Yesterday, Public Policy Polling (a Democratic polling outfit) released their latest Ohio poll.  The news shows that if the election were held today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown would have a real fight on his hands.

He has approval ratings 40% to a 37% disapproval, which is not good.  In hypothetical matchups against incoming Attorney General Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor-elect Mary Taylor, or Congressman Jim Jordan, Brown is barely ahead against Taylor or Jordan.  He’s tied with DeWine.  Even more concerning, Brown’s numbers are all at or below 43%.

But the news is even more troublesome for Governor-elect John Kasich.  Voters are already showing signs of buyers remorse a month before Kasich has even taken office.

In PPP’s last poll before the election, Strickland’s approval rating was 41% approval and 50% disapproval.  Now it’s at 39%-44%.  That a six-point drop in Strickland’s disapproval since the election. 

Kasich’s favorability rating right before the election was 43% favorable to 42%.  Now, it’s at 36% favorable to 40% unfavorable.  That’s a seven point drop in his favorability rating.  He’s now underwater in his favorability BEFORE HE’S EVEN TAKEN OFFICE with Ohio voters.

Now, the poll before the election was of likely voters and this recent poll was just of registered voters, so it naturally would have less of a Republican bias than a likely voter model from this election would have.  That may account for some, but not all, of the change.

But the change from a likely voter to register voters can’t account for the entire change.  After all, Rob Portman still has a +9% advantage on his favorability as opposed to Kasich’s –4%.

Here are some charts that shows Kasich has some real problems:

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Before the election, Kasich’s favorability with women was 44% to 40%.  He’s down fifteen points with women since before the election.  His standing with male voters hasn’t changed much since before the election.  So, Kasich has lost considerable support with female voters, but not men.  I’ve never seen a statewide officer holder with less than 30% in a favorability rating among a gender group… ever.  Then again, I don’t know what Marc Dann was polling before he left office. 

(Maybe someone should tell Kasich that women sometimes make “little decisions” like who they’re voting for Governor in 2014.)

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Kasich also has lost considerable support with Independents.  Before the election, Kasich had a favorability/unfavorability among independents of 45% to 38%.  He’s starting to lose 11% of those independents who viewed him favorability who are now not so sure.  The fact that many just have doubts about Kasich is amazing given that ordinarily a Governor-elect sees their standings improve as they get “honeymoon” press coverage over Cabinet appointment, etc.

Kasich’s biggest drop in favorability from a group that supported him before the election, though, comes from Republicans.  Before the election, Kasich had a favorability rating of 77% to 11%.  He’s lost thirteen points in his favorability with Republicans since the election.  Roughly 4% of Republicans have gone from having a favorable opinion of Kasich before the election to having an unfavorable opinion of him now.

Kasich is also losing support among age groups, too, since the election:

  • Ten point drop with voters 18-29 on favorability.  Goes from a net –4% before the election to –13%.
  • Eleven-point drop with voters 30-45.  Goes from a net +9% to –1%.
  • Seven-point drop with voters older than 65.  Barely under water with this group. 
  • Kasich now has a favorability rating below 40% among all age groups, including the most loyal voting age demographic.

Although Kasich won’t want for a lack of partisan allies in the legislature, never before has a first-term Governor of Ohio entered office so politically weakly as Kasich is.  Now, we’re already seeing signs in public opinion polling that Kasich is already starting to lose support among Republicans and Independents and female voters opposition to Kasich gets even higher.

Kasich’s was barely elected in a major Republican tide year, with only a two percent margin in which Kasich failed to even get a majority of the vote in one of the lowest turnout elections in modern Ohio gubernatorial election history.

And it’s starting to look like the only political capital Kasich has coming into office is nothing more than partisan affiliation with the majority of the legislature.  I think we may see a more independent legislature than Kasich is expecting.  These polls numbers do not give any Republican nervous about re-election in 2012 comfort that tie their wagon to Kasich is a political winner.

Pretty remarkable achievement for a Governor-elect to do before taking office.

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