WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Election Day nears, Ohioans are divided over their preferred method of voting in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new Exclusive Spectrum News/IPSOS poll found that 34% of Ohio voters plan to cast their ballot in-person on Election Day, 13% will vote in-person early, and 32% are voting by mail or absentee. Another 10% said they would drop off their ballot at a board of election office, while 10% said they did not plan to vote at all.
When you break it down by political party, more Ohio Republicans prefer to vote in-person, while more Ohio Democrats will vote by mail or absentee.
Professor David Cohen with the University of Akron told me the numbers show the controversy surrounding the Postal Service this summer has stuck with voters.
“I think that President Trump's criticisms of mail-in voting have absolutely had an impact. I think it's really undercut the confidence,” Cohen said in a Skype interview.
With the coronavirus still spreading throughout Ohio and the country, Ohioans are split over how President Trump has handled the federal response.
More than half of Ohio Republicans, 60%, say they view Trump more favorably for it, while 76% of Democrats say they view him less favorably.
When Trump himself was diagnosed with the virus, the poll found that a majority of Republicans, 62%, said it had no impact on how they viewed the president; 56% of Democrats said they viewed him less favorably and a little more than a quarter of GOP respondents said they actually viewed Trump more favorably after his diagnosis.
And when the president talks about wearing masks and social distancing, only 37% of Ohio Republicans like what they’re hearing, while 23% said they didn’t. An overwhelming majority of Ohio Democrats, more than 80%, don’t view Trump favorably for the comments he’s made.
So much of what has happened in 2020 revolves around President Trump and his administration. The poll asked Ohio voters about just some of the recent headlines to see if they are having an impact, or if folks are numb to it.
With Trump and Senate Republicans getting closer to confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, our poll asked if the president’s handling of the vacancy is viewed more or less favorably by Ohioans.
Sixty-one percent of Republicans view it favorably, but 72% of Democrats view it less favorably.
Cohen said voters may be overwhelmed, but they’re plugged in as the 2020 campaign winds down.
“Unless you’re living in a cave, you can’t escape news about that vacancy and about President Trump’s attempts to fill the seat,” Cohen said.