Jim Provance of the Blade's Columbus Bureau reports on new poll out by Public Policy Polling:
COLUMBUS—Gov. John Kasich places fifth among hypothetical Republican presidential contenders among registered voters in his own state, a poll released Friday reveals.
The poll by Public Policy Polling has the first-term governor, at 8 percent support, trailing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Congressman Rand Paul, tied at 17 percent; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, at 10 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, at 9 percent, among GOP voters.
The poll comes nearly two and a half years before the first primaries of the 2016 presidential primary election and more than a year before Mr. Kasich faces voters in Ohio in his bid for re-election. The governor has been mentioned as a potential contender for the Republican nomination in what could be a crowded field.
The poll of 551 registered voters suggests that Democrat Hillary Clinton would defeat all of the above for the critical battleground state of Ohio with Mr. Christie registering as the most competitive—45 percent for Ms. Clinton and 36 percent for Mr. Christie.
In a hypothetical general election contest with Mr. Kasich, Ms. Clinton has the support of 53 percent to 35 percent for Mr. Kasich in his own backyard.
Forty-two percent of those questioned by the Democrat-affiliated PPP identified as Democrats compared to 36 percent as Republicans and 22 percent as independents. Forty-seven percent said they voted for Democratic President Barack Obama compared to 45 percent who supported Republican Mitt Romney last year.
Among the poll’s other findings:
—48 percent say same-sex marriage should be allowed in Ohio compared to 42 percent who said it should not, the first time a PPP poll has found support in positive territory. A petition effort is under way to put the question to voters, potentially in 2014.
—Questioned further, 44 percent said they would prefer that gay couples should be allowed to get legally married compared to 25 percent who would support the alternative of civil unions. Just 27 percent said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
—40 percent oppose recent restrictions imposed on abortion in the recent budget signed by Mr. Kasich while 34 percent support them.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. The margin expands to plus or minus 5.2 percentatge points on questions posed just to GOP voters.