USA Today column: “Ohio isn’t off the table. It’s still a battleground and that’s bad news for Trump.”

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In case you missed it… President Donald Trump is currently struggling in Ohio, suggesting his path to a second term may be very difficult,” according to a USA Today column by three political science professors, who note the president’s falling poll numbers in the state and growing concerns amongst Ohioans about the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The April Great Lakes Poll follows up on an NBC News/Marist poll from mid-March; both polls showed Joe Biden with a lead in the Buckeye State.


  • President Donald Trump is currently struggling in Ohio, suggesting his path to a second term may be very difficult. No Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio, and only twice since 1896 has a Democrat become president without it. Trump himself has proclaimed that “you can’t win unless you win the state of Ohio.”
  • In the Great Lakes Poll of Ohio in March, Trump led Joe Biden 47% to 43%. But a month later, he trails the former vice president 45% to 44%. Support for Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has dropped from 58% to 50%, and his favorability rating has dropped from 47% to 43%. Trump’s weakness in the Buckeye State is significant as many have considered Ohio safe territory for Trump in 2020. 
  • Biden’s rise in Ohio relative to Trump is just one sign … that the state is competitive. Although a majority approve of Trump’s handling of the economy (56%), almost all Ohioans (94%) are concerned about the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, including 68% who are worried about their personal finances. These numbers should be concerning for any president seeking reelection.
  • Health care is another area of trouble for Trump. In addition to the considerable decline in approval for his COVID-19 response, only 44% of Ohioans approve of how he’s handling health care policy while 50% disapprove. Although concerns over the economy and public health abound, 7 in 10 Ohioans agree that public health is more important than the economy — compared to roughly 1 in 10 who agree that the economy is more important than public health. This makes Trump’s weakness on health care that much more significant.
  • Biden’s moderate positioning helps him in states like Ohio. His message to return to normalcy and calm plays well to its moderates. Likewise, disdain for Trump will turn out liberal Democrats to cast votes against the president.


USA Today (opinion): Ohio isn’t off the table. It’s still a battleground and that’s bad news for Trump.

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