small percentage of those surveyed are still undecided.

Biden leads among wide swaths of the electorate, including moderates, both men and women, and both white and black voters.

Sanders leads among those identifying as “progressive” and those under the age of 45.

Neither candidate has been able to do much public campaigning in Ohio due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Biden held a policy-focused event in Columbus last Tuesday that was closed to the public. Both candidates canceled rallies planned for that evening in Cleveland and have not campaigned here since.

The poll also surveyed a “potential electorate” for the November General Election, pitting Sanders and Biden against Trump.

Biden leads Trump, 49-45%. Sanders leads, 48-46%. Both spreads are within the poll’s margin of error.

Trump’s approval rating in Ohio is evenly split: 46% of respondents say they “strongly approve” or “approve” of his job as president. Meanwhile, 47% of respondents say they “strongly disapprove” or “disapprove” of the president. Another 7%, after more than three years of the Trump presidency, still say they are unsure.

The NBC News/Marist poll is the first to survey Ohioans’ opinions since last fall.

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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.