A look at voters’ views in Tuesday’s elections, according to data from exit polling conducted in Ohio for The Associated Press and the television networks:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich won a second term with a broad base of support from most demographic groups across the state. The Republican governor topped Democrat Ed FitzGerald among white men and women, middle age and older Ohioans, and voters who make over $50,000. The governor also picked up more backing this time around from blacks, moderates, voters without a college degree and even Democrats. Kasich won 7 of 10 votes among seniors after splitting the vote evenly among them four years ago.
Democrat Ed FitzGerald, whose campaign struggled after revelations about his personal life and lack of a driver’s license for a decade, had trouble gaining support from most groups outside of reliably Democratic voters. Those who stuck by him included liberals and blacks. Even in his home base of the Cleveland area, support for the Cuyahoga County executive fell slightly behind support for Kasich.
UNION VOTERS DIDN’T HOLD GRUDGE
Voters from union households didn’t punish Kasich for his attempt to restrict collective bargaining just three years ago. The governor actually got more backing from union households than he did in 2010. Those voters gave him a slight lead over FitzGerald.
OHIO’S ECONOMY BETTER …
About half of Ohioans think the economy is better off now than it was when Kasich took office. But only about 2 in 5 believe it has gotten worse over the time.
… BUT IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY
Four-fifths of Ohioans are worried about the direction of the nation’s economy in the next year, with about 2 in 5 saying they’re very worried. About two-thirds of the voters believe the country is seriously off on the wrong track.
THE PRESIDENT GETS A THUMB DOWN
About 6 of 10 voters around Ohio gave President Barack Obama a failing grade for his job performance while 1 out of 5 said they strongly disapprove of the job he’s done.
About half of Ohioans said they think Obama’s federal health care law went too far while just 1 in 5 thought it didn’t do enough. About half also thought Kasich, who was criticized by some Republicans by expanding Medicaid through the new law, did a good job of handling implementation of the law.
GAY MARRIAGE IN OHIO
Opposition to same-sex marriage in the state was stronger than support for it. The issue in Ohio could take a step closer to being decided soon as a federal appeals court in Cincinnati is considering whether the state’s gay marriage ban should stay.
ONLY TWO YEARS AWAY
It’s never too early to start thinking about the 2016 presidential race, especially in Ohio. Voters slightly favored the Republican nominee over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is considered the presumptive front-runner for the 2016 Democratic nomination if she decides to run. About 3 in 10 said it still depends.
The survey of 1,768 Ohio voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 24 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 339 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.
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