Ohio media was titillated Tuesday over the results of a new Quinnipiac University poll showing that Hillary Clinton, who many want Democrats to pick to run for president in 2016, would win handily over all GOP candidates with the exception of Governor John Kasich.  Kasich handily won a second term last November against Ed FitzGerald, a snake-bitten candidate from Cleveland who fell victim to himself, his campaign, and to Buckeye State media finding constant fault with him while giving the incumbent governor one pass after another.

Hillary Clinton vs John Kasich

Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, has only run one statewide campaign in Ohio, in 2008, when Ohio Democrats voted for her over a little-known Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who eventually won Ohio twice in presidential contests in 2008 and again in 2012.  Kasich, on the other hand, won nine straight congressional elections in his suburban Columbus congressional district before his short, failed attempt to run for president in 2000. A career politician for 37 years, Gov. Kasich has now run and won two statewide elections for governor, a narrow victory in 2010 and a second won nearly 2-1 just three months ago. Clinton has one primary win in Ohio under her belt, but her husband, William Jefferson Clinton, has won Ohio four times, twice in presidential primaries and twice in national presidential elections, first in 1992 and again in 1996. Hillary Clinton, therefore, has not been engaged in any meaningful campaigning in the Buckeye State for nearly seven years, so it’s no surprise a “favorite son” like Kasich, whose name and face are well known after four years of political showmanship and legislative gamesmanship that jelled his reputation as reformer and big-idea guy, competes well with her. Last July, before about $17 million was spent to burnish Gov. Kasich’s “comeback governor” narrative, the Q-Poll reminds that Clinton enjoyed a seven-point lead over the governor.

The fact that Clinton leads him at all, even if by one point at 44-43, is a testament to her strength, given her absence in the state over the last seven years. Moreover, it bodes ill for the governor because, even though he’s been fawned over by mainstream newspapers in Ohio’s two largest cities, Gov. Kasich’s favorable rating is still only at 43 percent. By contrast, the Q-Poll confirms Clinton’s high marks against every other GOP candidate.

“Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in a statistical dead heat with Mrs. Clinton among the home folks, who re-elected him by roughly 2-1 last November,” Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown said.  Brown added an important fact some often gloss over, that the 2014 election in Ohio “was the aberration in a state that has been THE one to watch.” Brown reminds Q-poll readers that Mrs. Clinton “is getting 86 to 93 percent of Democrats, 36 to 54 percent of independent voters and even up to 15 percent of Republicans” in two other big states included in today’s poll results, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The Q-Poll surveyed 943 self-identified registered voters in Ohio, 82-percent of whom were White with only 12-percent Black and just 2-percent Hispanic. Mrs. Clinton wins women by 11 [49-38] while Kasich wins men by nine [48-39]. The poll’s margin of sampling error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.

Good News For Democrats In Project Vote Report

The best news for Democrats, and maybe Hillary Clinton, wasn’t in the Q-Poll match-up with Kasich today, it was found in the release by Project Vote of an analysis of the 2012 presidential vote. Called “Representational Bias in the 2012 Electorate,” Dr. Vanessa Perez, Project Vote’s Senior Policy Analyst, researched registration and voting rates for every presidential election in the 21st century. Dr. Perez examined participation for different demographic groups, based on race and ethnicity, age, gender, income, education, and other factors, to determine the ways in which the American electorate is becoming more or less representative of the citizen population.

Included in its key findings is news Democrats like Hillary Clinton will relish, while a relic of the Reagan era like Gov. Kasich may not like so much. The first good news is that Ohio ranks below the national average in voter registration rates, which means Democrats have far more upside than Republicans do when it comes to signing up eligible but unregistered voters, who more likely than not will fall into the so-called “47-percent” of Americans who want something from government, according to Mitt Romney in 2012. Republicans, meanwhile, are now dependent on an un-expandable pool of old, angry, white male voters, a shrinking demographic that likes guys like Kasich over gals like Clinton. The second good news is just how many more millions could have voted but didn’t. The report offers other good news for Democrats, if they can turn past deficits into future assets in 2016. Project Vote offered these nuggets to digest:

  • If non-White Americans had participated at the same rates as White Americans, 5 million more non-Whites would have voted.
  • If people under 30 had participated at the same rate as those over 30, an additional 9.7 million young people would have voted.
  • If people making less that $25,000 a year had participated at the same rate as those making $100,000 or more, 11.5 million additional votes would have been cast.
  • If people with a high-school education or less had turned out at the same rate as those who had attended college, 19.1 million more votes would have been cast.
  • If unmarried Americans turned out at the same rate as married people, 6.4 million more votes would have been cast.
  • If persons with disabilities had turned out at the same rate as people with no reported disabilities, 1.5 million more votes would have been cast.

Over the next two years there are tens of millions of more eligible voters to register and millions more registered voters who didn’t participate but could  have. Democrats, whose agenda focusing on helping working families join the middle-class hits home with the report’s findings far more than the GOP agenda that is mostly based on further enriching the already rich, have a great opportunity to convince new and existing voters to turnout for Mrs. Clinton, or whomever Democrats run for president.

For GOP candidates, including Gov. Kasich who can win when voter turnout is low (as it was during last year’s midterm election), they will find it difficult to win over the untapped and growing ranks of voters they’ve waged war against for so many years on one issue after another, from the minimum wage and access to affordable, regulated healthcare and a fair tax system, to bolstering Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, along with equal rights, equal pay and equal treatment under the law.

An ABC/WaPo poll on the 2016 presidential race showed happy days could be here again in 2016 for Democrats. The poll’s results appear to confirm the long-held optimism of many Democrats about their prospects for holding onto the White House, Steve Singiser writes.

“The conventional wisdom, in most corners, has been that Hillary Clinton had the upper hand when paired with any of the leading Republican contenders. But one doubts that either Republicans or Democrats were necessarily prepared to see a respected polling outfit show Clinton staked to a double digit lead over all comers, including the two most recent major Republicans to hint at a bid (Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush),” Singiser finds.