Date: September 6, 2017

Lake Research Partners finds Michele Young strongly positioned against incumbent Steve Chabot in 2018

A recent survey of likely 2018 voters in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District1 shows Democrat Michele Young strongly positioned against longtime incumbent Republican Steve Chabot. Congressman Chabot starts out well under fifty percent in a matchup against Young, only single digits ahead of the successful small businesswoman and mother of five. Moreover, Young moves within the poll’s margin of error against Chabot once voters hear positive profiles of both candidates. The undecided voters are far more accessible to Young than Chabot, as demonstrated by the movement toward her over the course of the poll and the fact that Chabot’s support actually declines in this scenario. With the resources to mount a robust campaign, Michele Young stands poised to flip Ohio’s 1st District next November.

· Chabot under 50%, Young within Single Digits. Although Chabot has represented the 1st for nearly two decades, he’s failed to consolidate support, drawing only 45% of the vote to Young’s 36%. Among women voters, Young already leads Chabot, 41% to 40%.

· Roughly one-in-five voters is undecided, and their demographic profile skews toward Young. A 54% majority are women, fully 61% are under the age of 50, and perhaps most important, they lean Democratic over Republican in the partisan self-identification by a substantial 25-point margin. This, in a survey with a 16-point GOP advantage in party registration.

· Young pulls within margin of error in an informed trial heat. After simulating an engaged debate with voters hearing positive profiles of both Young and Chabot, Young moves up to 40% while Chabot actually declines a point to 44%. Young leads Chabot among independents 34% to 32% in this scenario.

· Chabot’s job performance is solidly net negative. Fully half (50%) of voters in OH-01 say Chabot is doing a “just fair” or “poor” job, compared to just 37% who say he is doing an “excellent” or “good” job. Undecided voters are especially unhappy with the job Chabot is doing as Congressman: 54% of undecided voters say that Chabot is doing a “just fair” or “poor” job.

· Chabot’s hard “re-elect” is under 1/3 of the vote: 57% of voters in the district say they plan either to replace Chabot or would consider voting for someone else. Just 30% of voters believe Chabot should be re-elected—a tellingly low figure for a representative like Chabot with such an extensive tenure and well-known profile.

· Young is tied for the lead in a very open Democratic Primary: Young is tied for first place and is strongly positioned as the only prochoice women in the race to set her candidacy apart from the rest of the field. Young also does a better job of converting her name ID and popularity into votes than the other candidates including Todd Portune, P.G. Sittenfeld, and Denise Driehaus.

In summary, the survey data underscores Chabot’s weaknesses with voters in the 1st district as well as Michele Young’s ability to make rapid gains with strong voter outreach and paid media efforts. Furthermore, the appeal of Young’s message of change, bolstered by her deeply-rooted connections to the community and her own compelling personal story, stands in stark contrast to Chabot’s own message. Young is well positioned to make this race a competitive contest next fall, provided her campaign has the resources to mount a vigorous communications effort to define herself and the stakes of this race.

Text of Informed Trial Heat

Young Profile

Michele Young is a working mother who helped build a successful family law firm, and public safety advocate who’s led the fight to stop distracted driving that costs lives. The daughter of public school teachers, Michele took out loans and worked her way through college and law school, and is now doing the same for her 5 children. Michele believes we need real change in Washington and both parties need to prioritize everyday families instead of corporate special interests and their lobbyists. In Congress, Michele will fight for our priorities: jobs you can raise a family on, quality public schools and debt-free college, and real retirement security for all Americans—the building blocks of a strong middle class here in Southwest Ohio.


Chabot Profile

Steve Chabot is a husband, father, and lifelong Cincinnatian who is proud to serve Ohio's First Congressional District. Steve is a leading advocate for fiscal responsibility, voting consistently to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce the excessive tax burden on hard-working Americans. Nonpartisan taxpayer advocacy groups have repeatedly rated Steve as one of the most pro-taxpayer members of Congress. Steve has consistently voted to limit the size and scope of the federal government, stop regulatory overreach that kills jobs, and preserve the constitutional rights of all Americans. He also authored the ban on partial-birth abortions and has fought tirelessly to make sure our veterans get the care and resources they have earned. We can trust Steve to look out for our communities.


[1] Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, which was conducted by telephone using professional interviewers. The survey reached a total 350 likely 2018 voters in OH-01. The survey was conducted June 17th through June 21st, 2017. Margin of error: +/- 5.2%.