Ohio Poll Finds Wide Acceptance of Slow Economic Turnaround

Quinnipiac University’s latest Ohio poll found a big lead for Republican Governor John Kasich in his campaign for reelection, although a plurality of those surveyed believe the state’s economy has not improved much since Kasich took office.

Respondents favored Kasich over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald 50-35 percent, a 10 point jump in Kasich’s lead from the Quinnipiac poll conducted in February.

Gov. Kasich’s 56 percent job approval number was an all-time high, and 53 percent responding that Kasich deserves to be reelected was also a high.

However, only 1 percent of respondents said Ohio’s economy is “excellent,” while 41 percent said the economy is “good,” 42 percent said the economy is “not so good,” and 14 percent said the economy is “poor.”

Among Republicans surveyed, 30 percent described Ohio’s economy as “not so good” and 5 percent said the state’s economy was “poor.” Responses from independents were considerably worse, with 43 percent saying the economy is not so good and 16 percent said the economy is doing poorly.

Asked whether Ohio’s economy “is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same,” 44 percent said the economy is stagnant, 41 percent said the economy is improving, and 14 percent said the economy is worsening.

Asked, “are you and your family financially better off today, worse off today, or about the same” compared with four years ago, 25 percent said they were better off, 25 percent said they were worse off, and 49 percent said they were about the same.

Only 28 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of independents said they were better off financially today than in 2010.

Gov. Kasich was unchallenged in the May 6 primary, but the Ohio Republican Party spent over $630,000 on in-kind support for the governor during the pre-primary campaign finance period.

Kasich, who had $8.5 million on hand at the most recent reporting deadline, began running two soft-focus, biographical reelection ads on TV in April.

Quinnipiac’s telephone-based survey of 1,174 registered Ohio voters was conducted between May 7 and May 12, with a 47-53 split between men and women polled. Of those who responded, 84 percent were white, 10 percent were black, 2 percent were Hispanic, and 4 percent did not identify a race.

Over 70 percent of the respondents did not identify as having received a college degree.

Whereas 37 percent of respondents were from the northeastern part of the state, other regions received less representation. For example, less than 75 respondents were from Southeastern Ohio, and Northwestern Ohio was relatively underrepresented, as well.

Voters in Central Ohio were the most optimistic about Ohio’s outlook, as 47 percent said that the economy was improving.

Among income brackets, respondents in households earning $50,000 or more had the most positive outlooks, but a majority of voters in households earning less than $30,000 believed that not much was changing.

Across all surveyed regions, most respondents said that their families’ financial situations had either deteriorated or not improved since 2010.