West Long Branch, NJ - Hillary Clinton holds a slim 2 point lead over Donald Trump in the perennial battleground state of Ohio, compared to a 4 point lead in mid-August. At the same time, incumbent U.S. Senator Rob Portman has expanded his margin over former governor Ted Strickland from 8 points to 15 points now. The Monmouth University Poll also finds that current governor John Kasich's standing has not been hurt by his continued opposition to Trump's candidacy.
Among Ohio voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 44% currently support Clinton and 42% back Trump. Another 5% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, who will appear as an independent on the ballot, 1% are supporting Jill Stein of the Green Party, and 6% are undecided. In mid-August, Clinton led Trump by 43% to 39%, with Johnson at 10% and Stein registering less than a percent.
Clinton is not doing quite as well as Barack Obama did four years ago among black, Hispanic, and Asian voters (73% to 15% for Trump compared with 84% for Obama to 14% for Mitt Romney in 2012). Likewise, Trump is not doing quite as well with white voters (48% to 39% for Clinton) as Romney did (57% to 41% for Obama). These results have not changed substantially since August.
Clinton has a 52% to 35% lead in Democrat-leaning northeastern Ohio plus the 9 th Congressional district that hugs Lake Erie from Cleveland to Toledo. However, this is not as strong a showing as Obama, who won this five-district region by 61% to 38% four years ago. The race is virtually tied at 46% Clinton and 44% Trump in the five districts covering the central and southeastern part of the state, similar to the 49% to 49% tie here in 2012. Trump has a 46% to 37% lead in the remaining part of the state north and west of Columbus, which is similar to Romney's 55% to 44% win here in the last election.
"You can draw a direct line between Clinton's relative weakness with the Democratic base and Pres. Obama's scheduled campaign stop in Cleveland next week," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
While the presidential horserace in Ohio may have shifted by a few points, the underlying fundamentals have not. Only 35% of voters have a favorable view of Clinton and 55% have an unfavorable opinion. Her rating was 33% to 51% in August. Just 30% have a favorable view of Trump and 57% have an unfavorable opinion. His rating was 29% to 58% in August.
Clinton does have an advantage on a few key metrics. More Buckeye State voters say Clinton understands the day to day concerns of people like them - 47% feel she does and 51% feel she does not - than say the same about Trump - 37% feel he does and 60% feel he does not.
Clinton has an even wider advantage on the issue of presidential temperament. Significantly more voters say Clinton has the right temperament for the job (59%) than say the same about Trump (33%).
Turning to the U.S. Senate race, the Monmouth University Poll finds GOP incumbent Rob Portman with a 54% to 39% lead over former Democratic governor Ted Strickland. Another 2% say they will vote for a third party or independent candidate and 5% are undecided. The current margin is wider than Portman's 48% to 40% lead in August.
Portman continues to garner more support from his fellow Republicans (90%) than Strickland does from his fellow Democrats (72%). Independents prefer Portman by 57% to 34%.
Portman's ratings have improved since Monmouth's last Ohio poll while Strickland's have remained stable. Portman earns a positive job rating from most Ohio voters - 52% approve and 23% disapprove, which is better than his 39% approve and 29% disapprove rating In August. His personal rating has also improved, now standing at 42% favorable and 13% unfavorable, compared to 28% favorable and 20% unfavorable in August. Voters' views of Strickland are more negative at 27% favorable and 37% unfavorable, which is virtually unchanged from 23% favorable and 37% unfavorable in the last poll.
"Portman's underlying ratings were lower in August partly because he prefers to keep a low profile. Now that he has been out on the stump, Ohio voters like what they see," said Murray.
Current governor, and former presidential candidate, John Kasich holds a very positive 58% approve and 32% disapprove rating from likely voters in his home state. Kasich has made a point of distancing himself from Trump. This has not hurt the governor's reputation among his fellow Buckeyes - 34% think more highly of Kasich because he is not supporting Trump and just 20% think less highly of him. Another 46% say Kasich's stand against Trump has had no impact on their opinion of the governor. These results are virtually unchanged from August.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 1 to 4, 2016 with 405 Ohio residents likely to vote in the November election. This sample has a margin of error of ±4.9 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.
QUESTIONS AND RESULTS
(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)
1/2. If the election for President was today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, Gary Johnson the independent Libertarian, or Jill Stein of the Green Party? [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]
42% Donald Trump
44% Hillary Clinton
5% Gary Johnson
1% Jill Stein
1% (VOL) Other candidate
6% (VOL) Undecided
3. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Rob Portman the Republican, Ted Strickland the Democrat, or some other candidate? [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Rob Portman or Ted Strickland?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]
54% Rob Portman
39% Ted Strickland
2% Other candidate
5% (VOL) Undecided
Regardless of who you may support for president…
[ QUESTIONS 4 & 5 WERE ROTATED ]
4. Is your general impression of Donald Trump favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
13% No opinion
5. Is your general impression of Hillary Clinton favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
11% No opinion
[ QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED ]
6. Regardless of whether you would vote for him, do you think Donald Trump does or does not have the right temperament to be president?
62% Does not
6% (VOL) Don't know
7. Regardless of whether you would vote for her, do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not have the right temperament to be president?
39% Does not
2% (VOL) Don't know
[ QUESTIONS 8 & 9 WERE ROTATED ]
8. Do you think Donald Trump does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?
60% Does not
2% (VOL) Don't know
9. Do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?
51% Does not
2% (VOL) Don't know
Turning to the Senate race…
[ QUESTIONS 10 & 11 WERE ROTATED ]
10. Is your general impression of Rob Portman favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
44% No opinion
11. Is your general impression of Ted Strickland favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
35% No opinion
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Rob Portman is doing as U.S. senator?
25% (VOL) No opinion
On another topic,
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the job John Kasich is doing as governor?
10% (VOL) No opinion
14. Governor Kasich said he cannot support Donald Trump for president. Does this make you think more highly or less highly of Kasich personally, or does it have no impact on your opinion of him?
34% More highly
20% Less highly
46% No impact
0% (VOL) No opinion
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 1 to 4, 2016 with a random sample of 405 likely Ohio voters. Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 355 drawn from a list of registered voters (204 landline / 151 cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 50 cell phone interviews. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for age, gender, race and voting history based on voter list and U.S. Census information. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), Aristotle (voter list sample), and SSI (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables