Poll: Would-Be Union Buster Kasich Upside Down In Approval Rating

As they’ve watched him take on the collective bargaining rights of union workers in Ohio, voters in the state have given Gov. John Kasich’s (R) first months in office the lowest rating of any Buckeye State governor in a long time.

A bit of background: Kasich won a squeaker of a race over incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) back in November. The final result was 49% to 47%. Kasich pulled off the win thanks to the support of independents, which Strickland had won with 69% support in 2006. Last November, independents broke for Kaisich 52%-39%.

Now, it seems many of these supporters are less than thrilled. A new poll of Ohio adults from the University of Cincinnati finds just 40% of respondents approving of the job Kasich has done since January when he was sworn in. Forty-seven percent say they disapprove.

Among independents the split is even worse for Kasich.Just 30% say they approve of the job Kasich has done, while 52% say they disapprove.

Kasich has had a rough first three months (give or take) in office, even if you don’t count the Wisconsinesque war he’s fought with state employees.

A couple of highlights from Kasich’s short stint as Ohio chief executive:

• On Feb. 18, he publicly apologized to the Columbus police officer he had called an idiot — three times — during a speech to state employees.

• By mid-January, he was in hot water for not appointing a single non-white person to his cabinet. He finally did appoint one African American, but not before attracting so much attention for his cabinet’s lack of diversity that the headlines read “Kasich makes first nonwhite cabinet appointment.”

Enter the budget fight, which made Kasich the poster boy for a bill that would strip even emergency service and law enforcement workers of their collective bargaining rights – further than the much-discussed Wisconsin budget bill went.

Just 26% of union workers say they approve of the job Kasich has done. A full 68% disapprove.

How bad is Kasich’s standing at the moment? Observers say it’s one of the worst in recent Ohio memory. This from the analysis of the Univ. of Cincinnati poll:

Kasich’s approval rating is lower than the initial gubernatorial approval rating recorded by the Ohio Poll for former Governors Strickland (68%), Taft (49%) and Voinoich (61%). Kasich’s rating is higher than the initial approval rating of former Governor Richard Celeste (32%).

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