Kasich Close to Catching Trump in Ohio, Poll Finds

RALEIGH, N.C. – Ohio Gov. John Kasich may well win the state’s Republican presidential primary March 15, according to Public Policy Polling, even though Donald Trump is slightly ahead.

PPP’s new Ohio poll, released Monday, finds Trump leads with 38% to 35% for Kasich, 15% for Ted Cruz, and just 5% for Marco Rubio. But the race is “pretty fluid,” PPP says, with only 69% of voters saying they’re committed to their current choice, and 31% saying they might change their minds between now and next Tuesday.

If voters do change their minds — especially supporters of Cruz and Rubio — Kasich is likely to be the beneficiary, PPP reports. Kasich leads Trump 55% to 40% if voters had to choose just between the two of them. Rubio voters move to Kasich 75%-16% over Trump, Cruz voters do so 69%-25%. Kasich is also the most broadly popular of the candidates in Ohio with a 70% favorability rating. Only Trump at 48% favorable is also on positive ground among the remaining candidates. “If more strategic voting happens in the next week, Kasich is likely to be the beneficiary,” PPP says.

“One of the biggest stories in the GOP Presidential race last week was Mitt Romney’s big anti-Trump speech but we find Romney is very unpopular with the Republican base and that the speech thus likely didn’t do much to hurt Trump,” PPP states. In Ohio just 33% of GOP voters see Romney favorably, to 50% with a negative opinion.

On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton has a solid lead with 56% to 35% for Bernie Sanders. Clinton’s up 52%-41% with white voters and has a 74%-14% advantage with African Americans.

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