Poll: Mandel leads in GOP primary, but race tightening

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 25, 2022

Gibbons sees gains in latest survey by Trafalgar

Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel still leads in the crowded Republican primary for the nomination for U.S. Senate, but the latest figures show the race tightening.

In a poll, taken from Feb. 8-10 by Trafalgar Group, Mandel polled at 21 percent, followed by businessman Mike Gibbons at 16.4 percent, venture capitalist and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance at 14.3 percent, State Sen. Matt Dolan, at 10.2 percent, and former state party chair Jane Timken at 9.8 percent.

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All other candidates in the GOP field polled at less than one percent. The poll surveyed 1.085 Republican voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Trafalgar polled the field in December and found Mandel at 21.4 percent, Vance at 14.9 percent, Gibbons at 11.9 percent, Timken at 10.4 percent, Dolan at 5.3 percent and businessman Bernie Moreno at 1.7 percent. 34.4 or respondents said they were undecided.

Moreno has since dropped out of the race.

While Mandel’s numbers, as well as those for Vance and Timken, remained steady between the two polls, Gibbons saw a nearly five-point swing in his direction after launching a statewide ad campaign. Dolan also saw a five-point increase between surveys.

The number of undecided voters has also decreased, with only 25 percent saying they have not made a choice yet.

The candidates are running to fill the seat of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who is retiring after two terms.

Portman endorsed Timken last week as his choice for successor, after the survey was taken, and it is yet unclear what impact it will have on her standing in the race.

Trafalgar is a conservative-leaning poll firm, which operates independent of the Republican Party or any candidate. It was ranked as the second most accurate pollster in 202 by political analysis site 538.com.

Trafalgar did not poll the Democratic field for the race, where other firms have found U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan consistently leading his party’s field.