Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, continues to lead over likely Democrat challengers in the 2014 gubernatorial race.
A Quinnipiac University poll released last week says Kasich's margins over Cuyahoga Count Executive Ed FitzGerald and U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rich Cordray, Ohio's former treasurer and attorney general, remain virtually unchanged from a poll done Feb. 28.
Kasich leads 46 to 37 percent over FitzGerald and 45 to 38 percent over Cordray, according to the poll.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported last week that the 44-year-old FitzGerald is poised next week to officially announce his candidacy for governor. An earlier announcement from FitzGerald's camp was that he was forming an exploratory committee to challenge Kasich next year, a move that allowed the Democrat to raise money without formally announcing his intentions.
Also last week, FitzGerald's campaign sent out an email announcing there would be a special announcement Wednesday in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.
And although there has been much speculation about Cordray's interest, his position as the consumer watchdog prevents him engaging in political activity.
The poll shows Kasich is drawing huge support among men, however, not among women.
Among men, the governor leads FitzGerald 51 percent to 32 percent and Cordray, 52 percent to 34 percent. Women, on the other hand, support Cordray 43 percent to 39 percent and are divided 41 percent to 41 percent on a Kasich and FitzGerald race.
''There is a large gender gap in the Ohio electorate when it comes to Kasich's re-election,'' said Peter Brown, assistant director of the university's polling institute. ''The gender gap is a factor in virtually all political campaigns these days, but its size as this point in the race seems a bit larger than normal.''
Some other key numbers in the poll are:
Kasich's job approval rating is 52 percent and his favorability rating is 46 percent
Ohio voters still really don't know that much about either FitzGerald or Cordray. Sixty-six percent reported they didn't know enough about Cordray to form an opinion of him and that number was even higher for FitzGerald, a whopping 76 percent.
Kasich deserves re-election, but only 46 percent of Ohio voters reported that. He also doesn't hit the 50 percent marker in either of the the re-election matchups.
Independent voters say the Republican governor deserves re-election, 51 percent to 35 percent. In each race, they provide Kasich's winning margin.
The poll surveyed 1,138 registered voters over cell phone and land lines from April 10-15. The margin of error is 2.9 percent.
The Mahoning County Democratic Party Thursday evening inducted five people into its Hall of Fame. Those honored at Mr. Anthony's Banquet Center were Ken Carano, a former state representative from Austintown; Tom Carney, former county commissioner in Mahoning County; Robert Douglas, former municipal court judge in Youngstown; Joe Gorman, former party treasurer; and Ann Vross, a Democrat activist.