PPP’s newest Ohio poll finds voters in the state are getting sick of John Kasich’s Presidential campaign. Only 38% think he should stay in the race, compared to 49% who think it’s time for him to drop out. Those numbers have shifted substantially from early March when 52% of voters wanted him to continue on in the race and just 34% thought he should drop out. And the numbers for Kasich when it comes to dropping out are actually even worse for him with Republicans than they are with Democrats- 58% of GOP voters in Ohio think it’s time for him to let it go, compared to only 33% who think he should stay in.
Part of the problem for Kasich is that voters feel he’s neglecting his duties as Governor. Only 31% think he’s paying enough attention to his current job, compared to 49% who think the Presidential bid has caused him to pay insufficient attention to his Gubernatorial duties. Perhaps because of that Kasich’s approval rating has dropped from a 54/36 spread in early March down now to a 46/40 spread. One thing voters are particularly unhappy about is having to foot the bill for Kasich’s security detail- 66% of voters in the state say they oppose the more than $450,000 of taxpayer money that’s gone to pay for his security on the campaign trail, to only 22% who are ok with that expenditure. Democrats (19/72), independents (22/63), and Republicans (26/62) alike are unhappy with continuing to have to pay for Kasich’s protection while he’s out running for President.
Ohio continues the recent trend we’ve found in our polling of Ted Cruz polling even worse for the general election than Donald Trump. Trump certainly is unpopular- only 35% of voters see him favorably to 57% with an unfavorable opinion, and he trails Hillary Clinton 45/42 and Bernie Sanders 45/41 in the state. But Cruz is far worse off- just 21% of voters have a positive opinion of him to 62% with a negative one and he trails Clinton and Sanders each by 9 points at 44/35. Kasich still leads Clinton (43/41) and Sanders (47/37) in Ohio but those margins are well down from the 15 point lead he had on Clinton at 52/37 and the 20 point lead he had on Sanders at 54/34 in early March.
The Senate race in Ohio remains very tight, with Rob Portman and Ted Strickland each at 38%, and 23% of voters undecided. Rob Portman has just a 32/40 approval spread. That puts him well behind Sherrod Brown’s 42/33 spread for honors as Ohio’s more popular Senator (Brown also has an early 47/33 lead in a hypothetical rematch in 2018 against Josh Mandel.) One issue percolating right now that really has the potential to hurt Portman is the Supreme Court seat. 53% of voters want to see the seat filled this year to only 39% who don’t, including a 60/31 spread with independents in favor of filling it this year. But where voters are really mad with Senate Republicans is the issue of holding hearings and at least giving Merrick Garland a fair shot. 65% of voters think the Senate should have hearings on Garland’s nomination to only 21% of voters opposed to doing so. That includes 75/10 support from Democrats, 75/11 from independents, and 47/38 even from Republicans for holding hearings. Another problem for Portman- tied in with the Supreme Court issue- is that Mitch McConnell has only a 14% approval rating with voters in the state to 50% who disapprove of him. That makes his unpopularity a potential drag on Portman.
We also polled on a variety of other issues in Ohio:
-83% of voters support background checks on all gun purchases, to only 11% who are opposed to them. That includes strong bipartisan support from 90% of Democrats, 82% of independents, and 76% of Republicans.
-73% of voters in the state support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, compared to only 14% who want to keep it where it is and 10% who would prefer to eliminate it altogether. 88% of Democrats, 67% of independents, and 61% of Republicans alike support an increase to at least $10 an hour.
-66% of voters in the state say they would support a bill creating more accountability for charter schools, to only 17% opposed to that concept. There’s 74/7 support from Democrats, 62/20 from independents, and 60/25 from Republicans for doing that.
-By a 26 point margin voters in the state support adopting a nonpartisan process for drawing up Congressional district lines- 44% support doing that to only 18% who are opposed. Support for nonpartisan redistricting is strongest with independents (60/13), followed by Democrats (43/14) and even has 35/26 favor from Republicans despite the fact that it wouldn’t be in the party’s best interests politically.
-Finally 61% of voters in the state support the EPA Clean Power Plan, to 31% who are opposed.
Full results here