Ohio Governor's Going to Have to Get More Outside Support If He Wants to Be President

by | February 4, 2015

By Darrel Rowland

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is polling like a guy who steadfastly refuses to say whether he's going to run for president next year in a new survey of possible GOP contenders in three key swing states.

In a muddled pack of Republicans, Kasich doesn't make a dent in Florida -- dead last in the field of 13 -- and gets only 3 percent in his native Pennsylvania -- tied for ninth -- the Quinnipiac Poll shows.

Kasich finishes first in Ohio, but it's hardly a walkaway. He receives backing from 14 percent, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is right behind with 11 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky are at 10 percent.

"Taken as a whole, there is no clear leader for the Republican presidential nomination in these three critical swing states," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll, in a release.

"Former Gov. Jeb Bush is way ahead in Florida with almost a third of the vote, but no candidate is in comparable situation in Ohio or Pennsylvania. In fact, four candidates are in low double-digits in Ohio and just three in Pennsylvania. Bush is the only one in double digits in all three states, but barely so.

Meanwhile, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton easily is the favorite among Democrats in the trio of battlegrounds. In Ohio, she is the favorite of 51 percent, far ahead of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 14 percent and Vice President Joe Biden's 7 percent. However, Biden is the second choice of Clinton supporters over Warren, 34 percent to 16 percent.

About three-quarters of Ohio Republicans have a favorable opinion of Kasich, while fewer than 10 percent say the opposite.

The Connecticut university's telephone poll of 943 registered Ohio voters from Jan. 22 through Sunday has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. Both cell phones and landlines are called by live interviewers, who conducted the poll in English or Spanish, depending on the respondent's preference.

In Ohio, the random digital dialed calls resulted in responses from 32 percent independents, 28 percent Democrats 26 percent Republicans, and 13 percent other or who didn't answer. The survey includes 337 registered Republicans, with an error margin of plus or minus 5.3 percentage points, and 315 registered Democrats, with an error margin of plus or minus 5.5 points.

(c)2015 The Columbus Dispatch