Ohio: Jim Renacci Releases Poll Amid Questions on Ad Strategy

Rep. Betty Sutton makes a campaign stop at an Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters meeting at the Knights of Columbus in Avon, Ohio. Sutton is in a tight campaign for Ohio's 16th district against her Republican rival, Rep. Jim Renacci. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

CHICAGO — Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) today released a poll that showed him with a 10-point lead over his opponent, Rep. Betty Sutton (D).

Renacci led Sutton, 51 percent to 41 percent, in a survey conducted for the freshman Republican's campaign. Seven percent of voters said they were undecided.

The survey results come just after Renacci stopped airing advertisements in the Cleveland broadcast market through Election Day. His strategy puzzled Democrats and, privately, some Republicans too. Both parties view the race as highly competitive, and Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.

In a press release, Renacci's campaign said that its "innovative strategy" allowed it to air advertisements on Cleveland television early, beating Sutton to the airwaves by several weeks in a saturated market. The GOP's campaign said it has opted "to run a more targeted campaign in the final two weeks centered on more direct voter contacts."

Regardless, Renacci's move creates a possible opening for Sutton these past two weeks. But the Congresswoman will have to make an impression in a crowded television market dominated by a presidential campaign and a top-tier Senate race.

Republicans moved Renacci and Sutton into the same, GOP-leaning district in northeastern Ohio during their redraw of the Congressional map last year. Ohio's population growth lagged compared with other states, so it lost two House seats following reapportionment.

Wes Anderson of OnMessage Inc. conducted the poll on Oct. 25 of 400 likely general election voters. The margin of error is 4.9 points.