Presidential race tight in Ohio primaries

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Polls show Clinton-Sanders, Kasich-Trump deadlocked

Polls and political forecasters show both the Republican and Democratic races tight as primary day arrives this morning.

On the Democratic side, the latest poll, from Quinnipiac University, shows former U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton leading U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 51 to 46 percent. Previous surveys had indicated Clinton had a larger lead.

Two respected political forecasters differed on their predictions for Tuesday night.

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Nate Silver, the statictitian who runs, a website acclaimed for its accuracy in predicting the 2012 election, gives Clinton a 96 percent chance of winning the Buckeye State, based on his prediction model.

However, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, also highly regarded as a predictor, painted a different picture.

A predictive model from Alan Abramowitz, a senior with the group, puts the race in the “lean Sanders” category.

Abramowitz based his results on prior contests, such as the demographically-similar Michigan primary, where Clinton was ahead in polling, only to lose to Sanders by a slim margin on election night.

On the Republican side, polls show the race deadlocked between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump.

Most polls have shown the race trending to Kasich, who overtook Trump in polls last week.

A Monmouth poll had Kasich leading Trump, 44-40 percent, while an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed the governor up, 39-33 percent, over Trump.

A Quinnipiac University poll had the race tied between the two, with 38 percent each, a swing to Kasich from the group’s previous poll, which had Trump leading, 38 to 32 percent. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas held third place in all three polls, while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was a distant fourth.

Kasich has said that Ohio is a must-win state to keep his campaign alive and has been aiming for a home state victory to reinvigorate his campaign.

A victory in Ohio would give him a boost, given the state’s winner-take-all delegate allotment system, and could derail Trump’s chances of securing the 1,237 delegates to be nominated.

The candidates were out in full force over the weekend, with former President Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife in Portsmouth, Sanders hosting a rally in Columbus, Trump appearing in Cincinnati and Dayton and Kasich campaigning in North Canton and Youngstown.