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Poll says Ohio governor race too close to call between Cordray, DeWine

The race for Ohio governor between Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine is too close to call, a new independent poll released Wednesday shows.

The Quinnipiac University poll says support for Cordray stands at 42-percent while DeWine trails him by just 2 percentage points.

“The closeness between Richard Cordray and Attorney General Mike DeWine should not be surprising, since this race for governor is a re-run of the race between the two men in 2010 for the attorney general’s job that DeWine won by one percentage point,” Quinnipiac Poll assistant director Peter Brown said in a written statement.

The latest polls caused political predictor Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball to move the race to the “toss-up” category.

Generally, DeWine has strong support among men, whites and Republicans, the poll found. Cordray’s strength is with women, non-whites and Democrats, the pollsters found. Independent voters are closely divided with 39 percent backing Cordray and 37 percent for DeWine.

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Roughly half of Ohio voters say they don’t know enough about Cordray to have an opinion about him. Twenty-seven percent of voters don’t know DeWine. Both men have been on the statewide ballot multiple times stretching back decades.

Related: Dems want to pin blame for ECOT on GOP in the fall election

Republicans have held the Ohio governor’s office for 24 of the last 27 years and currently Ohio Democrats have just one statewide officeholder — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Election day is still five months away, giving plenty of time for the candidates to land punches, issues to come into clear focus and voters to firm up their picks.

Related: What’s next? DeWine versus Cordray fight for Ohio

A Suffolk University poll conducted for the Cincinnati Enquirer and released Tuesday showed Cordray with 43 percent, DeWine with 36 percent and 16 percent of likely voters undecided. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

DeWine and Cordray each are coming off bruising primary battles to capture their party nominations for governor.

DeWine scored a congratulatory tweet from President Trump that said in part: “He will be a great Governor with a heavy focus on HealthCare and Jobs. His Socialist opponent in November should not do well, a big failure in last job!”

Trump, who won Ohio in 2016 by 8 points, has a 54 percent job approval rating in the state. Ninety-one percent of Republicans approve while 94 percent of Democrats disapprove and 57 percent of independents disapprove.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted June 7 to June 12, contacted 1,082 Ohio voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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