Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have a dominant lead in Ohio in a presidential contest against seven leading Republicans if the election were held now, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Mrs. Clinton tops New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by 49 percent to 36 percent in an early look at the 2016 presidential race in this critical swing state.
That’s an improvement from a Nov. 27 survey - prior to Mr. Christie’s bridge scandal - that showed Mrs. Clinton at 42 percent, with Mr. Christie at 41 percent.
She would also defeat five other top GOP contenders, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, according to the independent poll by the Connecticut university polling center. She would get 51 percent of the vote against Mr. Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (Texas). U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida) would hold Mrs. Clinton to 50 percent and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisconsin) holds her to 49 percent.
Ohio voters say, by 55 percent to 39 percent, that Mrs. Clinton would make a good president. No Republican listed gets a positive score on the question. Governor Kasich got a negative score - 34 percent to 47 percent. Mr. Christie gets a big negative, 31 percent to 48 percent, compared to a positive 44 percent to 32 percent result in the November poll.
“The George Washington Bridge is not in Ohio, but voters there seem very aware of its traffic problems – and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s traffic problems,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“Of Republicans tested, Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan runs best in Ohio against the former Secretary of State and Gov. John Kasich runs relatively well. But Mrs. Clinton remains far and away the leader at this point in Ohio,” Mr. Brown said.
“When Quinnipiac University asked Ohioans in November about Governor Christie vs. Secretary Hillary Clinton in a 2016 White House race, the two were in a dead heat and voters thought he would make a good president. Today, she enjoys a comfortable double-digit lead and voters say Christie would not be a good president.”
The breakdown on the question of who Ohioans would vote for in a race with Mrs. Clinton, according to Quinnipiac, was 51 percent to 36 percent over Mr. Bush, 50 percent to 36 percent over Mr. Rubio, 51 percent to 38 percent over Mr. Paul, 49 percent to 40 percent over Mr. Ryan, 51 percent to 34 percent over Mr. Cruz, and 51 – 39 percent over Mr. Kasich.
Ohio voters give President Barack Obama a negative 40 percent to 55 percent job approval rating, an improvement on his negative 34 percent to 61 percent score in November.
“The good news for President Barack Obama is his job approval rating among Ohioans has improved from its record low in November. The bad news is that with a 40 percent approval rating he remains in the Buckeye dog house,” Mr. Brown said. “If those numbers remain where they are or go lower, it’s difficult to see him as an asset to Democratic candidates this November.”
Ohio voters approve 48 percent to 34 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D.) is doing and give U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R.) a 38 percent to 32 percent approval rating.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,370 registered voters Feb. 12-17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.