Heading into the first debate in the governor’s race Wednesday at the University of Dayton, the race between Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine is a close one, according to a new poll.
The two candidates will debate at 7 p.m. at the University of Dayton — an event hosted by the university. Cox Media Group Ohio is the media partner for the debate.
“We’re really excited to have it here in Dayton. I mean obviously we think Dayton is the most important city in the state,” UD President Eric Spina said Tuesday.
A survey of likely voters conducted by Baldwin Wallace University between Sept. 5 and 15 shows DeWine with a slight lead: 41.8 percent for DeWine, 37 percent for Cordray, 21.3 percent undecided.
A poll from Politico/AARP showed DeWine at 39 percent and Cordray at 38 percent with 23 percent of Ohio voters yet to make up their minds.
Tonight’s debate is moderated by News Center 7 anchor James Brown. Questions will be asked by Dayton Daily News Columbus Bureau reporter Laura Bischoff, News Center 7 reporter and WHIO Reports host Jim Otte and University of Dayton assistant political science professor Christopher Devine.
BW Community Research Institute director Tom Sutton said in a written statement that the outcome of the election will hinge on how late-deciding voters break on election day Nov. 6.
Spina said it is important for UD to host tonight’s debate to start a dialogue across Ohio before Election Day.
“We believe citizenship is a good thing for our students to engage in as soon as possible so I think we were able to make the case that it fits well at this university where we talk a lot about dialogue across difference,” Spina said.
“Dayton is an important city historically and certainly as Dayton comes back economically, it’s only good news for the state, so I think having this here in Dayton sends a good signal that whoever turns out to be governor will be paying attention to Dayton and I’ve certainly sensed a lot of excitement among leaders in Dayton as well.”
Cheryl McHenry of News Center 7 contributed to this report.
Dayton hosting first governor debate
How to watch: You can watch the Sept. 19 debate with Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray live at 7 p.m. on WHIO-TV Channel 7. You can also stream it on our newspaper web site.
Listen live: Listen to the debate on AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO then stick around for a live post-debate show starting at 8 p.m.
Stay informed: Follow our Ohio Politics Facebook page for the latest news. We will have live updates throughout the debate on Twitter at @Ohio_Politics. Follow the discussion at #OHGovDebate. Sign up for our Ohio Politics newsletter.
Upcoming debates: The debate on Wednesday is the first of three that Cordray and DeWine agreed to do. The second will be held at Marietta College on Oct. 1 and the final one will be held at Cleveland State University on Oct. 8.