OBERLIN, OHIO — After four years in office and a landslide victory, 36% of registered Ohio voters could not identify Governor John Kasich by name. A recent poll conducted by Oberlin College’s Initiative in Electoral Politics shows that not only were Ohio’s registered Democrats (44%) and independents (40%) unable to identify the governor, one in four registered Republicans drew a blank as well. Young voters (18-34) are especially unaware of John Kasich, with 55% unable to identify the Governor.
This disengagement from state politics coincides with a sense that the country is on the wrong track (61%) and that both parties are responsible for the gridlock in Washington (53%). These numbers are particularly pronounced among young people (18-34), with 70% claiming the country is headed in the wrong direction, and 64% blaming both parties for gridlock. “There seems to be a definite sense of malaise among Ohio voters,” said Michael Parkin, associate professor of politics. “People seem to have withdrawn a little, perhaps due to frustration or general lack of interest.”
Looking forward to the 2016 elections, Ohio voters are generally undecided with 39% of registered voters saying they did not know yet whether they would support a Republican or Democratic candidate. Those who said they would likely back a Republican were mixed, with no candidate receiving more than 15% support. On the Democratic side, 56% favor Hillary Clinton, 12% favor Joe Biden and the rest of the field trails with single-digit support.
Between November 5 and 10, 500 registered Ohio voters were polled. Professional interviewers conducted the surveys using landlines and cell phones. Quotas were established to ensure an equal distribution of respondents in terms of gender and party identification. It has a margin of error of 4.4% at the 95% level.
Contact: Michael Parkin, Associate Professor of Politics Michael.Parkin@oberlin.edu (440) 775-6197
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