Kasich fares better than fellow GOP members in poll against Hillary

By MARC KOVAC @ohiocapitalblog mkovac@dixcom.com Published:

COLUMBUS -- Gov. John Kasich fared better than other potential Republican presidential candidates in a new Ohio poll. But no one in the GOP field could top former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton among voters questioned by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Gov. John Kasich runs best against Secretary Hillary Clinton for 2016 among eight Republican candidates, although her lead over most of them has dropped considerably since Quinnipiac University surveyed Ohio voters in February," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the polling institute, said in a released statement. "Most of the GOP candidates are bunched together, trailing by high single digits in trial heats. Kasich's standing might seem logical given his home field advantage, but in February Kasich trailed Ms. Clinton by a dozen points and was down in the pack. Still Ms. Clinton has the best favorability rating of the group."

Among 1,174 registered Ohio voters questioned over the past week, 42 percent said they would pick Kasich in 2016, versus 47 percent who sided with Clinton.

That compared to a 51 percent Clinton-39 percent Kasich result in February.

Clinton led other possible GOP candidates by 7-14 percentage points, including former U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (47 percent-40 percent) and former U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (48 percent-41 percent).

Quinnipiac also found declining approval of President Barack Obama among Ohio voters, with 39 percent giving him positive marks and 58 percent giving him negative ones. That compared to 40 percent positive-55 percent negative in February.

"President Barack Obama's job approval remains stuck at about 40 percent in Ohio," Brown said. "Although he is not on the ballot this November, such a consistently low rating can't be helpful to the Democratic ticket, especially gubernatorial nominee Ed Fitzgerald, who currently trails Gov. Kasich 50 percent-35 percent and is somewhat of an unknown to Ohio voters. If the president's numbers remain in the basement, look for Kasich's TV ads to tie Fitzgerald to the president."

Connecticut-based Quinnipiac regularly gauges Ohioans' views on issues and candidates. Its most recent poll had a margin of error of about 3 percentage points.

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