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Published: Thursday, 11/28/2013

Obama approval in Ohio hits new low

Poll finds Clinton, Christie tied in state; Kasich 7 points over FitzGerald

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS — Ohioans have a dimmer view of President Obama than ever before as his numbers hit historic lows and a majority say he’s not trustworthy, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll released on Wednesday.

Just 34 percent of registered Ohio voters said they approve of the President’s performance while 61 percent said they do not. That’s a record low, not only in Ohio but in any national or state poll the Connecticut polling institute has conducted.

Part of the reason appears to be the President’s signature health-care reform law, which is unpopular among Ohioans.

“This is a state considered a bellwether where he got 51 percent of the vote just 12 months ago,” said Peter A. Brown, the institute’s assistant director. “Only 30 percent of men, 38 percent of women, and 27 percent of white voters, along with 83 percent of black voters, give him a thumbs up.”

But Mr. Obama’s woes in Ohio don’t seem to be hurting his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. In a hypothetical presidential match-up with Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the Democratic former first lady and U.S. senator leads 49 percent to 38 percent.

But she’s statistically tied for Ohio’s support in a match-up with New Jersey's GOP Gov. Chris Christie, who handily won re-election. She leads by 1 percentage point, 42 to 41 percent, well within the poll’s margin-of-error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

In addition to Mr. Christie, the poll shows Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan all doing better among registered voters in Ohio than the state’s own governor, even though all of them trail Mrs. Clinton.

In fact, 49 percent of Ohioans polled said Mr. Kasich would not make a good president compared to 32 percent who said he would.

This is despite a Quinnipiac Poll released on Tuesday in which Ohioans gave Mr. Kasich a 52 percent approval rating, a near-high of his three years in office, and gave him good marks on the handling of the state’s economy and budget.

There has been conjecture about a potential Kasich presidential run in 2016, but first he has to win re-election next year. Tuesday's poll gave him a 7 point lead over Democratic Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

In response to the hypothetical contest framed by Quinnipiac, Mrs. Clinton has the support of just 8 percent of Ohio Republicans but 90 percent of Democrats. Perhaps more telling is Mrs. Clinton’s strong lead among independents, 48 percent to Mr. Kasich’s 34 percent.

“Interestingly, when voters are asked whether she would make a good president, more say ‘yes’ than say they would vote for her,” Mr. Brown said. “Conversely, Vice President Joseph Biden is not presidential material in the eyes of Ohioans. Only 28 percent think he would be a good president.”

Ohioans are more likely to blame congressional Republicans for the early October shutdown of the federal government, 47 percent to 41 percent.

But the President’s health-care law remains unpopular with 59 percent opposing the law to 35 percent who support it. Forty-five percent said they believe the quality of health-care will suffer under the law compared to 16 percent who believe it will get better and 35 percent who believe the law will make no difference.

The poll questioned 1,361 registered voters between Nov. 19 and 24.

Contact Jim Provance at: jprovance@theblade.com or 614-221-0496.



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