A tight race for governor

A political poll released last week shows the race between Republican Gov. John Kasich and presumed Democratic opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, right now – a year before the election – is tied.

The Ohio Democratic Party says the poll, commissioned through Public Policy Polling, paints a ”dire picture” of Kasich’s prospects for re-election.

ODP chairman Chris Redfern said in a news release the poll shows”that even Republicans are looking for alternatives” to Kasich. The polls shows among Republicans, 55 percent approve of the work he is doing. Twenty-six percent of Republicans don’t.

The Ohio Republican Party said the release of the poll results is an attempt ”to build some momentum” in a campaign that is not going well in the hopes that people will join it.

Also, an Ohio GOP spokesman said Democrats started touting the results after ”terrible news” of Standard and Poor’s downgrade of Cuyahoga County’s credit rating and FitzGerald’s administration hesitating to inform the County Council and public of the downgrade.

It was an attempt, said Ohio GOP spokesman Chris Schrimpf, to ”try and change the subject and have people focus on something else.”

Public Policy Polling (PPP) of Raleigh, N.C., surveyed 595 Ohio voters Nov. 5 and 6. The margin of error was 4 percent.

Some of the results of the poll, which, bear in mind, was sponsored by the Ohio Democratic Party, are:

Kasich and FitzGerald are tied at 41 percent. Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl drew 6 percent.

Job approval numbers for Kasich are ”pretty weak.” According to the poll, 37 percent approve of the job Kasich is doing and 42 percent disapprove of his performance.

Lastly, in regard to the race for governor, FitzGerald unites his party with 72 percent of their support. Kasich is at 68 percent.

But, a June poll from the Polling Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut had Kasich’s job approval rating at 54 percent, an all-time high for the Republican, the poll noted.

It was with that approval rating – up 2 percent from another Quinnipiac poll in April – that, according to the June voter responses, Kasich increased his lead to 47 to 33 percent over FitzGerald.

The PPP poll also took a quick look at the race for Ohio Treasurer, between Republican incumbent Josh Mandel and likely Democratic challenger state Rep. Connie Pillich.

Pillich leads Mandel 47 percent to 43 percent and earns more of the Republican vote, at 18 percent, than Mandel does of the Democratic vote, 12 percent.

And of between the sexes, Pillich has a 12 percent lead with women (50 percent to 38 percent), which, according to the poll, helps overcome Mandel’s lead among men, 48 percent to 45 percent.