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COLUMBUS, Ohio—The frenzied political state of Ohio on the eve of the midterm election is what happens when no one knows which polls to trust. In the state’s two marquee races—governor and Senate—the Republican is polling ahead, in one case by double-digits.
And yet neither race feels like a foregone conclusion, even in an election cycle where history is on Republicans’ side. You hear it from voters in each camp, and from campaigns on both sides. Anything can happen, and just might.
“Ohio is tough because it’s been so gerrymandered. The numbers are there, though. People just need to vote,” Naomi DeVore told me last week in a parking lot on Columbus’ northside, on her way from casting her ballot. Despite what the polls suggest, the 32-year-old project manager believes that former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley still has a shot at unseating Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and that Democrat Tim Ryan can squeak out a win for the open Senate seat against J.D. Vance. “All of my friends are voting for Nan and Tim. Ohio is very purple.”
Maybe. And it’s a big maybe that the state remains as evenly split between the red and the blue as it once was. Early-vote numbers have been lagging in the city’s urban areas, places where Democrats typically run up the score to offset a shellacking in the rural counties. Sure, about 126,000 more Democrats have cast their ballots than in the last midterms, increasing their share of that bucket of about 1.2 million votes (and counting) by about 2 percentage points. But independents—those voters who actually decide elections in Ohio—have seen their share jump by 3 percentage points.
It’s entirely possible many of those independents split their ballots,…
Source : time