Obama’s poll numbers sink in Ohio

Ohioans dead even on Clinton, Christie for 2016.

This is the lowest rating Obama has received in the Buckeye state.

Although Obama just took office for his second term less than six months ago, pollsters are now turning their attention to the next presidential election in 2016.

Quinnipiac University found that if the election were held today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are deadlocked at 42 points each, but Clinton would edge out Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 47 percent to 44 percent. And Christie and Paul would both beat Vice President Joe Biden.

Clinton’s strength among women and her Democratic base allows her to counter Christie’s strength with men and his narrower margin among his GOP base, the poll found. Independent voters are divided with 41 percent for Christie and 38 percent for Clinton.

Ohio was the key state for Obama in both of his presidential elections but his fortunes here have since turned, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Since last December he has lost 10 points among Democrats and 17 points among independent voters. He has gone from a 20-point approval margin among women to a 9-point disapproval margin among female voters.”

The poll also asked Ohio voters about background checks for gun purchases and found 78 percent, including 70 percent of voters in households with guns, support such a law. Forty-five percent of voters say U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s vote against background checks makes them think less favorably about Portman while 38 percent say it doesn’t make a difference. Meanwhile, 43 percent of voters say U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s vote for background checks makes them view him more favorably and 40 percent say it makes no difference.

And voters give both Portman, R-Ohio, and Brown, D-Ohio, favorable job approval ratings.

On another issue in Ohio, voters are split 46 percent to 47 percent on whether the state should expand its Medicaid program to cover more people as part of the federal health care overhaul. State lawmakers are currently debating the issue and Gov. John Kasich has been advocating in favor of it.

The poll surveyed 941 registered voters on cell phones and landlines between June 18 and June 23. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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