POLL: Governor Kasich's low approval slips further

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is sinking slowly into the quicksand of voter disapproval, with a 50-35% thumbs down on job approval, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. This is down from a 49-38% job disapproval May 18.

Opponents of Gov. Kasich's legislation to limit collective bargaining for public employees retain a 56-32 lead in the expected November referendum, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.

The good news for Republicans is that Ohio voters support by an overwhelming 78-20% efforts to require photo identification in order to vote.  By a narrow 48-45% voters support a proposed constitutional amendment which would block any federal efforts to require Ohio residents to purchase health insurance.

"Gov. John Kasich is sinking lower in the eyes of Ohio voters, dropping from an 11-point approval deficit two months ago to a 15-point deficit today," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  "Even after the state budget has been approved as he promised without raising taxes, and even though the Quinnipiac University poll finds that 63 percent say they favor such an approach, Gov. Kasich's name remains mud in the eyes of the Ohio electorate.

"Voters may say 2-1 they wanted him to balance the budget just through spending cuts rather than with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, but they don't like the cuts that he and the Legislature approved.  By 50-32%, voters say the budget is unfair to people like them. When voters think a politician is treating them unfairly, that's not good for the politician's political health."

Kasich's job performance gets a 66-19% approval from Republicans, but disapproval is 76-12% among Democrats and 48-34% among independent voters. The depth of his problem is evidenced by his split 43-42% rating among white evangelical Christians, typically a very pro-Republican group.

The numbers on the proposed effort to repeal SB5 limiting collective bargaining in a November referendum are similar to those on Kasich personally.  Republicans oppose repeal 56-35%, while repeal wins 75-14% support from Democrats and 52-33% support from independent voters.

"Kasich has until 2014 when he presumably will face the voters, to turn his political fortunes around, but the timeline for the vote on SB5, which is obviously a referendum on the governor's agenda, is much shorter," said Brown. "A loss on SB5 would be a no confidence vote on the governor from the voters of Ohio."

Perhaps the only ray of sunshine for Kasich in the budget numbers is the finding that by 34 – 27% voters say the cuts approved by Kasich and lawmakers will help, rather than hurt, the Ohio economy.  Another 32% say the cuts won't affect the economy.