This morning, we got more data from the latest Quinnpiac Poll.  And to discuss what is going on in Ohio that has led to John Kasich’s poor poll numbers last night on Rachel Maddow was the most popular officeholder in Ohio, Sherrod Brown.

Brown has a 43% approval/27% disapproval rating.  Against an unnamed GOP opponent, Brown wins 45% to 29%.  Voter also feel just about the same when asked if Brown deserves to be re-elected or not.  Just as with PPP, Brown now has an advantage with Independents.

Brown has a better approval rating than freshman Senator Rob Portman, who has 30%/25% approval rating which is actually a slight drop since January when he polled at 34%-16%.  Portman’s disapproval rating took a remarkable nine-point jump in two months.

Brown looked like he might be in serious trouble come 2012, but PPP and Quinnipiac shows that Brown’s fortunes have been improving.  While any incumbent would much prefer polling above 50% at any given time, Nate Silver explained that an incumbent in Sherrod Brown’s situation will win re-election nearly two out of three times.  Brown isn’t out of the woods entirely, and a lot can change in the course of the next twenty months, but Brown is looking less vulnerable then he did just months ago.

As for Obama, he’s at a spilt.  His approval ratings and re-elect numbers are at a split.  This puts him behind Sherrod and Portman as the most popular pols in Ohio with John Kasich way back.  At issue for Obama in Ohio is a tug-of-war between Ohioans heart and mind.  More Ohioans (73%) like Obama personally than like his policies (44%).

Given four choices to describe their feelings about Obama:

  • 43 percent like him personally and like his policies;
  • 30 percent like him personally but not his policies;
  • 1 percent like his policies but not him;
  • 21 percent don’t like him or his policies.

John Kasich doesn’t have this problem.  For the most part, Ohioans’ hearts and minds agree on Kasich—they don’t like either him personally or his policies:

  • 26 percent like Kasich personally and like his policies;
  • 17 percent like him personally but not his policies;
  • 7 percent like his policies but not him;
  • 34 percent don’t like him or his policies.
  • Just how unpopular is John Kasich in Ohio right now?  Obama’s biggest political liability in Ohio is that only 44% like his policies.  But that’s still more than the percentage of people who like Kasich at all (43%) and Ohioans like Obama’s polices by 11 points more than they like Kasich’s.

    Now, I really need to tell you something about that last line there… see those 34% of folks who don’t like him or his policies?  That’s pollster speak for “hates a politician’s very existence and everything he stands for.”  Barack Obama has been in office two years, and only 21% of Ohioans don’t like him and his policies.  John Kasich has been in office three months and he’s already got more than a third of the electorate hating him to the core.  Once you reach a point that you dislike a politician on both a personal and philosophical issue, you are highly unlikely to change that opinion into support.  I mean this is the hard core opposition.  It’s kind of locked in.  For Kasich to potentially already have lost 1/3 of the electorate this quickly is insanity.  It means that Obama is in much better shape already for re-election next year than John Kasich is just three months into his term and three years to go before he’s on the ballot.

    I’ll say this again, this is further proof that the smartest thing the Statehouse Republicans can do is a) draw Statehouse maps that create a firewall for as many incumbents as they can; b) start asserting some independence and distance from Kasich ASAP.

    Attention Republicans: By any measure Barack Obama and his policies are more popular than John Kasich or his policies, which kind of makes this 2010 campaign video by the Kasich campaign sad:

    John Kasich and the Republican governors in Wisconsin and Michigan are single-handedly on pace to hand Obama the Midwest, and thus, the entire 2012 Presidential election. 

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