Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s approval rating has eclipsed 50 percent for the first time in two years and he is now leading all potential 2014 challengers for the gubernatorial position, according to a new poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.
The survey of 1,011 registered voters taken Feb. 21-26 puts Kasich’s overall approval rating at an all-time high of 53 percent compared to 32 percent who don’t approve of the way he’s doing his job. In December, his rating was 42 percent who approved, with 35 percent who disapproved.
Kasich, a Republican, also holds margins of victory of 6 percent to 10 percent over each of four potential contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Potential Democratic opponents include Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald; Richard Cordray, head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan and Betty Sutton.
Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said the new figures show Kasich’s chances for re-election to be much higher than recently believed.
“Not that long ago, Democrats were licking their lips at the prospect of taking on an unpopular governor who had a disapproval rating in the 50s,” he said. “The good news for Democrats is that Kasich does not get 50 percent of the votes against any of the four potential candidates, but he does have consistently good numbers on a number of measurements that indicate strength.”
Overall, Ohio voters say Kasich deserves re-election by a margin of 46 percent to 36 percent. He is supported by 81 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of independent voters.
The governor’s standing among voters on his handling of budget issues has also improved from December, when voters were split evenly 40 percent to 40 percent. His rating now is a positive 45 percent to 39 percent who disapprove.
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