COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich currently holds a 15-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, new polling data indicates.
Kasich is at or over the critical 50 percentage point mark on a number of measures, including his 50-35 percent lead over FitzGerald, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
An earlier Quinnipiac survey conducted Feb. 19 showed a 43-38 percent Kasich lead.
The Wednesday poll shows voters approve 56-33 percent of the job Kasich is doing, his best score since he was elected in 2010, and say 53-37 percent that he deserves to be re-elected.
Kasich also scored a plus-50 percent on his handling of the economy, as Ohio voters approve 53-38 percent.
"Ohio Gov. John Kasich has opened up a 15-point lead in his re-election race as voters give him sterling grades for his job performance, especially on the economy," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
"He gets plus-50 percent approval ratings from voters on his handling of the economy and the state budget. These numbers are crucial because the economy and jobs are the most important issues in the minds of voters."
By a 47-29 percent margin, Ohio voters have a favorable opinion of Kasich, while 63 percent of voters don't know enough about FitzGerald to form an opinion of him, the poll states.
"Democratic County Executive Ed FitzGerald remains unknown to many voters," Brown said.
"Democratic optimists will argue that with six months until Election Day, FitzGerald has a golden opportunity to reach all those voters. He's going to have to spend a lot of money on that introduction while the better-funded Kasich will introduce FitzGerald to those same voters in a much less flattering way."
In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 37 percent of Ohio voters list the economy or jobs as the most important issue in this year's governor's race, the poll states.
From May 7-12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,174 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.
Reach David Yates at email@example.com