January 19, 2011 - Ohio Voters Don't Believe Gov. Kasich's No-Tax Pledge, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Jury Is Out On New Governor

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Ohio voters oppose 61 - 34 percent raising taxes to balance the state budget, but by a 58 - 28 percent margin, they don't believe their new governor, John Kasich, will be able to keep his no- tax promise, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters say 50 - 42 percent that Gov. Kasich should not have made this no-tax pledge, the independent Quinnipiac (KWUIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

After one week in office, Kasich gets 30 - 22 percent job approval rating, with 48 percent of voters undecided. But voters are generally optimistic, 59 - 29 percent, about the next four years in Ohio with Kasich as governor.

"Gov. John Kasich starts out with a barely positive job approval from the voters, although in fairness almost half have yet to develop an opinion of his performance given he is only a little more than a week in office," said Peter A. Brown assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Kasich, however, does have an electorate that is optimistic about his ability to turn the state around. Voters are aware of the problems facing Ohio: 96 percent call the state's budget problems 'very serious' or 'somewhat serious,' the highest level of concern we've ever measured in the state."

While voters may be aware of the budget problems, they are not happy about some of the ideas being advocated by Kasich and/or Republicans who control both houses of the legislature.

By 53 - 32 percent voters say they would rather cut services than raise taxes to balance the budget. Service cuts win 76 - 13 percent support from Republicans and 56 - 29 percent support from independent voters, while Democrats favor tax hikes 50 - 36 percent.

But voters say 51 - 36 percent that eliminating the tax on estates of more than $338,000 is a bad idea.

Ohio voters oppose a number of proposals to help balance the state budget:
  • 46 - 43 percent against layoffs for state workers;
  • 51 - 30 percent against leasing the Ohio Turnpike to a private company;
  • 51 - 33 percent against hiring a private company to run state prisons.
A proposal to limit the ability of state and local government workers to bargain collectively is a bad idea, voters say 51 - 34 percent.

"Ohioans do not want a tax increase to deal with the budget crisis but are skeptical that Gov. Kasich will be able to avoid one, despite his promises," said Brown.

Republicans oppose a tax hike to balance the state budget 80 - 17 percent and believe 46 - 33 percent that Kasich will keep his no-tax pledge. Democrats support a tax hike 50 - 46 percent and say 71 - 17 percent that Kasich won't keep his promise. Independent voters oppose new taxes 61 - 32 percent and don't believe Kasich 62 - 26 percent.

"For the most part, Ohioans are not receptive to a number of proposals that would cut spending or sell state assets as a way to balance the budget," said Brown. "Gov. Kasich has a serious selling job on his hands when it comes to convincing the people of Ohio on the wisdom of his ideas."

From January 12 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,299 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              30%    55%    14%    31%    33%    28%    42%
Disapprove           22      6     35     18     23     21     12
DK/NA                48     39     50     51     44     51     47
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Approve              36     25     27     35     39     32     23
Disapprove           20     25     18     25     21     16     27
DK/NA                44     50     55     40     40     52     50
 
 
5. Looking back to Ted Strickland's four years as governor, do you approve or disapprove of the way he handled his job as governor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              46%    25%    64%    41%    48%    44%    39%
Disapprove           46     68     28     50     47     45     54
DK/NA                 8      7      7      9      5     12      7
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Approve              46     48     54     51     42     36     54
Disapprove           50     43     35     35     55     50     38
DK/NA                 4      9     11     13      3     14      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ted Strickland is handling his job as Governor? (* "handled his job")
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Jan 19  Jun 29  Apr 29  Mar 31  Feb 05  Jun 29  Nov 11
                     2011*   2010    2010    2010    2009    2010    2009
 
Approve              46      44      47      49      63      44      45
Disapprove           46      42      38      40      25      42      43
DK/NA                 8      13      15      11      12      13      12
 
 
6. Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years with John Kasich as Governor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Optimistic           59%    83%    43%    60%    57%    60%    67%
Pessimistic          29      6     44     31     32     27     18
DK/NA                12     11     12     10     11     13     14
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Optimistic           61     57     59     73     57     56     55
Pessimistic          33     30     22     22     31     28     36
DK/NA                 6     12     19      5     12     16      9
 
 
15. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Ohio today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Very satisfied        3%     4%     5%     2%     4%     3%     3%
Smwht satisfied      28     31     28     25     25     30     33
Smwht dissatisfied   39     43     38     38     36     42     38
Very dissatisfied    28     20     28     33     33     24     24
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      2      1      1
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Very satisfied        5      4      1      9      2      2      4
Smwht satisfied      26     25     22     43     27     36     23
Smwht dissatisfied   41     37     45     27     47     37     41
Very dissatisfied    27     32     32     21     24     21     31
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      -      4      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Ohio today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 19  Jun 29  Apr 29  Mar 31  Feb 23  Mar 21  Jan 19
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010    2007    2011
 
Very satisfied        3       3       3       3       2       5       3
Smwht satisfied      28      37      38      35      30      49      28
Smwht dissatisfied   39      34      30      35      36      28      39
Very dissatisfied    28      25      28      26      32      16      28
DK/NA                 1       -       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
16. How serious do you think Ohio's budget problems are; very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Very serious         69%    67%    69%    71%    70%    69%    71%
Smwht serious        27     29     27     25     26     27     24
Not too serious       2      1      3      1      2      2      1
Not at all serious    -      1      -      -      1      -      1
DK/NA                 2      2      1      2      1      3      2
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Very serious         65     69     75     66     75     69     70
Smwht serious        31     27     24     28     22     24     27
Not too serious       2      2      1      4      2      -      2
Not at all serious    1      -      -      -      2      -      -
DK/NA                 1      2      1      2      -      6      2
 
TREND: How serious do you think Ohio's budget problems are - Very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious or not at all serious?
                        Jan 19  Mar 21  Feb 01
                        2011    2007    2007
 
Very serious            69      37      43
Smwht serious           27      48      43
Not too serious          2       9       7
Not at all serious       -       1       1
DK/NA                    2       6       6
 
 
17. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer; raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Raising taxes        32%    13%    50%    29%    30%    34%    18%
Cutting programs/
 services            53     76     36     56     58     50     63
DK/NA                14     10     14     16     12     16     18
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Raising taxes        33     35     31     24     30     29     32
Cutting programs/
 services            55     49     60     48     61     57     52
DK/NA                12     17      9     27      9     15     16
 
TREND: To balance the state budget next year, if you had to choose, which would you prefer - raising taxes to keep state services at their current level or cutting state services to keep taxes at their current level? (*does not include "next year")
                     Jan 19  May 6   Mar 17  Feb 05  Dec 11
                     2011*   2009    2009    2009    2008
 
Raising taxes        32      32      32      30      24
Cutting services     53      57      56      59      62
DK/NA                14      10      12      12      13
 
 
18. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - layoffs for state employees?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              43%    54%    31%    47%    49%    38%    49%
Oppose               46     33     62     41     43     49     36
DK/NA                11     13      6     12      8     13     15
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Support              41     43     54     41     37     48     38
Oppose               53     48     40     36     49     38     51
DK/NA                 7      9      6     23     14     14     10
 
 
19. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - leasing the Ohio turnpike to a private company?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              30%    39%    24%    32%    32%    29%    27%
Oppose               51     37     61     50     57     46     51
DK/NA                19     24     15     18     11     25     22
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Support              32     27     27     37     36     29     27
Oppose               44     56     61     46     45     47     58
DK/NA                23     17     12     17     19     24     15
 
 
20. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - hiring a private company to run state prisons?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              33%    46%    22%    37%    40%    27%    34%
Oppose               51     33     65     50     49     53     44
DK/NA                16     22     13     12     10     20     22
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Support              32     34     36     31     32     35     32
Oppose               51     52     51     62     52     44     56
DK/NA                18     14     13      7     16     21     12
 
 
21. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - raising taxes?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Support              34%    17%    50%    32%    36%    33%    25%
Oppose               61     80     46     61     60     61     71
DK/NA                 5      3      3      6      4      6      4
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Support              38     37     27     21     33     31     35
Oppose               58     58     67     79     65     57     60
DK/NA                 4      5      6      1      2     12      5
 
 
22. Governor John Kasich has pledged that in trying to balance the state's budget deficit that he will not raise taxes or fees. Do you think John Kasich should have made this pledge or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  42%    65%    29%    39%    42%    41%    50%
No                   50     27     63     52     50     49     36
DK/NA                 9      8      8      9      8      9     13
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Yes                  39     44     39     52     42     35     35
No                   56     48     52     44     49     50     58
DK/NA                 6      8      9      4      9     15      7
 
 
23. Do you think John Kasich will be able to keep this pledge or not?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes                  28%    46%    17%    26%    29%    26%    34%
No                   58     33     71     62     57     59     47
DK/NA                14     21     12     12     13     15     19
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Yes                  24     29     27     33     27     28     26
No                   61     59     56     60     56     51     64
DK/NA                14     13     17      6     16     21      9
 
 
24. Governor Kasich has given back $400 million to the federal government it gave Ohio for rail service between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. Kasich has killed the project saying it would cost the state much more in the long run. Do you agree or disagree with Governor Kasich's decision?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Agree                48%    67%    29%    55%    50%    46%    56%
Disagree             42     22     63     36     45     40     32
DK/NA                10     11      9     10      5     15     12
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Agree                55     43     40     60     52     47     47
Disagree             41     44     47     34     42     40     45
DK/NA                 4     13     13      6      7     13      8
 
 
25. Governor Kasich and Republican legislative leaders have talked about eliminating or restricting the ability of state and local government employees to collectively bargain. Do you think that is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Good idea            34%    50%    19%    37%    39%    30%    38%
Bad idea             51     31     71     44     52     50     40
DK/NA                15     18     10     18     10     20     23
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Good idea            34     33     39     20     39     32     22
Bad idea             50     53     46     56     48     48     69
DK/NA                16     14     15     24     13     19      9
 
 
26. There is an effort in the Ohio legislature to eliminate the state's tax on estates of more than $338,000. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                   Annual household income
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Good idea            36%    55%    21%    38%    26%    43%    35%    52%
Bad idea             51     35     65     51     59     46     58     39
DK/NA                12     10     14     10     14     11      7      8
 
                                                               Union
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt HsHld
 
Good idea            38     33     40     33     45     35     32
Bad idea             53     55     47     53     48     43     56
DK/NA                10     12     13     13      7     22     12