If the 2016 presidential vote were held today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would defeat any of the men often mentioned as possible Republican challengers in the swing state of Ohio — even the current Gov. John Kasich, according to a new poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.
The poll shows that at this early stage Clinton is the clear front runner among Ohio voters over possible Republican contenders:
49 - 36 percent over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie;
51 - 36 percent over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush;
50 - 36 percent over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida;
51 - 38 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky;
49 - 40 percent over U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin;
51 - 34 percent over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas;
51 - 39 percent over Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“Of Republicans tested, Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan runs best in Ohio against the former Secretary of State and Gov. John Kasich runs relatively well. But Mrs. Clinton remains far and away the leader at this point in Ohio,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
In 2008, Clinton won the Ohio Democratic primary over Barack Obama.
A November survey by Quinnipiac University, Clinton had just a one point advantage over Christie. But Ohio voters no longer view Christie as good presidential material after learning that his administration caused traffic tie ups on a busy bridge as political retribution.
The poll found that Ohio voters say 55 percent say Clinton would make a good president while 39 percent say she wouldn’t. Thirty-four percent of them say Kasich would make a good president but 47 percent say he wouldn’t.
Kasich is running for re-election as Ohio governor this year but speculation has ramped up in recent months that he could be a GOP contender for president in 2016.
Meanwhile, the survey found that President Obama’s job approval rating in Ohio has improved over his all-time lowest score that he hit in November. Forty percent of Ohio voters give Obama a positive job rating while 55 percent say they don’t like the job he is doing. That’s up over his negative 34 - 61 percent score in the November survey by Quinnipiac University.
“The good news for President Barack Obama is his job approval rating among Ohioans has improved from its record low in November. The bad news is that with a 40 percent approval rating he remains in the Buckeye dog house,” Brown said. “If those numbers remain where they are or go lower, it’s difficult to see him as an asset to Democratic candidates this November.”
And Ohio’s two U.S. Senators get favorable marks from voters. Forty-eight percent approve of the job Democrat Sherrod Brown is doing while 34 percent do not; 38 percent approve of the job Republican Rob Portman is doing while 32 percent do not.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,370 Ohio voters on land lines and cell phones from Feb. 12 to Feb. 17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.