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New polls deliver mixed results for Ohio’s Kasich

Ohio governor would beat Clinton, Sanders in general, but remains tied in fourth for GOP nod

COLUMBUS — New polls this week showed Ohio Gov. John Kasich as the strongest contender for Republicans in a general election, but still found him struggling to gain traction to be nominated by his party.

A USA Today/Suffolk University poll released this week showed Kasich would beat former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 49 to 38 percent in a hypothetical general election match-up. The same poll showed that he would beat U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, by a closer margin, 44 to 41 percent.

Kasich had the highest polling against potential Democrats of all Republican candidates.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted from Feb. 11 -15 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

However, the poll showed Kasich will have difficulty getting to the general election as his party’s nominee, finding him at fourth place with 7 percent, behind real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump at 35 percent, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 20 percent and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who had 17 percent.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that Kasich had made slight gains nationally since their last survey, but also had him in fourth place at 6 percent, behind Trump at 39, Rubio at 19 percent and Cruz at 18 percent.

The poll was conducted from interviews with 1.342 registered voters from Feb. 10-15 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Quinnipiac’s previous poll, taken from Feb. 2-4, had Kasich at 3 percent nationally, tied for fifth place after Trump, Cruz, Rubio and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

The next Republican primary takes place in South Carolina on Saturday, where the most recent poll of that state’s voters, taken by FOX News from Feb. 15-17, shows Kasich in last place with 6 percent, while Trump stands at 32 percent, followed by Cruz at 19 percent, Rubio at 15 percent and Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tied for fourth place at 9 percent.