Kasich Re-election at 50% Mark in Quinnipiac Poll

HAMDEN, Conn. -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich is at or over the critical 50 percentage point mark on a number of measures, including his 50% to 35% lead over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, his Democratic challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 43% to 38% Kasich lead in a Feb. 19 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

Voters approve, 56% to 33%, of the job Gov. Kasich is doing, his best score since he was elected in 2010, and say, 53% to 37%, that he deserves to be reelected.

Kasich leads FitzGerald, 56% to 30%, among men and among women, 45% to 40%.  He leads by a margin of 49% to 32% among independent voters, while Democrats back FitzGerald 77% to 12%.

By a 47% to 29% margin, Ohio voters have a favorable opinion of Kasich, while 63% of voters don’t know enough about FitzGerald to form an opinion of him.

“Ohio Gov. John Kasich has opened up a 15-point lead in his re-election race as voters give him sterling grades for his job performance, especially on the economy,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.  “He gets plus-50% approval ratings from voters on his handling of the economy and the state budget. These numbers are crucial because the economy and jobs are the most important issues in the minds of voters.

“Democratic County Executive Ed FitzGerald remains unknown to many voters. Democratic optimists will argue that with six months until Election Day, FitzGerald has a golden opportunity to reach all those voters. He’s going to have to spend a lot of money on that introduction while the better-funded Kasich will introduce FitzGerald to those same voters in a much less flattering way.”

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 37% of Ohio voters list the economy or jobs as the most important issue in this year’s governor’s race.  Another 9% list education or education funding, with 6% citing the budget and government spending and 6% pointing to taxes.

Ohio voters approve, 53% to 38%, of the way Kasich is handling the economy and jobs and give him positive or split grades on handling other issues:

  • 48% to 38% on taxes;
  • 51% to 35% on the state budget;
  • 42% to 38% percent on health care;
  • 29% to 29% on abortion.

The state economy got better in the last four years, 50% of voters say, while 18% say it got worse and 30% say the economy is “about the same.”

Looking at Kasich’s qualities, voters say, 67% to 23%, that he has strong leadership qualities; 54% to 31% that he is honest and trustworthy; 53% to 39% percent that he cares about their needs and problems, and 57% to 30% that he has good judgment.

“Voters think Gov. Kasich deserves another term and two-thirds consider him a strong leader.  A small majority says he cares about their needs, a measure on which Republicans, even successful ones, often don’t do that well.  And perhaps most important for Kasich’s re-election, 60% of voters are satisfied with the way things are going in the state,” Brown said. 

From May 7-12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,174 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.  Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz,  conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.  

SOURCE: Quinnipiac University.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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