The 2014 mid-term elections are now just 65 days away and voters who intend to go to the polls on or before November 4th have new metrics on Ohio — supplied by Gallup — that can be used to help determine who they want to reward with an election win and who will go home as losers.
A number of states will hold Congressional or gubernatorial elections that together will decide the ultimate party control of the U.S. House and Senate and will have important implications for the governance of those states going forward. These states’ standing on the 14 key political, economic, and cultural metrics provides important insights into the environment in which these midterm elections will be held. The scorecards from these key states will be highlighted in a series of forthcoming reports on Gallup.com throughout the fall of 2014.
Gallup isolated 14 key indicators from these data sources at the state level and compiled them into a series of State Scorecards, one for each of the 50 states. These key metrics involve the views of each state’s residents regarding their local and national economy, state and national political viewpoints and assessments, evaluations of the state as a place to live, and views on cultural characteristics of the state.
In Ohio, a bellwether battleground state with the seventh-most electoral college votes  that can make or break a run for the White House, economic metrics show things could be better. One of the most important measures of the economic health and vitality of a city or region is the availability of jobs for those who want them. Gallup scored all 50 states and found confidence in Ohio’s economy lands at 20, three points below the national average.
When asked if it’s a good time to get a job in their city or area, only 39 percent answered in the affirmative.
These numbers come at a time when incumbent Republican Governor John R. Kasich prepares to coast to an easy win over his Democratic challenger, Ed FitzGerald, whose only hope of upsetting the powerful incumbent this year is an intervention from high authorities or a miraculous turnout of voters who normally stay home in larger numbers during midterm elections than they do in presidential election cycles. Neither one has good odds of happening this year.
State residents were asked to rate their state’s leadership, economy, political landscape, and social climate as well as how they view the nation’s leadership and economy. Ohio residents’ responses on 14 key metrics when compared with national averages show the Buckeye State underwater in a couple key areas, two of which have already been revealed.
One of the 14 metrics was about state taxes and whether they are too high. Gov. Kasich, whose belief that cutting taxes on the wealthiest to create jobs dates back to his days as a young up-and-comer in the Reagan revolution of the early 1980s, has made it his mission to reduce income taxes as much as he can until, he says, he reaches zero.
“Do Ohioans trust their state government compared to the federal government?”, Gallup asked. While 58 percent expressed confidence in Washington’s ways, only 54 percent expressed trust in government from Columbus, Ohio’s capital city. Another sign things could be better — only 32 percent considered Ohio the best state to live in compared to a national average of states at 46 percent.
Gallup’s unique daily interviewing process involving more than 350,000 completed interviews a year, along with Gallup’s 2013 50-state poll consisting of approximately 600 interviews in each state, provides a unique ability to measure the views of residents in every state in the union on a wide variety of important measures.
Gallup’s national average measures are from Gallup Daily tracking conducted January-June 2014, with sample sizes ranging from 230 in the least populous states to 8,500 in the most populous states. There are at least 500 respondents in 41 states.