More than 2 million Ohioans voted against Republican Mike DeWine as governor in the 2018 election.
How things change. Eighteen months later, DeWine now finds himself with a higher approval rating among Democrats than among voters in his own party.
That is among the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday, which also found President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden once again in a dead heat here in the Buckeye State.
The poll involved 1,139 self-identified registered voters surveyed by landlines and cell phones between June 18-22. Here are some key takeaways.
DeWine viewed favorably among Ohio voters
DeWine continues to enjoy high approval ratings owing to his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. In total, three-fourths of Ohio voters say they approve of the job DeWine is doing as governor.
That includes an 81% approval rating among Democrats, compared to 76% among Republicans and 74% among independents.
In contrast, only 44% of Ohio voters approve of Trump’s job as president, with 53% who disapprove.
“A Republican governor is far more popular than the Republican president in a state the country will have laser focus on when the polls start shutting down on election night, November the 3rd,” said Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy in a news release announcing the results.
Ohioans: State response to virus better than national response
The poll results show 77% of voters approve of DeWine’s handling of the coronavirus. Only 43% approve of Trump’s handling of the crisis.
A majority of those polled say the timeline of Ohio’s reopening is “about right,” with an equal 19% saying the state is being reopened “too fast” and 19% saying it is “not quickly enough.”
Respondents are generally split on whether they think it will be safe to send students to school this fall.
Presidential race remains very close in Ohio
The poll results show Biden and Trump virtually tied in Ohio, with the Democrat ahead 46-45 (within the poll’s margin of error).
Independents are leaning slightly in favor of Trump, 44% to 40%. Biden leads among women by 16 points, with men siding with Trump by an equal margin of 16 points.
On individual issues, Trump is viewed as being better than Biden on the economy, while Biden holds leads on issues of “handling a crisis,” the coronavirus response, health care and race relations.
Despite protests, Ohioans favor the police
The vast majority of Ohioans (82%) approve of their local police departments, with 72% saying they generally support police officers within the state.
However, respondents are split on “whether police officers are generally held accountable for misconduct,” with 46% saying yes and 50% saying no.
Respondents were asked if being a victim of police violence is something they “personally worry about.” A majority of Black voters (60%) said yes, while only 9% of white voters said so.
Most Ohioans oppose cutting police departments’ funding, and the vast majority (82%) say they oppose replacing their community’s existing department with a new one
Ohioans split on Confederate symbols
A slight majority of voters, 52%, support banning Confederate flags in public places. However, a slight majority say they oppose removing Confederate statues or renaming military bases named after Confederate generals.