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Biden, Trump running neck and neck in Ohio: poll

President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE are running neck and neck in Ohio, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll survey of the state released Wednesday.

Biden holds a statistically insignificant 1-point lead over Trump in the Buckeye State, garnering 46 percent of the vote to the president’s 45 percent. That’s well within the poll’s 2.9-point margin of error, suggesting that Ohio could still swing either way. 

The race for Ohio is likely to come down to which candidate can win over independent voters, who remain largely split. Trump won the backing of 44 percent of independents, according to the Quinnipiac poll, while Biden came in with 40 percent.

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Ohio holds significant electoral and symbolic value in the presidential race. The state has voted for the eventual winner of every presidential election since 1964, and its perennial status as an electoral battleground has made it one of the closest watched states cycle after cycle. 

Trump carried Ohio in 2016 by 8 points after former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJoe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Extremism in the U.S. military Tom Brokaw retiring from NBC News after 55 years MORE won it in 2008 and 2012. Tim Malloy, a polling analyst at Quinnipiac University Poll, said neither Trump nor Biden can afford to cede Ohio to the other.

"You have to go back 60 years to find an election where Ohio was not a lynchpin or a pathway to the presidency,” Malloy said. “That is why this very close horse race is so deeply consequential. The mantra in the backrooms of GOP and Democratic campaign headquarters has to be...'Don't lose Ohio!' ”

The Quinnipiac poll showed mixed views of both Trump and Biden in Ohio. The president’s approval rating is statistically unchanged from where it was nearly a year ago, sitting at 44 percent. Trump is also seen as more capable when it comes to handling the U.S. economy, beating out Biden on that front 53 percent to 43 percent.

But respondents to the poll said that Biden would do a better job on virtually every other issue included in the survey, including handling a crisis, responding to the coronavirus, overseeing the nation’s health care and managing race relations. 

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The close results between Trump and Biden in Ohio comes as the president has seen his support erode both nationwide and in other crucial states. 

In Florida, for instance, a CNBC/Change Research poll fielded earlier this month found Biden leading Trump by 7 points. And a New York Times/Siena College poll released on Wednesday showed the former vice president ahead by 14 points nationally. 

The Quinnipiac University Poll surveyed 1,139 self-identified registered in Ohio from June 18-22. It has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.