The Ohio governor's race has shown some signs of tightening but Republican John Kasich
still has a healthy lead over Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland
, according to a Quinnipiac University poll
conducted Sept. 29-Oct. 3.
Kasich had led by 17 points in Quinnipiac's mid-September poll
, but his lead now stands at 50 percent to 41 percent with 2 percent preferring someone else and 7 percent undecided. The margin of error is 3.1 points.
Kasich is doing better than Strickland among voters of their respective parties and independents. Kasich gets 88 percent support from Republicans compared to the 62 percent Strickland gets from Democrats. Kasich leads among independents by 62 percent to 29 percent.
Voters who describe themselves as angry at state government favor Kasich by 75 percent to 14 percent with the rest undecided or preferring other choices.
About 9 of 10 voters in each camp say they have their minds made up.
Strickland, who like many big-state governors has paid the political price for economic woes, is seen unfavorably by 47 percent and favorably by 41 percent, with 11 percent either not answering or saying they hadn't heard enough about him to have an opinion. Fifty-three percent disapprove of the job he is doing as governor while 40 percent approve, with 7 percent undecided.
Kasich is seen favorably by 46 percent and unfavorably by 30 percent, but a big chunk of voters -- 21 percent -- say they haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion.
Among the qualities voters are looking for in a candidate, "shares values" tops the list at 33 percent. Kasich wins that contest by 49 percent to 40 percent, with 3 percent saying there is no difference between the two and 9 percent undecided.
The contest for the governorship is being waged at a time when 45 percent of Ohio voters think the economy is getting worse, 40 percent rate it about the same and only 14 percent think it is improving.
"Whether his fault or not, the pessimistic public mood about the economy is a problem for Gov. Ted Strickland and a plus for John Kasich," said Quinnipiac's Peter A. Brown.
Brown says while the race has tightened, he still regards Kasich's lead as a healthy one.
"Not only does Strickland have to take all the undecided voters, he needs to peel away some of the soft Kasich voters as well if he is to win," said Brown.
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