Poll: Voters frown on Kasich, his budget plan and collective bargaining curbs

By William Hershey | Dayton Daily News | Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 08:02 AM

Republican Gov. John Kasich is getting off to a rocky start with Ohio voters who don’t think much of the governor’s budget proposal and also frown on the curbs to public employee collective bargaining that Kasich supports.

These are key findings in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Here are snapshots of the results:

*Forty six percent disapproved Kasich’s handling of the job, while 30 percent approved.

*Fifty three percent said Kasich’s proposed budget is unfair to them; 36 percent said it’s fair.

*Half those surveyed were asked about legislation that limited “collective bargaining” and 48 percent were opposed, compared to 41 percent in support.

*The other half were asked about a bill to limit “collective bargaining rights” and 54 percent were opposed, while 35 percent were in support.

“Although there is almost nothing in these numbers that Kasich can point to as evidence of his popularity or that of his proposals, he can take solace from the fact that he has almost four years to turn around public opinion,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a press release.

In the poll, women were harder on Kasich, who took office in January, than men. Women disapproved his performance, 48-25 percent, while men disapproved his performance, 44-37 percent.

By a 55-37 percent spread, they said Kasich should not have promised to fill a projected $8 billion budget deficit by only cutting spending and not raising taxes. By a 64-2e percent spread, they said he wouldn’t keep his no-tax pledge, even though his budget plan has no tax hikes.

Still, when asked whether to balance the budget with cuts alone or by coupling them with tax hikes, voters by a 65-27 percent spread backed not raising taxes at all.

Voters also disapproved, 46-39 percent, Kasich’s plan to sell five state prisons to private firms to save money. The poll was taken March 15 to Monday, March 21, with 1,384 registered voters by live interviewers over land lines and cell phones and had a margin of error of plus of minus 2.6 percentage points.

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