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Poll Shows Ohio's Political Divides Run Deep

A new poll suggests that during the 2016 presidential election, many Ohioans were voted against the candidate they didnít like, rather than voting for a candidate of choice. (David Mulder/Flickr)
A new poll suggests that during the 2016 presidential election, many Ohioans were voted against the candidate they didnít like, rather than voting for a candidate of choice. (David Mulder/Flickr)
March 29, 2017

BEREA, Ohio – It's been just over two months since President Donald Trump took office and a new survey reveals a wide political divide in Ohio on many issues. Motivated by Trump's surprise win in November, a faculty-student research polling project at Baldwin Wallace University probes the views of more than 1,000 registered Ohio voters.

Political Science professor Lauren Copeland says they found 94 percent of people surveyed wouldn't change their vote - although the number who said they view President Trump as "favorable" or "mostly favorable" hovers around 45 percent.

"It seems to be a case where people's attitudes about the candidates haven't changed since the election," she said. "But it reinforces this idea that people were more so voting against the candidate they didn't like than voting for the candidate that they preferred."

On the issues, the poll found a majority of Republicans approve of the president's travel ban and his plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, while less than half of Independents and only 20 percent of Democrats shared those views.

And on political correctness, just 29 percent said they favor the need for sensitivity toward people from different backgrounds, compared to 69 percent who said people are "a little too easily" or "much too easily" offended.

Amid the controversy over "fake news," the poll also examined attitudes about truthfulness. Copeland says 66 percent of Democrats said they trust the news media more than President Trump, while 61 percent of Republicans feel the opposite.

"The Trump administration strategy to de-legitimize the mainstream news media seems to be working, at least among his supporters," she explained. "They seem to be loving his treatment of the mainstream media as 'enemy number one.'"

She adds there is one subject where Ohioans are in agreement: presidential tweeting. Sixty-three percent of poll respondents said the President uses his personal Twitter account too much, and more than half think his use of Twitter is "inappropriate," given his position.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH