December 12, 2006 - Ohio Voters Give Governor Taft Low Approval, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; But They Back Him On Gun Control, Education Reform
Ohio Gov. Robert Taft leaves office with a negative 16 - 69 percent job approval rating, but Ohio voters agree with him on overriding local gun control laws and toughening high school graduation requirements, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

By a 54 - 35 percent margin, Ohio voters say it's a "bad idea" to give state government the power to override local gun control laws, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Results are similar among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters. Gun control laws should be "more strict," 35 percent of voters say, with 12 percent who say, "less strict" and 46 percent who say they're "about right."

Ohio voters support 60 - 26 percent making the Ohio Core, with its tougher high school graduation requirements, the statewide standard. But voters oppose 65 - 26 percent paying higher property taxes to support the Ohio Core education reform plan.

"Gov. Taft is the least popular governor in America," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, "so it is ironic that as he leaves office he has strong public support on two critical questions.

Taft has vetoed legislation that would allow the state to override local bans on gun sales and registration, and lawmakers are trying to override his veto.

"There is a clear consensus that Ohioans don't want to relax current gun control laws and don't want to roll back the tougher laws passed by some cities," said Brown.

On education reform, Taft has support across the board, even 53 - 31 percent among Democrats who give him an 11 percent job approval grade overall.

By a 57 - 35 percent margin, Ohio voters believe state high school graduates are not well prepared for college and the work force. They think 41 - 8 percent that current graduation requirements are not strict enough, with 45 percent thinking they are "about right."

The specific part of the plan that would make completing the Ohio Core a requirement for admission to most Ohio public colleges and force those who don't to attend a two-year community college wins 54 - 36 percent support, with little partisan difference.

But voters say 68 - 21 percent that the newly-elected State Legislature should decide on the Ohio Core next month, rather than have the matter decided in the last weeks of the current legislative session.

"Ohioans want tougher graduation requirements because they don't think the current system is doing the job well, but if the reforms require more money from their pockets they won't be very happy about it," said Brown.

A total of 37 percent of Ohio voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 62 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 44 percent of Ohio voters list the economy as the most important problem facing the state today, followed by 16 percent who list education and 6 percent who list taxes.

From December 4 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,027 Ohio voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and click on Institutes and Centers, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Taft handled his job as Governor?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 16% 23% 14% 11% 18% 13% 20% Disapprove 69 60 76 72 69 70 64 DK/NA 15 17 10 17 13 17 16



3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Approve 25% 37% 22% 19% 27% 24% 32% Disapprove 55 41 61 60 54 56 50 DK/NA 20 22 16 21 19 20 18



5. Do you think Ted Strickland will be a better Governor than Bob Taft, a worse Governor, or about the same?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Better 55% 38% 70% 57% 53% 57% 45% Worse 6 14 1 4 8 4 10 The same 25 34 17 23 25 24 28 DK/NA 14 14 11 15 14 14 16



6. 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 4% 5% 2% 4% 4% 3% 5% Smwht satisfied 33 45 25 29 33 33 41 Smwht dissatisfied 33 33 36 32 33 33 35 Very dissatisfied 29 17 37 33 29 30 19 DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1 1 1



7. What do you think is the most important problem facing Ohio today?

                        Tot


Economy Total 44% Economy general 5 Unemployment/jobs 35 Cost of living 1 Business leaving/ Outsourcing 3

Education Total 16% Education general 8 Funding education 8

Taxes Total 6% Taxes general 4 Property tax 1 Income Tax 1

Healthcare Total 5% Healthcare/Costs/ Ins/HMO's 3 Medicare 1 Prescription costs 1

Crime Total 3% Crime/Violence general 2 Drugs 1

Politicians Total 3% Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 Political corruption 2

Budget Total 2% Budget general 1 Gov too big/Gov spending 1

Gas prices 1 Immigration 1 Lack of ethics/ Morality 1 Mass Transit Total 1 Poverty/Homeless 1 War (Iraq) 1

Other 7 DK/NA 7



8. In general do you think that gun control laws in Ohio should be more strict, less strict, or are they about right?
                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


More strict 35% 24% 50% 32% 24% 45% 30% Less strict 12 16 7 13 19 6 16 About right 46 53 39 48 51 42 49 DK/NA 6 6 4 6 6 7 5



9. Some have suggested that the state should have the power to override gun control laws passed by towns and cities. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Good idea 35% 33% 38% 37% 40% 31% 36% Bad idea 54 57 51 56 52 57 57 DK/NA 10 10 12 8 8 12 8



10. How would you rate the quality of Ohio's public schools - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Excellent 4% 6% 4% 2% 4% 4% 6% Good 41 46 38 41 41 41 45 Not so good 30 27 32 28 29 30 30 Poor 20 16 24 21 20 20 13 DK/NA 5 5 2 7 5 4 6

HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Excellent 7% 6% 3% 4% 2% Good 50 36 47 42 41 Not so good 22 31 32 28 32 Poor 20 23 14 22 19 DK/NA 2 4 4 4 7



12. In general, do you think the requirements for graduation from Ohio's public high schools are too strict, not strict enough, or about right?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Too strict 8% 9% 9% 6% 6% 10% 8% Not strict enough 41 44 39 42 42 40 38 About right 45 42 48 43 45 45 48 DK/NA 6 6 4 9 7 5 6

HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Too strict 9% 12% 11% 5% 4% Not strict enough 35 39 39 43 43 About right 52 43 43 47 49 DK/NA 4 6 7 4 4



13. In general, do you think that graduates from Ohio's public high schools are well prepared for college and the work force or not?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Yes 35% 40% 32% 35% 40% 31% 38% No 57 53 62 58 50 63 56 DK/NA 8 7 6 8 10 6 5

HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Yes 44% 26% 39% 39% 44% No 51 64 56 54 47 DK/NA 5 10 5 7 9



14. How much have you heard or read about Governor Taft's education reform plan known as the Ohio Core initiative - A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


A lot 5% 4% 6% 6% 7% 4% 6% Some 26 24 25 29 23 28 28 Not much 38 40 41 35 36 40 35 Nothing at all 30 31 28 30 33 28 31 DK/NA - 1 - - 1 - -

HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

A lot 5% 2% 5% 6% 13% Some 30 20 25 30 32 Not much 31 37 49 37 29 Nothing at all 34 40 21 27 27 DK/NA - 1 - 1 -



15. In general do you support or oppose making the Ohio Core, which would toughen future high school graduation requirements, the standard curriculum for high school students?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Support 60% 63% 53% 64% 61% 59% 64% Oppose 26 24 31 24 28 25 25 DK/NA 14 13 16 12 11 17 10

HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Support 55% 60% 55% 58% 66% Oppose 35 26 28 30 23 DK/NA 10 14 16 11 11



16. Do you think that the current Legislature should decide on the Ohio Core plan, or should it wait until next month when the new legislature will be seated, to make a decision?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Current Legislature 21% 27% 17% 19% 26% 16% 26% New legislature 68 60 74 70 60 75 66 DK/NA 12 13 9 10 14 9 8

HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Current Legislature 18% 20% 16% 21% 27% New legislature 70 69 73 67 63 DK/NA 12 11 11 12 9



17. One aspect of the Ohio Core Initiative makes completing the Ohio Core a requirement for admission to most of Ohio's state funded four-year colleges and universities. Those who don't complete the core must do so at a two-year community college before moving on to a four-year public college. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Good idea 54% 58% 53% 52% 54% 53% 59% Bad idea 36 32 36 39 37 35 31 DK/NA 10 10 11 9 9 12 10 HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Good idea 48% 58% 54% 50% 63% Bad idea 42 32 39 38 31 DK/NA 10 9 6 12 7



18. If necessary, would you be willing or unwilling to pay more in local property taxes to support the Ohio Core education reform plan?

                                                                        WtBrnAgn
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Evnglcl


Willing 26% 27% 25% 28% 25% 27% 25% Unwilling 65 67 64 62 67 63 69 DK/NA 9 6 11 10 8 10 6

HvKids Annual household income..... InSch <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Willing 27% 23% 26% 33% 26% Unwilling 64 69 63 58 67 DK/NA 9 8 12 9 7