October 19, 2010 - Kasich Holds Off Strickland In Ohio Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Independent Voters Back Republican Almost 2-1

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Republican John Kasich remains in command of the Ohio governor's race with a 51 - 41 percent likely voter lead over Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, statistically unchanged from Kasich's 50 - 41 percent edge October 5, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, two weeks before Election Day.

Kasich's lead is built on a 59 - 32 percent margin among independent likely voters, and a 64 - 29 percent spread among white evangelical Christians, according to the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey conducted by live interviewers.

President Barack Obama remains unpopular among Ohio voters who disapprove 56 - 40 percent of the job he is doing and say 32 - 9 percent they are less likely rather than more likely to vote for Strickland because the President is campaigning for the governor. Independent voters say 35 - 4 percent that Obama's campaigning makes them less likely to vote for Strickland.

"John Kasich's lead has remained the same and the sand is slipping through the hour glass. If Gov. Ted Strickland is going to turn this election around, he needs to do it quickly," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "But the obvious question is, 'What can Strickland do in the two weeks before Election Day that he has been unable to do so far?'"

Women voters split with 46 percent for Kasich and 45 percent for Strickland. But Kasich leads 55 - 37 percent among men. Kasich leads among Republicans 91 - 5 percent while Democrats back Strickland 84 - 7 percent.

"Although it is hypothetically possible, it's difficult to see how anyone can win a statewide election when they are getting beat so badly among independents. The race may be a dead heat among women, but it is a landslide among men," said Brown. "President Barack Obama's 63 percent disapproval rating among independent voters is an extremely heavy anchor around Ted Strickland's neck."

Not only is Kasich ahead, but only 8 percent of his supporters say they might change their minds, compared to 12 percent of Strickland's backers.

Strickland is viewed favorably by 43 percent of likely voters, including just 34 percent of independents, and unfavorably by 47 percent. Those numbers are better for the governor, however, than his job approval rating, which shows voters giving him a 54 - 39 percent thumbs down.

Kasich, a former congressman, gets a favorable opinion rating from 47 percent, with an unfavorable score of 33 percent.

"The economy is the defining issue in the race for governor. Strickland holds an overwhelming 89 - 6 percent lead among the likely voters who think the economy is improving, but they make up only 19 percent of the electorate. Kasich dominates the 36 percent who think the economy is getting worse 76 - 13 percent. The 45 percent of voters who think the economy is staying the same back Kasich 50 - 43 percent," said Brown.

Kasich's lead in the horse race is backed up by his 52 - 38 percent lead as the candidate best able to turn around the Ohio economy and his 48 - 40 percent lead as the candidate who most shares voters' values.

"Anything is possible in politics, but if Gov. Strickland is able to pull out a victory it will take the kind of final drive that makes history," said Brown.

From October 12 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,188 Ohio likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 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)
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Strickland           41%     5%    84%    32%    37%    45%    29%
Kasich               51     91      7     59     55     46     64
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      4      7      8      6      7      6
 
                     RATING ECONOMY Q19
                     Better Worse  Same
 
Strickland           89%    13%    43%
Kasich                6     76     50
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -
DK/NA                 5      9      6
 
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 19  Oct 5   Sep 16
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Strickland           41      41      37
Kasich               51      50      54
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       2       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                 7       7       7
 
 
1a. 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              90%    88%    92%
Might change         10     12      8
DK/NA                 -      -      -
 
 
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            43%    12%    81%    34%    42%    44%    31%
Unfavorable          47     77     11     55     51     42     62
Hvn't hrd enough      7      7      6      7      4     11      5
REFUSED               3      3      2      3      2      4      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Ted Strickland favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 19  Oct 5   Sep 16
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            43      41      36
Unfavorable          47      47      52
Hvn't hrd enough      7       7       9
REFUSED               3       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            47%    83%    10%    53%    51%    42%    58%
Unfavorable          33      5     65     27     31     35     23
Hvn't hrd enough     17     11     22     18     14     21     16
REFUSED               3      2      3      2      3      2      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 19  Oct 5   Sep 16
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Favorable            47      46      47
Unfavorable          33      30      27
Hvn't hrd enough     17      21      24
REFUSED               3       2       2
 
 
12. Turning back to the race for Governor between Ted Strickland and John Kasich; 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%     6%    81%    34%    39%    42%    27%
Kasich               48     88      6     54     53     44     63
NO DIFFERENCE(VOL)    3      2      1      3      2      4      2
DK/NA                 8      5     11      9      6     11      8
 
 
13. 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           38%     4%    81%    30%    38%    39%    25%
Kasich               52     89     10     60     56     48     66
NO DIFFERENCE(VOL)    3      2      2      2      1      4      2
DK/NA                 7      4      7      8      5      9      8
 
 
14. 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           9%     -     23%     4%     8%    10%     5%
Less likely          32     59      5     35     34     30     43
Doesn't make diff    58     40     72     61     57     59     52
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      -      1      1
 
 
15. 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              39%     9%    82%    28%    38%    41%    26%
Disapprove           54     87     13     64     58     50     69
DK/NA                 6      4      5      8      3     10      5
 
 
16. 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              40%     3%    85%    33%    39%    43%    26%
Disapprove           56     96     12     63     59     53     72
DK/NA                 3      1      3      5      2      4      2
 
 
17. 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              36%     6%    75%    28%    35%    38%    22%
Disapprove           57     91     18     64     61     53     72
DK/NA                 6      3      7      7      4      9      6
 
 
18. Would you describe the state of Ohio's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS(Includes Early Voters)..............
                                                               WtBrnAgn
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Evnglcl
 
Excellent             -      -      -      1%     1%     -      -
Good                  9      2     16      9      9      9      5
Not so good          45     37     58     41     45     45     40
Poor                 45     61     25     48     45     45     54
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      -      1
 
 
19. 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               19%     3%    37%    16%    18%    20%    13%
Worse                36     53     15     38     33     39     38
The same             45     43     48     45     48     40     47
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      1