Although affiliated as a Democratic polling outfit, Public Policy Polling has a proven track record in Ohio. In 2010, it showed Strickland trailing Kasich 49-48 shortly before the election, but he had a 41% approval rating to 50% disapproval. The final result was 49/47. They showed Portman crushing Fisher 57%/39%. The final result 57%/39%. In 2011, it predicted Issue 2 (SB 5) would be defeated 59% by 36%. Actual result was 62%/38%. Last year, they predicted Obama would carry Ohio 52%/47%. Actual result? 51%/48%.
Nationally, and in Ohio, PPP has one of the strongest track records in political polling. Let’s get that out of the way now.
Over the weekend, PPP polled in Ohio and Louisiana. Yesterday, PPP was teasing some of its results over Twitter. One of the findings is that in a potential 2016 Presidential head-to-head, Ohio voters prefer Hillary Clinton to John Kasich by an 18-point margin. Oh, and Josh Mandel’s Senate campaign has left a mark on his political standing. He has a 30%/41% approval/disapproval rating.
This morning, Politico leaked more of PPP’s Ohio polling, and it show Gov. Kasich has been in a freefall since the Presidential campaign:
Republican John Kasich’s approval/disapproval rating stands at 42-47 in a new Public Policy Polling survey, down a net 10 points from the last time the firm polled that question in November 2012. It finds Democrat Ed FitzGerald with a three-point lead over Kasich, 38-35. Most voters, 62 percent, said they weren’t sure whether they viewed FitzGerald favorably or unfavorably. President Barack Obama receives a -2 net approval rating, 47-49.
The same poll that shows President Obama’s approval rating is underwater in Ohio also shows that Kasich’s approval rating has dropped ten points since last November, and he, too, is underwater.
It’s been nearly two months since the last Quinnipiac Poll, and it had an unexplained partisan weighing of only +1 Democratic voters in its sample even though Democrats never have had such a small advantage in its polling, even in 2010. Since then, the anti-reproductive choices provisions of the budget became law, we’ve had a series of poor economic news, an ethics scandal around JobsOhio has erupt, etc.
Incumbents getting 35% of the vote in a head-to-head to largely unknown challengers this far out from the election do not win re-election. Period. This poll puts Kasich in a weaker position, public opinion wise, than Strickland was in 2009, which isn’t surprising since Kasich has never really reached the popularity Strickland had in 2009 or before.
Kasich can at least say he’s not in Josh Mandel territory, but it’s never good to have an incumbent with an approval rating in the low 40s. Historically, such incumbents lose re-elect virtually every time.
State Rep. Connie Pillich has a five-point lead over incumbent Treasurer Josh Mandel (40/35). Voters haven’t really formed an opinion as to whether they approve or disapprove of Secretary of State Jon Husted’s performance it’s split 28/28 with 43% not having an opinion. Yet, in a potential head-to-head, Husted has a virtual meaningless one-point lead over State Senator Nina Turner (37%/36%).
[Disclosure: I am working on David Pepper’s campaign] Attorney General Mike DeWine has been known by State voters for decades as a Lt. Governor, Senator, and now Attorney General. It’s not surprising that for all the Statewide candidates DeWine would be the best known. As such, PPP shows him with a 49% approval rating and a 46% to 32% early lead over Pepper. However, 21% of voters are undecided on the head to head and 23% are on the fence on DeWine’s approval, so there is more than early undecideds for Pepper to close ground. Also, if the top of the ticket is struggling as this poll shows Kasich is doing, DeWine and the rest of the ticket will suffer.
It just goes to show how politically impotent the Tea Party is in Ohio. In 2010, it vowed that Mike DeWine and Jon Husted would not be the nominees for Attorney General or Secretary of State. Right now, they are the most competitive incumbent Republicans to hold onto their seats while Tea Party favorites like Kasich and Mandel struggle. It’s almost a political law of physics. The more the Tea Party favors you in Ohio, the more politically vulnerable you are come next November.
John Kasich isn’t much of a viable gubernatorial candidate, let alone a Presidential contender. As we noted earlier this month, on the financial front, the Democratic ticket in 2014 has never been as strong of a challenger ticket this early in Ohio history. Now, we have polling that shows it is even more competitive than the 2010 Republican ticket was in popular support as well.