- The Washington Times - Monday, March 14, 2016

Ohio Gov. John Kasich leads GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump by 5 points in Mr. Kasich’s home state, according to a poll released on the eve of the March 15 primary there.

Mr. Kasich had the support of 40 percent of likely GOP primary voters in Ohio in the Monmouth University poll released Monday, followed by Mr. Trump at 35 percent.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was at 15 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was at 5 percent.

“The Ohio race is tight, but with Rubio floundering in Florida, Kasich could potentially bolster his standing as the establishment’s alternative to Trump and Cruz with a win here,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The Monmouth survey, conducted Friday to Sunday, is about in line with other recent polling on the Buckeye State; the latest Real Clear Politics average shows Mr. Kasich with a slight edge over Mr. Trump there.

Eighty-two percent of Republicans said they approve at least somewhat of the job Mr. Kasich is doing as governor, with 43 percent strongly approving.

Mr. Kasich also led Mr. Trump in a head-to-head matchup, 52 percent to 40 percent.

Fewer than two-thirds of Republicans in the all-important swing state, 64 percent, said they would support Mr. Trump in the fall against Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, 10 percent said they would vote for Mrs. Clinton, 12 percent said they would vote for an independent candidate, 6 percent said they would not vote, and 7 percent said they were undecided.

On the Democratic side, Mrs. Clinton had a 14-point lead in the state over Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, 54 percent to 40 percent.

Among Democrats, 83 percent said they would support Mrs. Clinton against Mr. Trump, 5 percent said they would support Mr. Trump, 6 percent said they would support someone else, 3 percent said they would not vote, and 3 percent said they were undecided.

A slightly smaller percentage of Democrats — 80 percent — said they would support Mr. Sanders over Mr. Trump if that was the matchup in the fall.


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