Ohio Gov. John Kasich would defeat Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton in Ohio if the election were held today, according to a new independent poll.
And Clinton runs dead even with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in the Buckeye State, according to the poll released Wednesday morning by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Kasich has not formally announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, but was campaigning in New Hampshire, the first primary state, on Wednesday. This poll will surely be used by Kasich to bolster his argument that he can be a formidable GOP presidential nominee.
The Quinnipiac University poll showed Kasich with 47 percent support, compared to 40 percent for Clinton, who is actively campaigning for the Democratic nomination. In Ohio, which will be a key battleground state in the 2016 presidential election, Clinton and Paul were tied with 53 percentage points each.
The poll showed that a majority of Ohio voters doubt that Clinton is "honest and trustworthy" - 40 percent said she is; 53 percent said she is not. Kasich had much better numbers among Ohio voters - 61 percent said he is honest and trustworthy while 28 percent said he is not. Sixty percent of those polled said Clinton is a "strong leader," while 70 percent said the same of Kasich.
Quinnipiac has been doing periodic surveys of voters in three key battleground states – Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.
In Florida, Clinton leads two Sunshine State Republicans who are running for the GOP nomination – former governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. In the poll, Clinton took 47 percent to Rubio’s 44 percent; and she led Bush by four percentage points – 46 percent to 42 percent.
But, in Ohio, while she led six other GOP contenders and tied with Paul, only Kasich led her in the poll.
“Gov. John Kasich’s 47-40 lead over Secretary Clinton is the largest of any GOP candidate in any of the three states,’’ Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said in a release. “With Ohio being such a critically important state – no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying it – that gives Gov. Kasich a key talking point about why he should be the nominee.”
Kasich has already been playing the Ohio card on the campaign trail, emphasizing not only its importance in the presidential election, but touting his record as governor and the fact that he was re-elected last year with about 64 percent of the vote.
From June 4 through June 15, Quinnipiac’s polling institute surveyed 1,191 Ohio voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.