August 20, 2013

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Latest News, Ohio, Red Gov Watch

BREAKING: Ohio Poll Shows Gov. Kasich Numbers Plummeting

By Henry J. Gomez

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A new poll shows the race between Gov. John Kasich and likely Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald has tightened to what amounts to a statistical tie.

Public Policy Polling, after a survey of 551 Ohio voters, found FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, leading the Republican incumbent 38 percent to 35 percent.

That tiny 3 percentage point gap is within PPP’s 4.2 point margin of error. But, combined with numbers that show Kasich’s popularity in reverse, the results bring FitzGerald his first good polling news since he emerged as the likely Democratic nominee for 2014.

Forty-seven percent of voters surveyed disapprove of Kasich’s job performance, compared with 42 percent who approve. Eleven percent responded that they weren’t sure.

FitzGerald, meanwhile, remains largely unknown. He has a slightly positive favorable/unfavorable rating – 20 percent to 18 percent, again within the margin of error – but 62 percent of voters said they weren’t sure, indicating a lack of familiarity.

These results are at odds with a June poll by Quinnipiac University, which measured Kasich’s job-approval rating at an all-time high of 54 percent. Kasich led FitzGerald in that poll by a comfortable margin of 47 percent to 33 percent. Since then, though, Kasich has signed a state budget that included anti-abortion amendments. And he’s begun to take more flak for the dealings of the state economic development agency he privatized.

PPP, it’s worth pointing out, does private polling for Democratic candidates. But their public polls on state and national contests are widely cited. The firm’s final Ohio poll of the last year’s race for the White House had Barack Obama winning the Buckeye State over Republican Mitt Romney by 5 points. Obama ended up winning by about 3 points.

In terms of party identification, participants in this latest PPP poll break down as 42 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican and 22 percent independent or “other.”

Read more: http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/08/new_ppp_poll_shows_race_has_ti.html