Poll Shows Hillary Clinton Is Democrats’ Strongest Choice To Win Ohio

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 01:42 pm

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A Public Polling Polling (PPP) survey released on June 10, 2015, shows Hillary Clinton with a dominant lead in Ohio over all other candidates in the Democratic primary field. The survey of 859 Ohio voters, including 360 likely Democratic primary voters, found Clinton leading among the primary voters with 61 percent support to 13 percent for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg polled at 7 percent with Democratic primary voters. Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb barely registered, with each polling 2 percent or less.

The poll also found that Ohio is expected to be a battleground state once again in 2016. In head to head match-ups, the contest between Hillary Clinton and a Republican is agonizingly close. For example Hillary Clinton leads Jeb Bush 45-43, she leads Scott Walker 44-43, and she is tied with Marco Rubio 44-44, in the Buckeye State.

Ohio is a highly coveted swing state and for good reason. The state was decisive in the 2004 election. George W. Bush would not have won re-election without carrying Ohio in 2004. Ohio is also the state that put Barack Obama over the top on election night in 2012, causing Karl Rove to go into a mini-meltdown. As it turns out, Obama could have won without Ohio, but Ohio, along with Florida, was one of the two most competitive large population states in 2012.

The Buckeye State has also gone with the national winner in every U.S. presidential election since 1964. Richard Nixon (R) was the last presidential candidate to win Ohio without winning the White House. Nixon carried Ohio in 1960, but lost the national vote to Democrat John F. Kennedy. Nixon, however, also later carried Ohio in the 1968 and 1972 elections in his two successful runs for the presidency.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans can afford to lose Ohio. With that in mind, the PPP poll finds that Hillary Clinton fares significantly better than any other Democrat, when pitted against the apparent GOP national front-runner, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Against Walker, Clinton leads by a narrow 44-43 margin in Ohio. By comparison, Michael Bloomberg trails 40-32, Bernie Sanders is down 40-30, Lincoln Chafee loses 39-24, Martin O’Malley gets crushed 41-26, and Jim Webb gets pummeled 41-25.

While those numbers suggest that Hillary Clinton remains the Democrats best option for winning Ohio, her low 38-54 favorable to unfavorable rating in the state shows that her current head to head strength is as much an indictment of the GOP field as it is an endorsement of Clinton. Hillary Clinton appears to be respected but not necessarily liked by Ohio voters.

Democrats will need to monitor future polls to see if she can sustain her strength against Republican candidates while also sporting underwater favorable ratings. If she cannot, then Bernie Sanders is probably the Democrats’ strongest alternative. He is viewed favorably by 21 percent of Ohio voters, to 30 percent with an unfavorable opinion. However, because 48 percent of Ohio voters have no strong opinion of Sanders yet, he has room to grow in popularity, or unpopularity, depending upon how his campaign takes shape.

Polls invariably shift over time, and a candidate’s ability to win is just one of many factors to consider when choosing which candidate to back in a presidential race. Regardless of how one decides how to vote, if winning Ohio is important, Hillary Clinton appears for now to be the Democrat in the best position to deliver team blue a victory in the quintessential battleground state.

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