December 10, 2008 - Ohio Gov. In Strong Re-Elect Position At Half-Way Point, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Sen. Voinovich Faces Tough Challenge In 2010

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Gov. Ted Strickland's job approval rating has fallen to 54 - 25 percent, but he remains in strong position for re-election, while U.S. Sen. George Voinovich faces a tougher 2010 fight for a third term, with 36 percent wanting to give him another term and 35 percent backing an unnamed Democratic candidate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine is the best-known of the Republicans considering a challenge to Gov. Strickland, while former Congressmen John Kasich and Rob Portman are viewed positively, but are not well known to three-quarters or more of voters, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

And Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, perhaps the most likely Democratic challenger to Sen. Voinovich, isn't that much better known either, as 23 percent view him favorably, 10 percent unfavorably while two-thirds of voters say they haven't heard enough about him to have an opinion.

"Although Gov. Strickland ends 2008 with his lowest job approval rating of the year, mostly because Republicans who in the past viewed him favorably are now evenly split about him, he remains a solid favorite for re-election," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "In a trial heat, 46 percent said they would give him a second term, while only 26 percent would back an unnamed Republican."

Voinovich, who has been a fixture in Ohio politics since winning the first of two terms as Governor in 1990, would have a potentially more difficult challenge for a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2010. Only 44 percent of voters, including a lukewarm 54 percent of Republicans, say he deserves to be reelected.

"Incumbents, especially those well-known to voters as is Voinovich, are thought to be in trouble when less than 50 percent of voters say they deserve to be re-elected," Brown added. "Moreover, in a mythical trial heat, he is tied with an unnamed Democratic opponent. That's not a good sign for Voinovich's chances, although his positive job approval rating by 51 percent of voters is evidence he is by no means a dead duck."

Among the Republicans thought to be considering a challenge to Strickland, DeWine, who was defeated in 2006 in his U.S. Senate re-election bid, is viewed favorably by 43 percent of voters, unfavorably by 24 percent, with his rating among Republicans who would select the GOP candidate 56 percent favorable to 14 percent unfavorable.

By comparison, Kasich, who since leaving Congress has been a Fox News show host, is viewed favorably by 18 percent of Ohio voters, unfavorably by 8 percent - and favorably by 30 percent of Republicans and unfavorably by 6 percent. Portman, who also served as U.S. trade representative in addition to his Congressional stint, is slightly less known - 12 percent favorable, 7 percent unfavorable overall; 20 percent favorable to 4 percent unfavorable among Republicans.

"Because of his years in the U.S. Senate, DeWine is obviously the best known of the GOP contenders, but Kasich and Portman are very well regarded among those who are familiar with them," said Brown.

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who became a controversial figure for her rulings as the state's top election official during the presidential campaign, also could face re-election problems. She is viewed favorably by 26 percent of voters, unfavorably by 24 percent and 49 percent haven't heard enough. Among independents, often a key voting bloc, she is 22 percent favorable to 26 percent unfavorable.

House Speaker Jon Husted, thought likely to be her GOP opponent, is unknown: 7 percent view him favorably, 5 percent unfavorably and 86 percent haven't heard enough about him to have an opinion.

From December 4 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,468 Ohio voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ted Strickland is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              54%    35%    68%    53%    56%    52%    49%
Disapprove           25     37     15     25     26     23     30
DK/NA                22     28     17     22     18     25     21
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Approve              60%    56%    56%    48%    48%    48%
Disapprove           21     23     18     28     29     32
DK/NA                19     21     26     23     23     21
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ted Strickland is handling his job as Governor? * also 61% on 7/11/07
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Dec 10  Aug 14  Jun 4   Feb 25  Nov 13  Nov 13  Feb 1
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007*   2007
 
Approve              54      60      55      56      61      61      45
Disapprove           25      25      23      19      15      15      12
DK/NA                22      15      23      25      24      24      43
 
 
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              46%    44%    52%    43%    44%    48%    45%
Disapprove           35     38     28     39     39     31     36
DK/NA                19     19     20     18     18     20     19
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Approve              48%    40%    63%    60%    43%    48%
Disapprove           33     39     23     23     43     27
DK/NA                19     21     14     17     14     24
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Dec 10  Aug 14  Nov 13  Sep 5   Jul 11  Dec 10  Dec 12
                     2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2008    2006
 
Approve              46      42      41      38      39      46      25
Disapprove           35      41      32      37      35      35      55
DK/NA                19      17      26      25      25      19      20
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sherrod Brown is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              48%    34%    59%    49%    51%    46%    43%
Disapprove           26     36     16     28     30     23     28
DK/NA                26     30     25     23     20     31     29
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Approve              49%    52%    50%    52%    39%    43%
Disapprove           22     26     28     19     30     27
DK/NA                29     22     22     29     31     30
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sherrod Brown is handling his job as United States Senator? * also 42% on 2/1/07
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Dec 10  Aug 14  Jun 4   Feb 25  Nov 14  Aug 14  May 15
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2008    2007*
 
Approve              48      51      44      44      47      51      42
Disapprove           26      23      23      15      21      23      21
DK/NA                26      26      33      41      33      26      36
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Voinovich is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              51%    60%    46%    52%    54%    49%    55%
Disapprove           31     22     34     35     32     31     28
DK/NA                17     18     20     13     14     20     17
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Approve              58%    51%    62%    45%    44%    46%
Disapprove           27     33     23     37     38     29
DK/NA                16     16     15     18     19     26
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George Voinovich is handling his job as United States Senator? * also 51% 3/21/07 and 8/14/08
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Dec 10  Aug 14  Jun 4   Feb 25  Nov 14  Dec 10  Dec 13
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2008 *  2006
 
Approve              51      51      45      46      50      51      41
Disapprove           31      32      31      27      29      32      33
DK/NA                17      17      23      27      21      17      26
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jennifer Brunner is handling her job as Ohio's Secretary of State?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              39%    26%    51%    36%    38%    39%    32%
Disapprove           28     40     15     31     35     22     34
DK/NA                33     33     34     33     27     39     34
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Approve              40%    36%    57%    44%    33%    35%
Disapprove           34     26     16     25     36     26
DK/NA                26     38     28     31     32     39
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jennifer Brunner is handling her job as Ohio's Secretary of State?
                     Dec 10  Aug 14  Jun 4
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Approve              39      38      38
Disapprove           28      12      13
DK/NA                33      50      48
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              28%    62%     4%    26%    29%    26%    41%
Disapprove           69     32     95     72     68     71     56
DK/NA                 3      6      1      3      3      3      3
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Approve              29%    21%    31%    27%    39%    29%
Disapprove           68     75     67     70     57     71
DK/NA                 3      4      2      3      3      -
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Dec 10  May 22  May 1   Apr 2   Feb 25  May 16  May 1
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2008
 
Approve              28      26      23      27      28      35      23
Disapprove           69      68      71      68      69      61      71
DK/NA                 3       6       6       5       4       4       6
 
 
7. Looking ahead to the 2010 election for Governor, do you feel that Ted Strickland deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes/Deserves         45%    25%    62%    44%    45%    46%    40%
No/Does not          34     53     20     35     37     32     41
DK/NA                20     22     18     21     18     22     20
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Yes/Deserves         51%    44%    50%    53%    39%    40%
No/Does not          31     34     34     30     42     37
DK/NA                18     22     16     17     19     23
 
 
8. If the 2010 election for Governor were being held today, do you think you would vote for Ted Strickland, the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Strickland           46%    11%    81%    38%    42%    50%    35%
Republican           26     63      5     20     29     24     35
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 19     21      8     30     20     19     22
DK/NA                 8      5      6     12      9      8      8
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Strickland           47%    48%    51%    59%    37%    41%
Republican           26     23     22     24     36     27
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 16     20     17     13     21     26
DK/NA                11      9     10      4      5      6
 
 
9. Looking ahead to the 2010 election for United States Senator, do you think that George Voinovich deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Yes/Deserves         44%    54%    37%    45%    48%    40%    46%
No/Does not          34     27     40     33     33     35     33
DK/NA                22     19     23     22     19     24     21
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Yes/Deserves         45%    46%    55%    40%    39%    35%
No/Does not          30     36     28     40     39     34
DK/NA                25     19     18     20     23     30
 
 
10. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for George Voinovich, the Republican candidate, or for the Democratic candidate?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Voinovich            36%    68%    15%    33%    43%    30%    45%
Democrat             35      7     64     26     29     40     27
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 18     16     13     27     18     19     19
DK/NA                11      9      7     15     11     11      9
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Voinovich            38%    37%    30%    34%    34%    35%
Democrat             32     37     38     39     32     32
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 16     18     20     14     21     20
DK/NA                14      8     11     13     13     13
 
 
11. Is your opinion of -- George Voinovich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            39%    51%    30%    41%    44%    34%    42%
Unfavorable          25     15     30     26     26     24     24
Hvn't hrd enough     33     30     38     28     26     39     30
REFUSED               3      3      2      5      4      3      3
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable            38%    44%    41%    31%    30%    37%
Unfavorable          23     25     22     26     29     26
Hvn't hrd enough     36     26     35     42     38     37
REFUSED               3      5      2      2      3      1
 
 
12. Is your opinion of -- Ted Strickland favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            47%    28%    64%    44%    47%    47%    39%
Unfavorable          25     38     15     26     29     23     31
Hvn't hrd enough     26     32     20     27     23     28     28
REFUSED               2      2      1      3      1      2      2
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable            51%    47%    52%    51%    43%    42%
Unfavorable          21     25     20     25     32     28
Hvn't hrd enough     28     26     25     22     23     29
REFUSED               1      2      3      2      2      1
 
 
13. Is your opinion of -- Lee Fisher favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            23%    14%    34%    19%    23%    22%    17%
Unfavorable          10     15      3     13     15      6     12
Hvn't hrd enough     66     71     62     67     62     70     71
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      -      1      1
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable            17%    31%    27%    15%    15%    16%
Unfavorable           8     13      3     10     11      9
Hvn't hrd enough     74     56     69     75     72     75
REFUSED               1      1      -      -      1      -
 
 
14. Is your opinion of -- Jennifer Brunner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            26%    15%    39%    22%    25%    26%    18%
Unfavorable          24     36     12     26     29     19     29
Hvn't hrd enough     49     48     49     52     45     54     52
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable            26%    28%    38%    24%    15%    23%
Unfavorable          29     22     15     23     29     21
Hvn't hrd enough     44     49     45     53     54     55
REFUSED               1      1      2      1      2      1
 
 
15. Is your opinion of -- Jon Husted favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable             7%    11%     6%     7%    10%     5%     8%
Unfavorable           5      3      6      5      7      4      4
Hvn't hrd enough     86     84     88     86     81     91     87
REFUSED               1      2      1      2      2      1      1
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable             4%     5%     8%     8%     8%    16%
Unfavorable           6      5      1      4      1     10
Hvn't hrd enough     88     88     90     87     89     73
REFUSED               2      2      1      1      1      1
 
 
16. Is your opinion of -- Mike DeWine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            43%    56%    31%    45%    46%    40%    48%
Unfavorable          24     14     28     27     26     22     22
Hvn't hrd enough     32     28     40     26     27     36     29
REFUSED               1      1      1      2      1      2      1
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable            37%    38%    52%    42%    48%    53%
Unfavorable          24     25     16     21     26     24
Hvn't hrd enough     38     34     31     37     25     22
REFUSED               1      2      -      -      2      1
 
 
17. Is your opinion of -- John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            18%    30%     8%    19%    22%    15%    21%
Unfavorable           8      6      7     10      9      7      7
Hvn't hrd enough     73     63     84     70     69     77     71
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable            38%    13%     9%    18%    18%    12%
Unfavorable          10      7      3     15      6      7
Hvn't hrd enough     51     79     87     66     75     79
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      1      1
 
 
18. Is your opinion of -- Rob Portman favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            12%    20%     5%    13%    15%     9%    12%
Unfavorable           7      4      8      7      8      5      8
Hvn't hrd enough     80     76     86     78     76     84     80
REFUSED               1      -      1      2      1      1      -
 
                     Cntrl  NrthE  NrthW  SthE   SthW   WstCnt
 
Favorable             6%     3%     9%     6%    48%    12%
Unfavorable           4      5      3      7     19      4
Hvn't hrd enough     89     91     87     87     33     83
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      -      1