Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) time in office might finally be coming to an end, according to new polling that puts him in dangerous territory against his Trump-backed Republican rival.
The Daily Caller reported that a poll released Thursday by Emerson College shows that Sen. Brown’s lead over the GOP field has narrowed precipitously and is now far below the 10-point advantage he enjoyed in November. The Ohio Democrat will face either businessman Bernie Moreno, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, or state Sen. Matt Dolan. Sen. Brown now leads Dolan by 1 point and both Moreno and LaRose by 2 points in head-to-head matchups.
While 42% of the GOP primary electorate remains undecided, Moreno, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, has grown his support and name recognition by 12% since the last poll. His story as a Colombian immigrant turned local business leader has earned Moreno endorsements from other high-profile MAGA Republicans like Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake.
For decades, political analysts refrained, “as goes Ohio, so goes the nation,” a notion no longer true given the Buckeye State’s rightward tilt in the Trump era. The Ohio Republican Party recently endorsed President Trump, breaking with the Republican National Committee which recently pulled a resolution that would have called Trump the “presumptive nominee.” The former president comfortably won the state both in 2016 and 2020, and in 2022 his endorsement of J.D. Vance propelled the first-time candidate into the Senate. Moreno is banking on a similar effect in 2024. Cook Political Report currently ranks the race as a “Toss Up.”
Brown, who has held office since 2007, continues to out-raise his Republican rivals, bringing in $6.6 million in the fourth quarter of last year and entering 2024 with over $14 million on hand. He is starting the ad wars early and has reserved $316,000 in airwaves through February 5th.
LaRose leads the Republican field in fundraising with $812,539 collected in the final quarter, though Moreno was not far behind, reporting $800,295 in his last filing with the Federal Election Commission. Dolan came in a distant third with $357,652. Dolan and Moreno report the most cash on hand — $4.8 million and $2 million, respectively.
“Ohioans are struggling under the failed policies of Sherrod Brown and Joe Biden,” Ben Kindel, spokesperson for the LaRose campaign, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “They want a battle-tested conservative like Frank LaRose who will actually fight for them in Washington.”
The survey also found President Trump leading President Joe Biden 47% to 36% among 1,844 registered Ohio voters, putting Trump on track to repeat his 53-45% win in 2020. Recent polling of swing states confirms that Trump leads Biden in almost every battleground.
Senate Democrats face headwinds in 2024 if they are to keep the chamber from Republican control. New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez was recently indicted on federal bribery charges and has rebuffed calls to exit the race. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, the sixth most popular governor in the nation, is expected to win the state’s Senate race to replace outgoing Democrat Joe Manchin (D-WV).