Poll: Kasich no longer top GOP presidential candidate among Ohio voters

Staff report

COLUMBUS — Gov. John Kasich is no longer the leading Republican presidential candidate among Ohio voters, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Registered Republican voters in the state have shifted their support to business mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who received 23 percent and 18 percent support, respectively, in the latest Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey.

Kasich was third with 13 percent, down from 27 percent in August and ending a string of Quinnipiac polls where he was atop the GOP field in his home state.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and businesswoman Carly Fiorina were next, with 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively. No other Republican candidate received double-digit support in Ohio.

"Gov. John Kasich's big card was his enormous popularity in Ohio, generally considered the most important swing state in the November election," Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll, said in a released statement. "But with Trump zooming well past him in the Buckeye State and Kasich's numbers in Florida and Pennsylvania in low single digits, the Ohio governor's campaign is going in the wrong direction."

Quinnpiac regularly gauges the views of voters in Ohio and other swing states on candidates and issues.

It's latest poll included 1,180 Ohio voters (433 Republicans and 396 Democrats), 1,173 Florida voters (461 Republicans and 411 Democrats) and 1,049 Pennsylvania voters (427 Republicans and 442 Democrats).

The party-specific results have a margin of error of 4-5 percentage points.

Among Ohio voters, Clinton still leads the Democratic field, with 40 percent support, followed by Vice President Joe Biden backed by 21 percent of Democratic voters and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders receiving 19 percent support.

Trump remains ahead of other GOP candidates in Florida and Pennsylvania, followed by Carson in both states.

In Florida, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio was third, at 14 percent, followed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, at 12 percent.

In Pennsylvania, Rubio was third at 12 percent, with no other Republican receiving double-digit support.