West Long Branch, NJ - Hillary Clinton holds a slim 4 point lead over Donald Trump in the perennial battleground state of Ohio. In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent senator Rob Portman has an 8 point lead over former governor Ted Strickland. The candidates for president and senate are experiencing varying degrees of success in appealing to the typical Buckeye worker. The Monmouth University Poll also finds that current governor John Kasich's standing among his constituents is not being hurt by his non-endorsement of Trump.
Among Ohio voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 43% currently support Clinton and 39% back Trump. Another 10% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, who will appear as an independent on the ballot, and less than one percent are supporting Jill Stein of the Green Party. Another 8% are undecided.
Trump does almost as well as Clinton in getting the backing of fellow partisans, with 83% of Republicans supporting their party's nominee and 88% of Democrats backing their standard bearer. Independents are evenly split at 35% for Trump and 35% for Clinton, with 20% supporting Johnson.
Clinton is not doing quite as well as Barack Obama did four years ago among black, Hispanic, and Asian voters (72% to 10% 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 (45% to 37% for Clinton) as Romney did (57% to 41% for Obama). While Trump is doing nearly as well among white men as the last GOP nominee (leading by 52% to 28% compared to Romney's 62% to 36% advantage), he is trailing among white women (38% to 46% for Clinton compared to Romney's win of 53% to 46% over Obama).
"Ohio has been nip and tuck for nearly every presidential election since 1992. As of right now, it looks like that tradition will continue," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Ohio's electoral votes would not be in question if favorite son Gov. John Kasich nabbed the GOP nomination. A solid 57% majority say they would have backed Kasich for president over 33% who would support Clinton if this had been the match-up.
Unlike other former presidential candidates, Kasich has made a point of keeping his distance from Trump. This has not hurt the governor's reputation among his fellow Buckeyes - 38% say they think more highly of Kasich because he is not supporting Trump and just 17% think less highly of him. Another 44% say Kasich's stand against Trump has had no impact on their opinion of the governor.
Like Kasich, very few Ohio voters have a positive opinion of either major party nominee. Just 29% have a favorable view of Trump and 58% have an unfavorable view. Clinton's ratings are negligibly better at 33% favorable and 51% unfavorable.
Both nominees are trying to appeal to the working class voter that typifies Ohio. Clinton has a small edge when it comes to "looking out for the little guy" - although opinion is not overwhelmingly positive for either candidate. Just over 4-in-10 (42%) say Clinton would do a good job at this while 50% say she would do a bad job. Slightly fewer voters (38%) say Trump would do a good job looking out for the little guy while 53% say he would do a bad job.
Turning to the U.S. Senate race, the Monmouth University Poll finds GOP incumbent Rob Portman with a 48% to 40% lead over former Democratic governor Ted Strickland. Another 4% say they will vote for another candidate and 8% are undecided. Portman garners more support from his fellow Republicans (88%) than Strickland does from his fellow Democrats (76%). Independents prefer Portman by 47% to 37%.
Both candidates are making a pitch for the support of organized labor, with Portman having picked up a number of key union endorsements. A majority of Ohio voters trust Portman to represent the interests of workers in the state either a lot (21%) or a little (44%), with just 23% saying they do not trust the Republican incumbent to do this. Strickland doesn't do quite as well on this metric - 15% trust him a lot and 41% trust him a little, while 35% say they do not trust the Democratic challenger to represent workers' interests.
Portman earns a net positive job rating from Ohio voters - 39% approve and 29% disapprove - but nearly one-third (31%) have no opinion of the first-term senator's performance. Even fewer voters have an opinion of Portman personally - 28% hold a favorable view and 20% have an unfavorable view, with 52% who have formed no real opinion of him. Voters' views of Strickland are more negative at 23% favorable and 37% unfavorable, with 41% having no opinion.
"Neither candidate has a prominent profile despite Portman's nearly six years as the state's senator and Strickland's four years in the Statehouse. However, Portman's low-key approach to his job may be what punches his return ticket to Washington," said Murray.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from August 18 to 21 2016 with 402 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 ]
39% Donald Trump
43% Hillary Clinton
10% Gary Johnson
<1% Jill Stein
<1% (VOL) Other candidate
8% (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 ]
48% Rob Portman
40% Ted Strickland
4% Other candidate
8% (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?
16% No opinion
[ QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED ]
6. Do you think Donald Trump as president would do a good job or bad job of looking out for the little guy?
38% Good job
53% Bad job
9% (VOL) Don't know
7. Do you think Hillary Clinton as president would do a good job or bad job of looking out for the little guy?
42% Good job
50% Bad job
9% (VOL) Don't know
8. Who would you have voted for if the presidential election had been between John Kasich and Hillary Clinton? [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]
57% John Kasich
33% Hillary Clinton
4% (VOL) Other candidate
2% (VOL) Would not vote
5% (VOL) Undecided
9. 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?
38% More highly
17% Less highly
44% No impact
1% (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?
52% No opinion
11. Is your general impression of Ted Strickland favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
41% No opinion
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Rob Portman is doing as U.S. senator?
31% (VOL) No opinion
[ QUESTIONS 13 & 14 WERE ROTATED ]
13. How much do you trust Rob Portman to represent the interests of workers in the state - a lot, a little, or not at all?
21% A lot
44% A little
23% Not at all
11% (VOL) Don't know
14. How much do you trust Ted Strickland to represent the interests of workers in the state - a lot, a little, or not at all?
15% A lot
41% A little
35% Not at all
9% (VOL) Don't know
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from August 18 to 21, 2016 with a random sample of 402 likely Ohio voters. Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 352 drawn from a list of registered voters (202 landline / 150 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