October 5, 2010 - Strickland Gains Ground, But Trails In Ohio Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Incumbent Hurt By Grim Voter Outlook On Economy

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Republican John Kasich holds a 50 - 41 percent lead over Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland among likely voters in the race for Ohio governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This is down from a 54 - 37 percent Kasich lead September 16.

President Barack Obama's trips to Ohio to campaign for Democrats have not been helpful in attracting voters to Gov. Strickland, as only 14 percent of likely voters overall and just 6 percent of independent voters say the president's visits make them more likely to vote for the Democrat, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds. In all, 33 percent of likely voters and 39 percent of independent likely voters say an Obama visit made it less likely they would vote for Strickland.

The two candidates are holding onto their party faithful, with Kasich getting 88 percent of Republicans and Strickland getting 86 percent of Democrats. But Kasich's 62 - 29 percent lead among independent voters is responsible for his overall lead. Among the likely electorate, Strickland is viewed unfavorably by 47 percent and favorably by 41 percent, while Kasich is viewed favorably by 46 percent and unfavorably by 30 percent.

Only 14 percent of likely voters think Ohio's economy is getting better, while 45 percent think it is getting worse and 40 percent think it is staying the same. Strickland leads 88 - 3 percent among those who think the economy is getting better and 55 - 38 percent among those who think it is the same, but Kasich leads 76 - 13 percent among those who think it is getting worse.

"Whether his fault or not, the pessimistic public mood about the economy is a problem for Gov. Ted Strickland and a plus for John Kasich," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The governor's race has tightened but Kasich still has a healthy lead with four weeks until Election Day. If Gov. Strickland is to mount a comeback, he needs to make a major dent in Kasich's commanding lead among independent voters, who often make the difference in close elections in Ohio," Brown added.

"Not only does Strickland have to take all the undecided voters, he needs to peel away some of the soft Kasich voters as well if he is to win," said Brown. "Among likely voters, President Barack Obama is a negative for Gov. Strickland. Ohio likely voters disapprove 57 - 39 percent of the job President Obama is doing. If Obama had a 57 - 39 percent positive job approval instead, Strickland would have a lot better chance of winning re-election."

By 53 - 40 percent, likely voters disapprove of the job Strickland is doing in his first term as governor and disapprove of his handling of the economy 58 - 35 percent.

Asked what qualities are most important in a candidate for governor, only 11 percent say the "right experience" - presumably a quality they would ascribe to the incumbent. More than twice as many voters, 27 percent, say they want someone to bring change to Columbus. Another 25 percent cite honesty as the most important quality in a candidate and 33 percent want a candidate who shares their values.

"There clearly is an anti-incumbent mood in the country and in Ohio as well. That certainly doesn't help Strickland. In most years, experience in office is a major plus with voters. But not necessarily this year."

By 49 - 40 percent, likely voters say Kasich rather than Strickland most shares their values, and by 51 - 39 percent they think the Republican would do a better job than the Democrat in rebuilding the state's economy.

"Four weeks is a lifetime in political campaigns, but the governor needs to seize the momentum soon if he is to win a second term," said Brown.

From September 29 - October 3, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,025 Ohio likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. If the election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Ted Strickland the Democrat and John Kasich the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Strickland or Kasich? (This table includes Leaners and early voters)
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Strickland           41%     6%    86%    29%    34%    48%    27%
Kasich               50     88      7     62     57     44     65
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      2      1      3      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      5      5      9      7      8      7
 
                     ANGRY WITH    RATING ECONOMY Q21
                     StateGvQ23    Better Worse  Same
                                                     
Strickland           14%           88%    13%    55% 
Kasich               75             3     76     38  
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       6             1      3      1  
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -             -      -      -  
DK/NA                 5             7      8      5  
 
TREND: If the election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Ted Strickland the Democrat and John Kasich the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided q1) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Strickland or Kasich? This table includes Leaners.
                     LIKELY VOTERS..
                     Oct 5   Sep 16
                     2010    2010
 
Strickland           41%     37%
Kasich               50      54
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -
DK/NA                 7       7
 
 
 
1a. (If candidate choice q1) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY...............
                            CAND CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    TS     JK
 
Made up              89%    87%    91%
Might change          9     11      8
DK/NA                 1      2      -
 
 
2. Is your opinion of - Ted Strickland favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            41%    12%    81%    30%    37%    46%    30%
Unfavorable          47     75     11     58     53     42     59
Hvn't hrd enough      7      6      6      7      6      8      8
REFUSED               4      7      1      5      5      4      3
 
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Ted Strickland favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..
                     Oct 5   Sep 16
                     2010    2010
 
Favorable            41%     36%
Unfavorable          47      52
Hvn't hrd enough      7       9
REFUSED               4       3
 
 
3. Is your opinion of - John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Favorable            46%    85%    10%    51%    51%    41%    63%
Unfavorable          30      4     57     25     28     33     22
Hvn't hrd enough     21      9     31     22     19     23     14
REFUSED               2      2      1      3      1      3      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..
                     Oct 5   Sep 16
                     2010    2010
 
Favorable            46%     47%
Unfavorable          30      27
Hvn't hrd enough     21      24
REFUSED               2       2
 
 
13. Turning back to the race for Governor between Ted Strickland and John Kasich; Which one of these four qualities matter most in deciding how you vote for governor - The candidate is honest and trustworthy, has the right experience, can bring about needed change to Columbus or shares your values?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Honest               25%    16%    30%    28%    22%    28%    26%
Right experience     11      6     15     12     10     13      9
Brings change to
Columbus             27     37     15     30     27     26     27
Shares values        33     37     36     27     36     29     34
DK/NA                 5      4      5      2      5      4      4
 
 
14. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you believe most shares your values Ted Strickland or John Kasich?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Strickland           40%     8%    80%    30%    34%    46%    30%
Kasich               49     86      6     60     56     42     61
NO DIFFERENCE(VOL)    3      1      3      2      2      3      2
DK/NA                 9      5     10      8      9      9      7
 
 
15. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job rebuilding Ohio's economy Ted Strickland or John Kasich?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Strickland           39%     8%    81%    28%    33%    45%    30%
Kasich               51     86      7     63     59     42     62
NO DIFFERENCE(VOL)    2      1      1      2      1      2      2
DK/NA                 9      5     11      7      7     11      7
 
 
16. When Barack Obama campaigns for Ted Strickland does that make you more likely to vote for Strickland, less likely to vote for Strickland, or doesn’t it make a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
More likely          14%     1%    34%     6%    14%    14%    12%
Less likely          33     54      7     39     37     29     40
Doesn't make diff    52     45     57     54     49     55     47
DK/NA                 1      -      2      1      -      2      2
 
 
17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ted Strickland is handling his job as Governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              40%    10%    79%    32%    33%    47%    31%
Disapprove           53     85     14     63     61     45     63
DK/NA                 7      6      7      5      6      8      7
 
 
19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              39%     5%    82%    28%    36%    44%    24%
Disapprove           57     93     13     66     63     50     73
DK/NA                 4      1      5      5      2      6      3
 
 
20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ted Strickland is handling the economy?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Approve              35%     7%    74%    23%    31%    39%    25%
Disapprove           58     85     17     73     63     54     66
DK/NA                 7      8      9      4      6      7      8
 
 
21. Do you think Ohio's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Better               14%     4%    31%     6%    13%    15%    12%
Worse                45     64     18     52     47     42     55
The same             40     31     49     41     39     41     33
DK/NA                 2      1      2      2      2      2      -
 
 
23. I am going to mention four phrases and ask you which one best describes how you feel about the way the state government works. Do you feel enthusiastic, satisfied but not enthusiastic, dissatisfied but not angry, or angry?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Enthusiastic,         2%     -      5%     0%     0%     3%     3%
Sat/Not enthusiastic 27     11     54     18     24     31     21
Dis/Not angry        52     63     35     59     55     48     55
Angry                18     25      6     21     19     16     20
DK/NA                 1      2      1      1      1      1      -