One of the nation’s best polling outfits, Public Policy Polling, has good news for Ohio’s senior senator in Washington, Sherrod Brown. It’s latest Ohio poll shows Sen. Brown with a solid approval numbers and at least at this very early stage would be a strong favorite for reelection.

Brown has a 43/30 approval rating- by comparison Rob Portman is at 31/37, PPP reported, saying that “Brown is a rare Democrat who Republicans don’t hate,” as slightly less than half [48%] of them disapprove of him. If Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel cares to pay attention, Brown would again beat the former Marine in a head-to-head race now by more than he beat him in 2012 [45/36], after $40-plus million was spent to attack the Senate’s new liberal lion. What’s worse for Mandel is Brown has a 14 point advantage with independents at 41/27.

Hard-right Gov. John Kasich, on the other hand, is losing steam with members of his own party. PPP polled Ohio in March when John Kasich had an approval margin of 54/36. Even though his are not all that different now, 50/37, the dip is a function of the crusty chief executive losing ground with Republicans but gaining with Democrats. Kasich has seen a significant drop in his standing with Republicans- from 73/20 approval down to 59/32, PPP observes, but the 64-year old lame duck leader has seen an uptick in Democrats, going from 36/56 in March to now being “the exceedingly rare politician who’s actually on positive ground with voters of the other party at 43/39.”

Democrats Applaud Kasich For Wrong Rearson

Republican base voters who are lining up behind Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, have abandoned Kasich. One reason for cross over support from Democrats is Kasich’s refusal to board the Trump train. On more than one occasion, Democrats including Ted Strickland and Howard Dean have “thanked” Kasich for his obstinate stance. What they don’t understand is that Kasich’s isn’t against Trump for the same reasons they are. Kasich’s ego and feathers got ruffled big time when Trump clobbered him and every other GOP challenger, and as we know from watching John Kasich over his long and lucrative career as a performance politician, he doesn’t want to share the limelight with anyone else. And now that Donald Trump is both the ringmaster and main act in his traveling circus, Kasich is bordering on being forgotten by just about everyone except two Ohio newspapers who continue to find ways to write about him even though he’s a non-factor, as Trump himself said of the former Lehman Brothers banker and Fox News political talk show host.

What should be a little distressing to Gov. Kasich and Senator Rob Portman is that Ohioans strongly side with Democrats on a number of current key issues:

From the poll:

-87% support background checks on all gun purchases, to just 7% who are opposed to them. That includes support from 94% of Democrats, 83% of independents, and 82% of Republicans. There’s also 83/9 support for barring those on the Terror Watch List from buying guns, with 89% of Democrats, 82% of Republicans, and 76% of independents in support of that. Ohioans also support a ban on assault weapons 51/37- that’s something where Democrats (76% support) are far more united in their favor for it than Republicans (54% against) are in their opposition.

-75% of voters in the state support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, compared to only 14% who think it’s fine where it is and 9% who don’t think there should be a federal minimum wage at all. That includes support from 92% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 59% of Republicans.

-62% of voters in the state want to see Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court move forward, with only 20% opposed to having hearings. Democrats (83/6) and independents (57/19) are overwhelmingly in favor of hearings but what’s most striking is that even Republicans (44/34) think they should occur. This is an issue where Rob Portman is very out of touch with his constituents.

Kasich Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

If Democrats continue to lard it up for John Kasich as the adult-in-the-room whose moral compass is set so that he can’t back Trump let alone endorse him, Kasich will be able to claim he can pull Democrats and independents to his side. Recall that after he lost 49 GOP state contests this year, his last redoubt for his easily dented ego was that polls showed him beating Hillary Clinton. As we know, voters in other states and nation wide know little about him, and national media had no clue how disastrous his governing has been to Ohio. He was able to sing his sweet song of recovery, but that song hit sour notes time and time again as he’s failed for 43 straight months to even break even with the national job creation average.

His attacks on women, seen by signing 18 measures into law that made their health choices more difficult, was ignored almost entirely by the beltway crowd who cared little or at all about investigating his state record. So Democrats who continue to confuse why Kasich hasn’t backed Trump with why Democrats don’t like him run the risk of making him appear reasonable when he’s been anything but.