Recent independent and internal candidate polling numbers related to Northwest Ohio are showing a large number of undecided voters, with Wood County a battleground and the larger region holding majority Republican support.

The Sentinel-Tribune is a part of Your Voice Ohio. A Your Voice Ohio independent political public opinion poll was conducted by the Bliss Institute, for the organization and the 60 participating news organizations.

The statewide poll had enough respondents (1,037) to also give a breakdown of the state into five regions, of which Northwest Ohio is one of them.

Ohio has picked the victor in every presidential election since 1964, the longest winning streak in the nation. Wood County has picked the victor in 24 of the last 30 presidential elections.

Last week the campaign for Nick Rubando, the Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District of Ohio, provided results of a district-wide poll that would be a subset of the larger Your Voice Ohio Northwest Ohio poll.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, the Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional District, was asked to have polling results released for this article, but the campaign declined and released the following statement:

“Bob represents the people of Northwest Ohio and has their support, which is why in 2018 he received the most votes out of any Republican congressional candidate in Ohio. Bob Latta is one of the most effective members of the U.S. House of Representatives - only four members of the House have had more bills signed into law than the Congressman since 2012. Bob Latta will continue to work on behalf of his constituents when re-elected in November.”

The Rubando results come from a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, a public opinion polling firm typically aligned with candidates from the Democratic Party and released by a current candidate.

The poll was conducted on Aug. 12 and 13, and released to the campaign on Aug. 14. The survey included 991 voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%. 50% of interviews for the survey were conducted by telephone and 50% by text message.

An analysis of the statewide Your Voice Ohio poll results was reported in the Sentinel-Tribune Aug. 10. The YVO poll was conducted over a longer period, June 24-July 15, and included 1,037 respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 3%.

The Rubando campaign is also releasing the results, with their own independent analysis.

The 5th Congressional district includes all, or part of, 14 counties in the northwestern corner of Ohio. All of Wood, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams and Wyandot counties are in the district, but it also includes parts of Lucas, Mercer, and Ottawa counties. The Your Voice Ohio poll included a larger area that extended south to include both Findlay and Lima. It also included all of Toledo, of which only a section is part of the 5th Congressional District. It did not include Cleveland, which was part of the Northeast section.

The district is showing 38% support of a generic Democratic Party candidate and 54% for a Republican candidate, with 8% undecided.

Wood and Lucas counties make up approximately 50% of the electorate for the district. Wood County support is evenly split at 48%, with 4% undecided. That split is within the margin of error.

Lucas County supports a generic Democrat with 54% and a generic Republican at 37%, with 9% undecided.

The Rubando poll also shows that Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in Wood County 51% to 43%, with 6% undecided. Within “in-district areas” of Lucas County Biden leads 59% to 36% for Trump. Biden also leads in Defiance County with 50% to 49%. Results were not given for the other 11 counties in the 5th Congressional District, except to say that Trump leads in each of them.

Statewide, the YVO poll showed 46% for Biden and 42% for Trump, but in Northwest Ohio Trump has 53% support over 35% for Biden. The entire city of Toledo was shown to be firmly with the Democratic Party, but the rest of the region supported Trump, which is consistent with the Rubando campaign results.

The Rubando Wood County congressional polling, at an even 48%, could indicate the beginning of a trend toward democratic support that did not show up in the YVO poll.

Within the 5th Congressional District, the campaign also found Rubando leads among voters who did not participate in the 2016 election with 45% to 20% for Latta.

The Rubando campaign poll also looked at changes in support based on three issues related to Latta: personal finances, voting record, and healthcare positions. Support for Rubando increased from the generic Democrative Party candidate and over Latta, but those results will not be reported here as the exact wording was not released to the Sentinel-Tribune, possibly influencing results.

The Your Voice Ohio poll did not look at the congressional race, but the poll had Trump and Biden voters rank 16 issues in importance. Statewide, the top three issues ranked for Trump supporters were economy, coronavirus and health care. For Biden, the top three ranked issues were coronavirus, economy and health care. Among Biden’s strongest supporters, healthcare was ranked second.

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