Opportunity Ohio today released a statewide survey of 597 likely voters that shows a tight presidential race and an understanding of and lack of support for Governor John Kasich’s severance tax hike plan. The survey also shows that U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is running ahead of State Treasurer Josh Mandel (45% to 38%), more Ohioans disapprove of Governor Kasich’s job performance than approve (42% to 41%), and local tax levies will face stiff resistance in November (65% v 26%).
On the severance tax hike plan, Ohioans displayed a deep understanding of how higher taxes would impact them. Specifically, 72% of Ohioans believe that higher taxes on the energy industry will be passed on to them, 40% think it will make it harder to create jobs in Ohio (v 37% who say it won’t matter), and 49% assert the most effective way to pay for a state income tax cut is by cutting government spending. Only 7% think that a state income tax cut should be funded by increasing taxes on certain industries, which is the central tenet of Governor Kasich’s tax hike plan.
Consistent with a recently released Fraser Institute ranking that showed Ohio falling from the 2nd most attractive state to the 14th most attractive state for energy exploration due to Governor Kasich’s severance tax hike plan, 44% say it will be harder to attract energy companies to Ohio (v 32% who say it won’t matter). As a result of these views, 44% of Ohioans disagree with Governor Kasich’s severance tax hike plan (v 23% who agree with it), with twice as many Ohioans strongly disagreeing as strongly agreeing (29% to 15%).
The cross-tabs reveal other interesting issues:
- Governor Kasich suffers from a gender gap with more than a 20% difference in approval marks between Republican and Independent men and women;
- For the Presidential and U.S. Senate elections, independents are the only remaining source of a significant number of persuadable voters;
- Senator Brown’s support among voters 55 and older is strong;
- Republicans and Independents currently hold similar views on many issues; and
- Independent women overwhelmingly disagree with Governor Kasich’s tax hike plan.
O2 President Matt Mayer stated: “72% of Ohioans know that taxes on businesses will be passed on them. 49% think cutting government spending is the best way to fund an income tax cut. Ohioans just don’t support tax hikes on small business energy entrepreneurs, farmers, and landowners. There is a better way to provide tax relief to all Ohioans.”