Voters in the key presidential swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania are "optimistic" looking forward to the next four years, according to a new poll.
However, although Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf are getting good grades, Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott has a negative approval rating, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.
The poll focuses on these three swing states because, since 1960, no candidate has won the White House race without capturing two out of the three.
Ohio voters gave Kasich a 55 percent to 30 percent approval rating, while Florida voters disapproved of Scott by 47 percent to 42 percent margin.
Because Wolf has only been in office since January, voters were asked for a favorable or unfavorable rating, and he received an overwhelming 52 percent to 24 percent favorability number, according to the Quinnipiac poll.
The survey found that the approval ratings for the swing states’ six U.S. senators were "tepid," with not one of them topping 47 percent.
In Florida, 67 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going, while 59 percent say the state economy is "excellent" or "good."
Florida voters approve 47 percent to 35 percent of the job Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is doing and 44 percent to 37 percent say he deserves re-election in 2016. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson gets a 43percent to 26 percent job approval grade, the Quinnipiac poll finds.
"Florida Gov. Rick Scott has never been popular," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. "He spent virtually his entire first term with a negative job approval and was re-elected by the narrowest of margins. Now he is back underwater with voters.
"But it doesn’t matter because the one time he had more supporters than opponents was when it counted — on Election Day. Even though Florida voters have a negative view of him, they are optimistic about the next four years with him in control.
"U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s decision about running for the White House will have a major effect on the Senate race. The numbers show that he is in good, but not great, shape for re-election with voters and has a positive image with them.
"If he does not seek a second term, his open Senate seat will become a major prize and the subject of a massive free-for-all among both parties."
In Ohio, a total of 72 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going, and 60 percent say the state economy is "excellent" or "good."
Ohio voters approve 40 percent to 21 percent of the job Republican Sen. Rob Portman is doing and 37 percent to 28 percent say that he deserves re-election in 2016. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown gets a 45 percent to 27 percent job approval.
"While Gov. John Kasich decides whether to take the presidential plunge, he has plenty of good will left with Buckeye voters," Brown said. "With a 55 percent job approval rating, he has little to worry about at home. Voters are optimistic about Ohio’s future under Gov. Kasich."
In Pennsylvania, a total of 54 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in that state, and 46 percent say the state economy is "excellent" or "good."
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey leads possible Democratic challenger Joe Sestak 45 percent to 35 percent in an early look at a possible rematch in 2016, the poll reveals.
Toomey gets a 43 percent to 25 percent approval rating from Pennsylvania voters, with 37 percent to 29 percent saying that he deserves re-election. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. gets a 40 percent to 24 percent approval rating.
"The political air is full of optimism in Pennsylvania: new Gov. Tom Wolf seems to have the confidence of the electorate and folks think the state of the state is on the upswing," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.
"U.S. Senators Pat Toomey and Robert Casey seem caught in the negative feelings about Washington, with just so-so approval ratings. But early in the game, Sen. Toomey tops former rival Joe Sestak by 10 percentage points."
The poll was conducted from Jan. 22-Feb. 1 with 936 Florida voters, 943 Ohio voters and 881 Pennsylvania voters, and has a margin of error on each of plus or minus 3.2 percent.
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