February 19, 2014 - Ohio Gov Can't Break Free Of Unknown Challenger, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Divided On Death Penalty
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Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a 51 - 36 percent job approval rating, virtually unchanged in the last 12 months, and a slim 43 - 38 percent lead over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, his largely unknown possible Democratic challenger, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 44 - 37 percent lead for Gov. Kasich in a November 26 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Today, Kasich leads 82 - 6 percent among Republicans and 43 - 31 percent among independent voters, while Democrats go to FitzGerald 74 - 11 percent. Men back the Republican 49 - 33 percent while women back the Democrat 42 - 37 percent.

Ohio voters say 61 - 31 percent that Kasich is a strong leader and say 52 - 35 percent that he is honest and trustworthy, but are divided on whether he cares about their needs and problems, as 43 percent say he cares and 47 percent say he doesn't care.

The governor gets a 42 - 30 percent favorability rating and voters say 46 - 42 percent he deserves to be reelected.

For FitzGerald, 70 percent don't know enough to form an opinion.

"The race to become Ohio's next governor is a five-point game, little changed from the seven-point spread in Quinnipiac University's last survey in November. Also unchanged, however, is how relatively few Ohioans - less than three in ten - know enough about Democratic favorite Ed Fitzgerald to have an opinion about him," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "That is a double-edged sword for the challenger: It indicates he has not made much headway in the past three months, but it provides him an opportunity to make up ground among the vast number of voters who are unfamiliar with him."

"Voters see Gov. John Kasich in a more favorable light when it comes to his personal characteristics than his handling of issues," said Brown. "They give him high grades on leadership and positive ratings on trustworthiness and good judgment, though not so much on understanding the problems of average folks. He gets basically even scores on handling the budget, taxes and jobs, the latter of which is cited by voters as the top priority."

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, a total of 42 percent of Ohio voters list the economy or jobs as the top priority for state government in 2014. Another 14 percent list education or education funding, followed by 5 percent who cite health care.

Ohio voters give Kasich a mixed grade for his handling of the economy and jobs as 44 percent approve and 46 percent disapprove. His approval ratings on other issues are:
  • 44 - 40 percent approve of his handling of taxes;
  • 44 percent approve of his handling of the state budget, while 42 percent disapprove;
  • 42 percent disapprove of his handling of health care, while 36 percent approve; Death Penalty
Ohio voters favor the death penalty 68 - 26 percent, but when asked whether they favor the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole:
  • 47 percent favor the death penalty;
  • 36 percent favor life in prison with no chance of parole;
  • 12 percent favor life in prison with a chance of parole.
There is a total of 48 percent support for the two life options. Among men, 51 percent support the death penalty, with 30 percent for life without parole and 13 percent for life with parole. Among women, 43 percent support the death penalty, with 42 percent for life without parole, and 10 percent for life with parole.

"The life without parole option provides another perspective on the death penalty debate, with significant partisan, gender and age divisions," Brown said.

From February 12 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,370 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Ed FitzGerald the Democrat and John Kasich the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
FitzGerald           38%     6%    74%    31%    33%    42%    30%    38%    44%    36%
Kasich               43     82     11     43     49     37     35     45     40     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      2      1      1      -      2      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      1      3      2      2      4      2      2      1
DK/NA                16     11     14     21     14     18     31     13     13     14
 
TREND: If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Ed FitzGerald the Democrat and John Kasich the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 18  Feb 28
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013
 
FitzGerald           38      37      33      37      35
Kasich               43      44      47      46      45
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       2       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       4       4       2       2
DK/NA                16      15      15      15      17
 
 
2. Is your opinion of John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            42%    70%    19%    41%    49%    36%    24%    43%    44%    52%
Unfavorable          30      7     47     32     26     33     24     30     35     27
Hvn't hrd enough     24     18     28     23     22     26     49     22     17     16
REFUSED               4      4      5      3      4      5      3      5      5      5
 
TREND: Is your opinion of John Kasich favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                             FAVORABLE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 18  Feb 28  Feb 28  Dec 10
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2013    2008
 
Favorable            42      41      47      46      48      48      18
Unfavorable          30      30      28      29      32      32       8
Hvn't hrd enough     24      27      22      24      17      17      73
REFUSED               4       3       3       1       3       3       1
 
 
3. Is your opinion of Ed FitzGerald favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            18%     6%    32%    14%    17%    18%    13%    17%    19%    19%
Unfavorable          11     17      2     14     14      8     11     10     11     12
Hvn't hrd enough     70     74     66     71     69     71     74     72     70     67
REFUSED               1      3      1      1      1      2      2      1      1      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Ed FitzGerald favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 18  Feb 28  Dec 11
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2012
 
Favorable            18      17      15      14      13      10
Unfavorable          11      11       9       8       5       5
Hvn't hrd enough     70      71      76      76      80      84
REFUSED               1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              51%    76%    32%    50%    57%    46%    44%    53%    48%    57%
Disapprove           36     12     53     39     33     38     32     34     42     31
DK/NA                13     13     16     11     10     16     24     13      9     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling his job as Governor? (*Low also 30% Jan 2011)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 18  Feb 28  Jun 25  Mar 23
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2013    2011*
 
Approve              51      52      54      52      53      54      30
Disapprove           36      33      32      34      32      32      46
DK/NA                13      15      13      15      14      13      23
 
 
21. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              38%    53%    21%    41%    44%    33%    38%    41%    35%    37%
Disapprove           43     24     60     42     43     42     37     43     47     40
DK/NA                19     22     19     16     13     25     25     16     17     23
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 19  Feb 28  Dec 10  Dec 12
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2008    2006
 
Approve              38      41      41      41      39      46      25
Disapprove           43      42      41      41      42      35      55
DK/NA                19      18      18      17      19      19      20
 
 
25. Do you feel that John Kasich deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes/Deserves         46%    72%    24%    46%    52%    40%    44%    46%    43%    51%
No/Does not          42     16     64     43     39     44     40     42     47     37
DK/NA                13     12     12     11      8     16     16     12     11     12
 
TREND: Do you feel that John Kasich deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 18  Feb 28  Dec 11
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2013    2012
 
Yes/Deserves         46      48      49      46      46      36
No/Does not          42      39      37      37      36      43
DK/NA                13      13      14      17      18      21
 
 
26. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Ohio today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Very satisfied        7%    13%     3%     6%     8%     6%     5%     5%     5%    11%
Smwht satisfied      49     60     43     43     48     50     51     52     45     49
Smwht dissatisfied   28     18     36     31     28     29     27     27     31     26
Very dissatisfied    16      8     18     19     16     16     17     16     18     14
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      -      -      -      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Ohio today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*Low also 29% Mar 2011)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 19  Dec 11  May 09  Feb 14  Jan 19  Dec 11  Oct 25
                     2014    2012    2012    2012    2012    2012    2011*
 
Very satisfied        7       6       4       3       4       6       3
Smwht satisfied      49      52      47      40      37      52      26
Smwht dissatisfied   28      27      31      36      36      27      34
Very dissatisfied    16      14      17      20      22      14      37
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
27. What do you think should be the top priority for Governor Kasich and the State Legislature in 2014?
                            Tot
 
Economy(General)             7%
Jobs/Unemployment           34
Economy(Other)               1
 
Wages/Minimum Wage           2
 
Budget(General)              3
Government spending          1
 
Taxes(General)               2
Taxes(Other)                 1
 
Education(General)          10
Funding/Spending education   2
Education(Other)             2
 
Unions (General)             1
 
Healthcare                   5
Women's Issues               1
Social Issues/Soc Services   2
Poverty/Homelessness         1
Elderly Issues               1
Gay marriage/Gay Issues      1
Marijuana                    1
Roads/Infrastructure         1
Environment                  1
Fuel Costs/Gas prices        1
Caring about people          1
Other                        6
DK/NA                       12
 
 
28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling - taxes?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              44%    61%    25%    49%    52%    37%    41%    42%    45%    49%
Disapprove           40     25     57     38     40     41     40     43     41     36
DK/NA                15     14     18     13      8     22     18     15     14     16
 
 
29. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling - the economy and jobs?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              44%    69%    21%    45%    49%    40%    44%    40%    43%    51%
Disapprove           46     23     68     46     45     47     42     47     50     42
DK/NA                10      8     11      9      6     13     14     13      7      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling the economy and jobs? (* handling the economy)
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 18
                     2014    2013*   2013*   2013*
 
Approve              44      50      52      49
Disapprove           46      39      37      41
DK/NA                10      12      11      10
 
 
30. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling - the state budget?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              44%    63%    23%    47%    52%    36%    34%    43%    45%    50%
Disapprove           42     21     61     41     39     44     52     42     43     33
DK/NA                15     16     17     12     10     20     14     16     12     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling the state budget?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Feb 28  Dec 11  Jun 25  Mar 23
                     2014    2013    2013    2013    2012    2013    2011
 
Approve              44      44      46      45      40      46      31
Disapprove           42      40      38      39      40      38      51
DK/NA                15      16      16      15      21      16      18
 
 
31. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling - health care?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              36%    43%    35%    33%    43%    30%    33%    33%    39%    39%
Disapprove           42     28     48     47     40     45     46     45     41     39
DK/NA                22     28     17     20     17     26     21     22     20     22
 
 
33. Would you say that John Kasich - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  61%    78%    45%    61%    63%    59%    63%    56%    62%    65%
No                   31     14     45     31     31     30     25     34     33     26
DK/NA                 8      8      9      9      5     11     12      9      6      8
 
TREND: Would you say that John Kasich has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     Feb 19  May 09
                     2014    2012
 
Yes                  61      54
No                   31      36
DK/NA                 8      10
 
 
34. Would you say that John Kasich - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  52%    72%    37%    49%    57%    48%    39%    48%    52%    66%
No                   35     16     48     41     34     36     44     40     35     21
DK/NA                13     12     15     10     10     16     17     12     13     13
 
TREND: Would you say that John Kasich is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     Feb 19  Nov 26
                     2014    2013
 
Yes                  52      53
No                   35      33
DK/NA                13      14
 
 
35. Would you say that John Kasich - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  43%    65%    26%    43%    46%    41%    38%    42%    42%    50%
No                   47     24     65     50     46     48     50     48     51     39
DK/NA                 9     12      9      7      8     11     12     10      7     11
 
TREND: Would you say that John Kasich cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     Feb 19  May 09
                     2014    2012
 
Yes                  43      40
No                   47      50
DK/NA                 9      10
 
 
36. Would you say that John Kasich - has good judgment or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  49%    73%    30%    48%    55%    43%    40%    48%    48%    59%
No                   38     16     55     40     37     38     38     40     43     28
DK/NA                13     11     15     12      7     18     22     12      8     13
 
 
37. Do you think John Kasich is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Liberal              13%    12%    14%    12%    15%    11%    15%    15%    12%    10%
Conservative         29      8     47     29     26     31     25     29     32     26
About right          45     70     26     44     50     41     43     42     45     51
DK/NA                13     11     13     14      9     17     18     14     11     13
 
TREND: Do you think John Kasich is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Feb 19  Nov 26  Jun 25  Apr 18
                     2014    2013    2013    2013
 
Liberal              13      10      10      10
Conservative         29      27      26      26
About right          45      47      48      47
DK/NA                13      17      16      16
 
 
40. Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Favor                68%    80%    55%    72%    75%    62%    65%    71%    68%    67%
Oppose               26     15     38     24     22     28     29     24     26     23
DK/NA                 6      5      8      5      3     10      6      5      6     10
 
 
41. Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder; the death penalty, life in prison with no chance of parole, or life in prison with a chance of parole?
                                                               AGE IN YRS..............
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-29  30-49  50-64  65+
 
Death penalty        47%    56%    34%    52%    51%    43%    38%    52%    50%    42%
Life/No parole       36     31     44     33     30     42     39     34     34     39
Life/Chance parole   12      8     17     10     13     10     19     11      8     13
DK/NA                 5      5      5      5      6      5      4      3      7      7
 
 

Demographic Summary