PPP's new Ohio poll finds that Sherrod Brown has solid approval numbers and at least at this very early stage would be a strong favorite for reelection. Brown has a 43/30 approval rating- by comparison Rob Portman is at 31/37. Brown is a rare Democrat who Republicans don't hate- just 48% of them disapprove of him. In a hypothetical rematch with 2012 opponent Josh Mandel, Brown leads 45/36. That includes a 14 point advantage with independents at 41/27.
When PPP polled Ohio in March John Kasich had a 54/36 approval spread, and his numbers aren't terribly different now at 50/37. There have been a lot of shifts in the underlying numbers though. Kasich has seen a significant drop in his standing with Republicans- from 73/20 approval down to 59/32. But he's seen a similar sized improvement in his numbers with Democrats, going from 36/56 in March to now being the exceedingly rare politician who's actually on positive ground with voters of the other party at 43/39. Kasich's snub of Donald Trump is hurting him with the base but helping his standing across party lines.
Ohioans strongly side with Democrats on a number of key issues going on right now:
-87% support background checks on all gun purchases, to just 7% who are opposed to them. That includes support from 94% of Democrats, 83% of independents, and 82% of Republicans. There's also 83/9 support for barring those on the Terror Watch List from buying guns, with 89% of Democrats, 82% of Republicans, and 76% of independents in support of that. Ohioans also support a ban on assault weapons 51/37- that's something where Democrats (76% support) are far more united in their favor for it than Republicans (54% against) are in their opposition.
-75% of voters in the state support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, compared to only 14% who think it's fine where it is and 9% who don't think there should be a federal minimum wage at all. That includes support from 92% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 59% of Republicans.
-62% of voters in the state want to see Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court move forward, with only 20% opposed to having hearings. Democrats (83/6) and independents (57/19) are overwhelmingly in favor of hearings but what's most striking is that even Republicans (44/34) think they should occur. This is an issue where Rob Portman is very out of touch with his constituents.
-Indians fans outnumber Reds fans in the state 45/33. There's an interesting partisan divide with Democrats going strongly for the Indians (48/30), while Republicans (41/39) actually go narrowly to the Reds. Indians fans are quite happy with their current leadership, with Terry Francona coming in at a 53/8 approval rating. Reds fans meanwhile show little support for Bryan Price- just 19% approve of the job he's doing to 24% who disapprove.
-Finally we get asked to poll on some pretty random stuff when we go to speak at conferences across the country, and a lot of the time we say sure why not. So that's why we bring you the important news that 37% of voters think the chicken comes first to 23% for the egg, with 39% not sure one way or another. And rabbits have a 67/7 favorability rating and their popularity is something that brings our divided nation together across party lines. Maybe what this campaign needs is more rabbits.
Full results here