Two new polls show former Republican Rep. John Kasich
leading Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland
in the Ohio gubernatorial race.
A Rasmussen Reports poll
conducted Aug. 30 has Kasich ahead 47 percent to 39 percent with 7 percent preferring some other candidate and 7 percent undecided. The margin of error is 4 points. In mid-August, Kasich's margin over Strickland was 48 percent to 40 percent and at the beginning of that month it was 45 percent to 42 percent.
If "leaners" are included -- those who did not express an initial preference but were pressed to make a choice -- Kasich leads by 52 percent to 40 percent.
A Public Policy Polling survey
conducted Aug. 27-29 has Kasich ahead of Strickland by 50 percent to 40 percent, with 10 percent undecided. The margin of error is 4.5 points. In PPP's last Ohio poll in June, Kasich's lead was only 43 percent to 41 percent.
Both polls show majorities of voters with negative views of Strickland. In Rasmussen's poll, voters disapprove of the job he is doing by a 59 percent to 39 percent margin, and he is seen unfavorably by 53 percent compared to 42 percent who view him positively.
PPP says voters disapprove of Strickland's performance by 52 percent to 34 percent with 14 percent undecided.
A third of voters in PPP's survey do not know enough about Kasich to be sure of their opinion of him and that is true for 15 percent in the Rasmussen poll, suggesting that, at this stage of the campaign, the election looks more like a referendum on Strickland than a groundswell for Kasich.
Both polls show Kasich commanding a higher level of support among fellow Republicans than Strickland does among Democrats. In PPP's survey, Kasich gets 89 percent of GOP voters compared to Strickland's 78 percent among Democrats. In Rasmussen's poll, Kasich gets 86 percent compared to Strickland's 75 percent.
Kasich leads Strickland among independents (20 percent of the sample) in the PPP poll by 44 percent to 33 percent, with 23 percent undecided. In the Rasmussen poll, Kasich's lead among unaffiliated voters is 56 percent to 22 percent with the balance undecided or preferring another candidate. Rasmussen does not provide the size of the samples it uses for parties and independents.
PPP's Dean Debnam says, ""Republicans are united around John Kasich, and independents are likely to go strongly toward him as well. To win, Ted Strickland has the Herculean task of bringing disloyal Democrats back to the fold and getting more of his party faithful out to the polls than plan to vote now."
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