CANTON, Ohio — A poll commissioned by Jane Timken’s campaign for U.S. Senate shows the Republican increasing her name recognition and gaining on rival Josh Mandel in the early days of Ohio’s 2022 Senate race.
Timken, the former chair of the Ohio Republican Party, is pursuing elected office for the first time in a crowded GOP primary filled with candidates trying to prove their support for former President Donald Trump.
At least five Republicans have formally entered the race to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and at least three others are considering joining.
The poll was conducted by Moore Information Group in periodic surveys between February, shortly before Timken launched her Senate bid, and the end of May. The margin of error is +/- 4%.
Out of seven Republicans mentioned in the poll, Timken currently polls second behind Mandel, the former Ohio State Treasurer who is running for Senate for the third time.
As of May, Mandel polled at 24% while Timken polled at 19%, according to the poll, which surveyed 600 likely GOP primary voters. Back in February, Mandel was at 20% and Timken was at 5%.
The five other candidates listed in the poll received single-digit support.
“I am proud that my record as a conservative disrupter, Party unifier, and problem-solver is resonating with Ohioans,” Timken said in a statement to Spectrum News. “Voters know that I am the true, America First candidate in this race that doesn't just talk about supporting President Trump, but has the record of results to prove it. I will continue to criss-cross Ohio and share my message of fighting for Ohio jobs, Ohio businesses and Ohio families."
While Mandel entered the race with high name recognition and over $4 million leftover from previous races, Timken has been pursuing a more aggressive voter contact campaign in the early days of the primary. Her campaign says they’ve surpassed 100,000 voter contacts and have secured more than 125 endorsements from across Ohio.
The poll also has Timken’s favorability number rising, from 9% in February to 24% in May, and the amount of surveyed voters having no opinion of her decreasing, from 82% in February to 61% in May.
The data also shows Timken leading Mandel among voters aware of both of them.
Timken raised more than $1 million in the first fundraising quarter and loaned herself an additional $1 million from her personal fortune.
The Ohio Senate GOP primary is shaping up to be expensive.
Businessman Mike Gibbons has pledged to spend $5 million of his fortune; Mandel entered the race with over $4 million from his previous campaigns; and car dealer Bernie Moreno has raised over $1 million and is also independently wealthy.
Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan and author J.D. Vance have launched exploratory committees as they consider joining the race. Dolan’s family owns the Cleveland Indians baseball team and Vance already has $10 million committed to him from conservative entrepreneur Peter Thiel.
Longtime Dayton-area Congressman Mike Turner is also considering running.
On the Democratic side, Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is the only declared candidate.