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Data: SurveyMonkey survey of 3,092 Ohio voters, Sept. 1-25, 2020; Note: COVID-19 was a write-in option; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Trump leads Joe Biden 51%-47% among likely Ohio voters overall — but he holds a whopping 74%-24% lead with those who say a flagging economy and job concerns are their top issue, according to new SurveyMonkey-Tableau data for Axios.

Why it matters: Ohioans are more worried about their jobs than the coronavirus — and that's President Trump's best chance to cling to a narrow lead in this state he won handily in 2016.

Driving the news: Trump and Biden will meet Tuesday night in Cleveland for their first presidential debate, putting a spotlight on this Rust Belt state that's battled declining growth for years.

  • Ohio has 18 electoral votes, making it a state without which he likely cannot win.
  • 49% of all Ohio adults surveyed since June approve of Trump's handling of the presidency, five points higher than the national average.

Details: Jobs and the economy (37%) were the top issue for Ohio voters in September, followed by health care (18%), the environment (9%) and education (5%). Another 3% wrote in COVID-19.

  • Half of Ohioans see coronavirus primarily an economic crisis. Nationally, by contrast, 53% see it first as health crisis and 45% see it as an economic crisis, according to SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen.

By the numbers: Non-college educated white voters and white men drive the president's Ohio support, nearly 2-to-1 over Biden, in the SurveyMonkey data.

  • Biden leads with Black, college-educated, young and independent voters — his best chances to close the gap if he can turn these groups out.
  • Black voters prefer Biden over Trump 86% to 12%.
  • College-educated white voters prefer Biden 59% to 40%.
  • Independents give Biden an edge 53% to 43%.
  • Women in Ohio are essentially divided.

Methodology: These data come from a set of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted for Axios and Tableau June 8 – September 25, 2020, among a national sample of 11,616 registered voters in Ohio, including 3,092 likely voters interviewed thus far in September.

  • Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2.5% percentage points.
  • Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

Go deeper

Georgia's early voting starts with heavy turnout

Voters wait in line to vote at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta on the first day of in-person early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election. Photo: Jason Armond/Getty Images

Georgia's on an early path to a huge turnout in the two runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office crunched by Axios.

By the numbers: Voters cast 482,000 ballots in roughly the first day and a half of early voting this week. That’s equivalent to one-third of the total in the last statewide general election runoff, held in 2018, and about one-fourth of the total ballots in the last Senate runoff, held in 2008.

Updated Dec 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell congratulates Joe Biden on becoming president-elect

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) officially addressed Joe Biden as president-elect on Tuesday, saying in a speech on the Senate floor: "The Electoral College has spoken."

Why it matters: McConnell is the most prominent Republican to concede that President Trump lost the November election and congratulate Biden on his victory.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

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