Kasich Leads Field In Ohio

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s new Ohio poll finds that John Kasich would be the first choice of Republican primary voters in his home state- more than a lot of the other GOP hopefuls can say in theirs. Kasich polls at 19% to 13% for Ben Carson and Scott Walker, 12% for Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, 9% for Rand Paul, 6% for Mike Huckabee, 5% for Ted Cruz, and 4% for Chris Christie.

Kasich is pretty universally popular with Republican voters in the state- 72% approve of the job he’s doing to only 17% who disapprove. But he still performs unspectacularly with voters on the right in the primary- among ‘very conservative’ voters he manages just a tie for third place with Marco Rubio at 12%, behind Ben Carson’s 19% and Scott Walker’s 17%. But he leads the field among the more centrist ideological groups within the Republican electorate. Among ‘somewhat conservative’ voters he gets 24%to 14% for Rubio, 11% for Carson, and 10% each for Walker and Rand Paul. And among moderates he ties Jeb Bush for the top spot at 23% with Walker at 11% and Rubio at 10% also in double digits.

Rubio has the highest favorability rating among GOP voters in Ohio, as we have found to be the case many places lately, at 58/16. Ohio makes yet another state where Christie is outwardly disliked by GOP voters- his favorability is 34/44- to put into perspective how poor that is the next least popular Republican we tested- Jeb Bush- is still at +16 at 48/32.

Hillary Clinton remains as dominant as ever on the Democratic side- she polls at 61% to 13% for Bernie Sanders, 7% for Michael Bloomberg, 2% each for Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley, and 1% for Jim Webb.

We threw in Bloomberg because of the fascination of the New York media with a potential bid from him. We found that 1) Bloomberg isn’t actually that well known- 54% of primary voters have no opinion about him and 2) he is not that well liked- only 22% of Democrats have a favorable opinion of him to 24% with a negative one.

This is the first poll we’ve conducted since O’Malley and Chafee formally got into the race and their 2% showing suggests neither has gotten much of an initial bump from his announcement. Neither has a positive favorability rating among Democratic primary voters in the state either.

Clinton is polling over 70% with African Americans, over 60% with liberals, women, and seniors, and over 50% with moderates, men, and younger voters. There’s no major demographic group within the Democratic electorate she fails to receive majority support from.

The general election match ups in Ohio are generally close with one exception- Kasich leads Clinton 47/40 in a hypothetical contest. Kasich boasts a solid 49/35 approval rating following his resounding reelection victory last year. The key to Kasich’s advantage is that 89% of Republicans support him, compared to 75% of Democrats for Clinton.

The only other Republican who Clinton trails in Ohio is Rand Paul at 44/41. She also ties Marco Rubio at 44. She has small advantages over the rest of the GOP field- it’s 44/43 over Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker, 45/43 over Jeb Bush, 44/41 over Chris Christie, and 45/42 over Mike Huckabee.

Clinton may not be polling great against the Republicans in Ohio but there’s still a huge gap between how she fares and how any other Democrat does in a general election match up. In match ups against Scott Walker, Bloomberg trails 40/32, Sanders 40/30, O’Malley 41/26, Chafee 39/24, and Webb 41/25. 

Full results here

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