Just a few months into his first term, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) appears to be immensely unpopular with his constituents, a clear majority of whom disapprove of his job performance, according to a PPP poll of registered voters. What’s more, if a do-over election were held today Kasich would lose — by a resounding 15-point margin.
Kasich barely defeated incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) last November, winning by a slim 49% to 47%. But if they could do it all over again, 55% of voters now say they would vote for Strickland, while only 40% say they’d go with Kasich.
Kasich’s short tenure has been marked by several mini-scandals, including an incident last month when he called a police officer who issued him a ticket an idiot — three times, on camera. Then came the contentious budget debate, when he forcefully pushed for a bill to strip state employees of their collective bargaining rights. That bill goes even further than the one recently passed in Wisconsin, which prompted weeks of enormous protests and has sparked a recall petition for the state’s republican senators.
Kasich’s approval rating now appears to be deeply underwater. In the poll, only 35% of respondents said they approve of his job performance, while 54% sad they disapprove. In a University of Cincinnati poll released Monday, 30% approved of Kasich’s job performance, compared to 52% who disapproved.
If there was any doubt that Kasich’s showdown with unions irked his constituents, the PPP poll also addressed that issue, finding that voters overwhelmingly sided with the unions.
Nearly six in ten said they supported the unions in the budget battle, while 37% said they backed Kasich. And specifically, 54% said they would support repealing S.B. 5 — the union-busting budget bill — if it comes up for a vote next fall.
The PPP poll was conducted March 10-13 among 559 voters. It has a margin of error of 4.1%.