Control of the U.S. Senate will be one of the major battles that’s waged in the 2024 election, and it looks like there will be quite a fight in the swing state of Ohio.
The first poll that was released in the one of the Senate races in Ohio shows that incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown barely leads all three of his potential Republican challengers. In fact, according to the poll that East Carolina University conducted, Brown is within the margin of error for all three challengers.
Brown is in his third term in the Senate, and is the only Democrat that was elected statewide in Ohio – making his long-term future tenuous at best. The poll shows that Brown is ahead of Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose 44-42, state Senator Matt Dolan 45-44 and businessman Bernie Moreno 46-42.
Those are extremely tight races that are all within the 4% margin of error that the East Carolina University poll reported.
Moreno and Dolan are running for Senate in Ohio again after running during the GOP primary in 2022 to replace the retiring Rob Portman. In that race, Dolan finished in third place, behind Josh Mandel and the eventual winner of the seat, JD Vance. Moreno ended up dropping out of that race early.
This upcoming primary season and election is expected to be an expensive one, and Ohio is no exception. Dolan’s family has an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion, and they’re expected to dump a lot of their own money into the upcoming 2024 election cycle.
In 2022, Dolan spent $10.6 million trying to win the GOP primary.
Brown has been representing Ohio in the Senate since back in 2007. At that time, though, the state had a governor who was a Democrat, and a split in its congressional delegation that sat at 11-7 in favor of Republicans.
The state has shifted somewhat more in favor of Republicans in that time, though.
Republican Governor Mike DeWine is leading the state right now, and he won re-election back in 2022 by a whopping 25 points. LaRose won his last election by 20 points, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost did the same in his last election bid.
The current split for the congressional delegation in Ohio is 10 Republicans to five Democrats.
That could spell doom for Brown in his re-election bid for Senate, and that’s already seemingly showing in the first poll that was released in the race.
Brown will benefit, of course, from being the incumbent in the race and from not having to truly face any significant challengers within his own party. That should allow him to get a headstart on spending money and campaigning for the general election, rather than having to focus first on other candidates in his own party.
The same East Carolina University poll showed that LaRose had the lead in the GOP primary at 17%. Dolan had 14%, while Moreno had 7%.