The outcomes of votes in swing states like Ohio, where no party enjoys a clear advantage in obtaining electoral college votes, often decide presidential elections. High general election polling numbers in these battleground states are often cited as evidence of a candidate’s electability.
A new Public Policy Polling presidential preference survey of 859 Ohio voters, taken between June 4 and June 7, found that Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich enjoys home-field advantage in the 2016 GOP presidential primary. However, it also found that, in theoretical 2016 general election match-ups, Governor Kasich leads Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton 47 to 40 and US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) leads Clinton 44 to 41.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tied Clinton 44-44 in the poll. “[Clinton] has small advantages over the rest of the GOP field- it’s 44/43 over Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker, 45/43 over Jeb Bush, 44/41 over Chris Christie, and 45/42 over Mike Huckabee,” read a summary of the poll by Public Policy Polling.
The poll also found that Clinton dramatically leads in the 2016 Democratic primary, “On the Democratic side Clinton still dominates the field with 61% of the primary vote, followed by Bernie Sanders at 13%, Michael Bloomberg at 7%, Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley at 2%, and Jim Webb at 1%. 13% of Democratic voters are still undecided.”
Governor Kasich’s home field advantage and high approval numbers put him on top of the Republican primary portion of the poll. Public Policy Polling’s summary notes, “Kasich polls at 19% to 13% for Ben Carson and Scott Walker, 12% for Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, 9% for Rand Paul, 6% for Mike Huckabee, 5% for Ted Cruz, and 4% for Chris Christie.”
Marco Rubio leads the GOP side in favorability, whereas the poll found that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is “outwardly disliked by GOP voters” in the state.
According to The Washington Post, Ohio Governor Kasich, who has not yet announced a 2016 presidential bid, is considering doing so and is likely to launch his campaign “sometime after June 30.”
Senator Rand Paul’s team touted the poll’s results as another win for his campaign. “This poll, like others, shows that Sen. Rand Paul is the best Republican to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Ohio is one of the most important swing states in the pathway to the White House, and no Republican has won it since 2004. In the primary, Sen. Paul is tied for first nationally and in New Hampshire and he is tied for second in Iowa. In the general election, he is leading the field against Hillary Clinton and ahead of her in Ohio and other key states including Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania,” said Paul campaign spokesman Sergio Gor according to the Washington Examiner.
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