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Poll: Acton has highest favorables in field among Democratic primary voters

Poll gives former health director slight lead over Rep. Ryan

While no Democratic candidates have officially announced yet for the 2022 U.S. Senate race in Ohio, a new poll finds that former Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton leads in favorability among her party’s voters.

According to a survey released last week by Public Policy Polling, 64 percent of Ohio Democratic voters view her favorably, with only 5 percent holding a negative view.

The poll found that 31 percent of voters said they did not have an opinion.

Acton, who won national acclaim for her work during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, resigned from her position last summer. She says she is considering a run for the Senate seat bring vacated by Republican Rob Portman, who is retiring.

Also considering a run for the seat is U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, for whom his party’s voters held a 48 percent favorable view. The poll found 13 percent viewed Ryan unfavorably and 39 percent had no opinion.

Other candidates considering a run for the Democratic nomination include former Ohio Treasure Kevin Boyce, Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor and Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes.

PPP polled Acton and Ryan in a head-to-head match and found that Democratic voters preferred Acton, 37-32 percent, with 31 percent undecided.

On the Republican side, former Ohio Republican chair Jane Timken has announced a run for the seat, as has former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, pilot Michael Leipold and IT executive Mark Pukita.

Republicans considering a run who have not announced include businessmen Mike Gibbons and Bernie Moreno, pastor Darrell C. Scott, author J.D. Vance and, U.S. Reps. Steve Stivers, Mike Turner, Warren Davidson and Bill Johnson, who district covers Lawrence County.

Libertarian candidate Shannon Marie Taylor has also announced a run for the seat.