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Internal poll shows tight race brewing in key Ohio House race

Internal poll shows tight race brewing in key Ohio House race
© Greg Nash

Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majority House Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation Democrats, GOP fighting over largest House battlefield in a decade MORE (R) and Democrat Kate Schroder are in an increasingly tight race in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, according to an internal poll from Schroder’s campaign.

The new survey, obtained exclusively by The Hill, shows Chabot with a 2-point lead among registered voters, a difference that falls within the poll’s margin of error. Chabot gets the support of 48 percent of likely voters in the poll, compared with 46 percent for Schroder, a health care advocate. 

Schroder trailed the 12-term incumbent by a 43 percent to 50 percent margin in a poll from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released in April.

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“This most recent polling confirms what we already know: our community is ready for change. We’re ready for fresh leadership over career politicians — someone who will put working families over special interests. I’m motivated and humbled to be part of this grassroots movement — and to be one step closer to flipping this seat in November,” Schroder said in a statement to The Hill.

The race in the Cincinnati-area district appears to be tightening in the final 100 days leading up to the election. Schroder raised about $624,000 in the second quarter of the year, while Chabot raised roughly $310,000, leading the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, to shift its rating of the race from “lean Republican” to “toss up.”

Chabot won reelection in 2018 by more than 4 points against Democrat Aftab Pureval, whose campaign was caught up in a campaign finance scandal.

The Cook Political Report noted in its announcement of its rating change that Chabot’s former campaign consultant has been under investigation since last year for stealing campaign funds.

Still, Chabot's campaign said it welcomed the opportunity to provide voters with a "clear contrast" with Schroder.

“There will be a clear contrast in this race between Congressman Chabot’s record of delivering results for Ohio families and small businesses, including securing more small business relief for the first district than any other district in Ohio, and Kate Schroder’s record of running Cincinnati’s public health system into the ground,” said campaign spokesman Jon Conradi. 

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“The Chabot campaign welcomes this contrast, and is in a stronger position than ever to share it, having a two-to-one cash-on-hand advantage, and an energized grassroots organization that has already knocked on tens of thousands of doors, and made hundreds of thousands of phone calls.”

In a sign the district is becoming more competitive up and down the ballot, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE is leading President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE there 50 percent to 45 percent among likely voters. Trump won the district by 6 points in 2016.

Fox News poll and a Quinnipiac University survey last month both showed Biden with narrow leads in Ohio, a state Democrats had largely written off heading into the White House contest. 

The Schroder campaign’s internal poll, conducted by GQR, surveyed 605 likely voters from June 29-July 2 and has a margin of error of 3.98 percentage points.