Kasich 2nd to Trump in Ohio, Quinnipiac Poll Finds

HAMDEN, Conn. – Not even native son Gov. John Kasich can stop the Donald Trump steamroller as Kasich falls behind the Republican front-runner, 31% to 26%, among Ohio likely Republican primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is at 21% with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 13% and Ben Carson at 5%.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont 55% to  40% among Ohio likely Democratic primary voters, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.

Five percent of Republicans remain undecided and 38% of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind before the March 15 primary.

On the negative side, 32% of likely Republican primary voters say they “would definitely not support” Trump for the nomination, with 22% saying no to Cruz.

Trump tops Kasich, 35% – 26% percent among men, with 23% for Cruz and 9% for Rubio. Women are divided, with 27% for Trump and 26% for Kasich, 19% for Cruz and 17% for Rubio.

“The Donald Trump train begins the three-week campaign for Ohio’s crucial delegates on the right track and holds a small lead over the Buckeye State’s own governor, John Kasich,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“A Kasich win in Ohio is crucial to the Republicans trying to stop the New York businessman’s nomination. If Trump can defeat Kasich in his home state, that would be an impressive demonstration of his strength in a state that is just now getting attention. But Trump’s lead is just 5 points, certainly not large enough for him to breathe easy,” Brown said.

“Also impressive for Trump is that 78% of his supporters say their mind is made up, higher than supporters of other GOP candidates, especially Kasich. Yet Trump’s favorability ratings are lower than the other GOP candidates,” Brown added.

“Former Secretary Hillary Clinton has a solid double-digit lead over Sen. Sanders, but anything can happen in three weeks of presidential politics.”

Kasich has the best favorability rating, 77% – 14%, among Ohio likely Republican primary voters. Rubio has a 62% – 17% favorability, with Cruz at 60% – 27% and Trump at 57% – 36%.

The gender gap which marks the Clinton-Sanders face-off in other states shrinks among Ohio likely Democratic primary voters as men back Clinton 54% – 44% while women back her 56% – 37%.

Five percent of Democrats remain undecided, while 29% of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind in the next three weeks.

Clinton and Sanders have almost identical favorability ratings, 77% – 17% for her and 77% – 11% for him.

From Feb. 16 – 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 759 Ohio likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points and 518 Ohio likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

SOURCE: Quinnipiac Poll.

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