Strickland Miss Me Yet

The answer, according the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), is: “Yes, Ohioans miss Ted Strickland very much already.”

In a hypothetical rematch, Strickland beats Kasich by FIFTEEN POINTS among registered voters (55%-40%.)  PPP pegs Kasich’s approval rating at 35% (only five points lower than yesterday’s U.C. Ohio Poll), but has his disapproval rating at 54%.

The main reason for Kasich’s unpopularity? Senate Bill 5. 

  • 51% of Ohioans have a favorable view of labor unions in Ohio; only 37% unfavorable;
  • When asked to side with the public labor unions or Gov. Kasich; 57% favor the unions;
  • 63% of registered Ohio voters believe that public unions should have the right to collectively bargain wages, benefits, and work conditions;
  • 52% of Ohioans support allowing public unions to have the right to strike;
  • A plurality, 47% of Ohioans, believe that public unions should keep the rights they already have; 18% believe they should have more rights;
  • If a referendum to repeal SB 5 is on the ballot, presently 54% would vote to repeal; only 31% would support.

One particular problem with the poll sample is that when asked who they voted for in the 2010 election, the results overstate the support for Governor Strickland by putting him ahead of Kasich.  However, the same sample also understates the percentage of people who voted for Obama in 2008.  So, it’s not entirely clear that this sample is too Democratic.

Especially when you consider that recently, even Rasmussen has declared a similar problem with their samples in Wisconsin that it chalked up to the fact that people are probably lying about not voting for Walker.

Given that PPP finds that 13% of registered voters who claimed to have voted for Kasich in 2010 now say they’d vote for Strickland, it’s not beyond belief that some Kasich voters might lie to the pollster and claim they are Strickland voters.

“Voters in Ohio are feeling significant buyers remorse about the November election results already,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Of course the reality is if Democrats had turned out Kasich never would have been elected. They voters who stayed home have mostly themselves to blame.”

Like the Ohio Poll, PPP finds Kasich with an 18% approval/73% disapproval rating with union households.  How powerful is in the union effect?  Well, in nonunion households, Kasich’s approval rating is split 44%/43%.  In a rematch, the numbers among non-union household voters are actually identical to the actual results of the 2010 election.  Union voters have galvanized against Kasich, against SB 5, and in favor of Strickland more so than they did in the election to the point that it turns it into a fifteen-point race for Strickland instead of a slight plurality victory for Kasich.

But it’s not just unions.  Again, Kasich seems to have a real problem getting the support of female voters.   His approval rating is just 29% to 58% among female voters.   On a rematch, Strickland gets 60% of the female vote to Kasich’s 34%… that’s a remarkably different gender gap we didn’t see in November.

By party lines, Kasich gets only 7% approval by Democrats, and only 33% of Independents.  Kasich loses Independent voters on SB 5.  A majority of Independents have a favorable opinion of unions, support unions over Kasich, and support a repeal referendum of SB 5.  None of these are close.

Independents were a significant key to Kasich’s victory in November.  He has clearly lost their support already with SB 5.  The question remains, is there any expectation that today’s budget announcement will stem the bleeding?

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