The poll also gives high marks to Ohio's two U.S. senators and the state Legislature.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A state poll shows that most Ohioans approve of the job performance of Gov. Bob Taft but, just as they have in previous polls, many of them are unable to give a specific reason for giving him a thumbs up.
The top three reasons for approving of Taft's performance in the poll were: doing a good job (in general) with 19 percent; don't know, with 18 percent; and have not heard anything bad about him, with 10 percent.
The Ohio Poll, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati and released Monday, shows 69 percent of those asked approve of Taft's job performance, matching the highest rating he has received in the poll. The figure is up 4 percentage points from his 65 percent rating in the last poll in July. In the July poll, 46 percent of those approving of Taft's job performance couldn't give a specific reason.
Up for re-election: Taft, a Republican, is up for re-election next year. Sixteen percent disapproved of his job performance in this poll.
Taft got the approval of 68 percent of those from northeast Ohio, the lowest percentage of any region. His approval rating among Republicans was 81 percent compared to 62 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of independents. Also, 70 percent of those participating in the poll who are registered to vote approve of his job performance compared to 64 percent of those not registered to vote.
The poll also showed increases in the approval ratings of the state's U.S. Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine, both Republicans.
Voinovich's rating increased to 63 percent, up 11 percent from the July poll. DeWine's rating increased to 58 percent, up 6 percent from the July poll.
The poll showed that 60 percent of those polled approved of the way the Republican-controlled Ohio Legislature is handling its job, up 5 percent from July.
Scope of poll: The poll questioned 826 Ohio adults from Oct. 24 to Nov. 8. The margin of error is 3.4 percent.
The Ohio Poll also released results Saturday showing that president George W. Bush, a Republican, has an 87-percent approval rating in the state. The approval rating is the highest received by any president in the 20-year history of the Ohio Poll.
The most popular reasons were the approval of the U.S. war on terrorism/foreign policy with 43 percent and strong leadership with 11 percent. Eight percent gave doing a good job (in general) as the reason for approving of Bush's job performance and 2 percent didn't give a reason.
Ohio Democratic Party officials repeatedly say the Ohio Poll has a bias in favor of Republicans. They point to the poll having Bush winning the state by 10 percent from Democrat Al Gore a day before the November 2000 election, and Bush won by 3.5 percent. Also, the poll's director has donated to Taft's campaign fund in the past, Democrats say.