Kasich has edge in two new polls


Two new polls out Monday show Republican John Kasich with an edge on his Democratic opponent, incumbent Ted Strickland, in the race for Ohio governor that concludes with the election Tuesday.

The Quinnipiac University Poll shows Mr. Kasich leading with 47 percent of the vote to Mr. Strickland's 46 percent among "likely voters."

The Ohio Poll, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, has Mr. Kasich in a more commanding position ahead of Governor Strickland, 52 percent to 47.7 percent.

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said, "The governor's race is a statistical tie." Pollsters reached 848 likely voters and the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

"Gov. Ted Strickland has come from far back. The question is whether he can get over the hump. He has momentum on his side," Mr. Brown said.

Mr. Brown said, however, that Mr. Kasich has an advantage in that undecided voters have a tendency to break against well-known incumbents at the very end of a campaign.

Mr. Strickland gets 90 percent of Democrats and has gotten plenty of help in recent days from rallies with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Bill Clinton. The poll ended on Saturday, the day that Mr. Clinton held events for the governor in three Ohio cities.

Mr. Kasich, however, gets 57 percent of independent voters on top of the 83 percent of Republicans supporting him, according to the poll.

Pollsters from the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research interviewed 930 probable voters for the Ohio Poll. The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, leaving the survey results within the margin of error.

Both polls showed the U.S. Senate race as safely within Republican Rob Portman's reach.

According to Quinnipiac University, Mr. Portman, a former congressman and White House budget and trade czar, leads Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher 56 percent to 37 percent.

The University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll found probable voters favoring Mr. Portman at 60 percent to 39.2 percent.

Mr. Portman and Mr. Fisher are competing for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican George Voinovich who opted not to seek re-election.