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Published: Wednesday, 11/27/2013 - Updated: 8 months ago

Latest poll shows historic low for Obama's approval rating in Ohio

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
President Barack Obama President Barack Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

COLUMBUS — President Obama’s approval rating has hit an historic low as more than half of Ohioans polled say he’s not trustworthy, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll released today.

The low approval number — just 34 percent approve to 61 percent who do not — is not only a record for him in Ohio but in any national or state poll the Connecticut-based polling institute has conducted.

Part of the reason appears to be the President's signature healthcare reform law, which continues to be 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, too much. For instance, in a hypothetical 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 recently won re-election handily in that Democratic state. She leads by 1 percentage point, 42 to 41 percent, over Mr. Christie, 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 Rep. Rand Paul, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan all doing better among registered voters in Ohio than the state’s own governor.

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 also 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 as governor. 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, Ms. Clinton has the support of just 8 percent of Ohio Republicans but 90 percent of Democrats. Perhaps more telling is Ms. 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. In addition to its home state, the institute conducts polls in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado.



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