Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich leads likely Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald in the 2014 race for governor by 46 percent to 37 percent, according to a new political poll released today by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Mr. FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, has launched an exploratory committee for a possible run.
Mr. Kasich leads another potential Democratic opponent, Richard Cordray, the former state treasurer and attorney general, by 45 percent to 38 percent. Mr. Cordray is now the director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The results are little changed from a Feb. 28 poll by the same Connecticut university.
Mr. Kasich's lead is helped by a majority of males, 51 percent to 32 percent, while women were split at 41 percent each in the Kasich-FitzGerald matchup. Against Mr. Cordray, Mr. Kasich wins 52 percent to 34 percent among men, while women prefer Mr. Cordray by 43 percent to 39 percent.
“In a state where self-described Democrats outnumber Republicans 35–27 percent, Kasich seems to be in reasonably good shape as he looks ahead to the 2014 gubernatorial election,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the polling institute.
“The fact that he leads his two potential Democratic opponents by 20 and 17 points respectively among the key independent voting bloc is a good indication that he starts the campaign with the voting public seeing him positively.
“There is a large gender gap in the Ohio electorate when it comes to Kasich’s reelection. The gender gap is a factor in virtually all political campaigns these days, but its size at this point in this race seems a bit larger than normal.”
Ohio voters approve 52 percent to 34 percent of the job Mr. Kasich is doing and give him a 46 percent to 29 percent favorability rating.
Most respondents didn't know enough to have an opinion about Mr. Cordray (66 percent) or Mr. FitzGerald (76 percent).
Mr. Brown said the two Democrats, if they finally decide to run, will have to define themselves positively in the eyes of voters.
He said a bad sign for Mr. Kasich is that he does not hit 50 percent in the reelection matchups or in the general question of whether he deserves reelection.”
Ohio voter respondents to the poll said Mr. Kasich deserves reelection by 46 percent to 37 percent, including 51 percent to 35 percent
among independent voters.
From April 10 until Monday, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,138 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.