A new PPP poll confirms that the race for governor in Ohio is a dead heat. Republican Gov. John Kasich leads Democrat Ed FitzGerald by a single point 45%-44%.
The PPP poll shows why Ohio is so close. Kasich has a four point lead with men (46%-42%) but trails with women (44%-45). The contest in the Buckeye State looks like a microcosm of the presidential election. Kasich has big leads with white voters (50%-38%), and voters over age 65 (60%-32%). FitzGerald leads with African-Americans (77%-14%), and younger voters (55%-17%).
Ohio’s next governor will likely be determined by who turns out to vote. If the electorate looks a little more like the one that voted for President Obama twice, Kasich will lose. If the electorate looks the same one that elected the governor in 2010, he will win a second term.
Republicans are holding their 2016 convention in Cleveland because they are still “clinging” to the hope that they can flip Ohio, but these polling numbers suggest that it may be a lost cause. Ohio’s voting pattern looks an awful lot like a blue state.
With Tom Corbett, Rick Snyder, Sam Brownback, and Rick Scott all on the ropes, Kasich was widely thought to be one of the safe Republican governors in 2014, but this may turn out not to be true. Kasich seemed to right the ship after suffering a humiliating defeat when he tried to bust Ohio’s public sector unions via SB 5, but voters haven’t forgotten.
If Kasich goes down in November, it will be more proof that the Republican attempts to turn Ohio red in 2016 could be a lost cause.