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Government and Politics


Quinnipiac poll shows Gov. Kasich has a strong lead over FitzGerald
Three months out, governor maintains strong lead over Democractic challeneger
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
Gov. John Kasich is leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald by over 10 points in the latest poll.
Courtesy of WKSY FILE PHOTO
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Election Day is a little more than three months away, and a new poll shows Gov. John Kasich holding onto a strong lead over his challenger, Ed FitzGerald. The poll shows that FitzGerald faces an uphill battle on several fronts, and even the bad news for Kasich isn't that bad.

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The Democratic Cuyahoga County executive is trailing Kasich by 12 points in the latest Quinnipiac poll. What could be more alarming for FitzGerald is that 65 percent of those polled say they do not know enough about him to even form an opinion.

As Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown explains, Ohio is a state where candidates need television ad time in order to build name recognition and he says, to some degree, time is running out for FitzGerald.

“These numbers are not hugely different from what they were three months ago, the last Quinnipiac poll." Brown says. "The difference is the campaign’s now three months shorter.”

But what about S.B. 5?
Kasich’s approval rating remains high at 55 percent, but one of his most controversial decisions as governor remains a hot topic for many voters. Eighty percent say the fight over the collective bargaining law that Kasich signed in 2011 and was repealed by voters is still important to them. And while 31 percent say the debate over Senate Bill 5 makes them less likely to vote for Kasich, 45 percent say it makes no difference.

“All of those things give one the impression that SB5 would be having a detrimental effect to the governor’s reelection campaign if so that means he really would be amazingly far ahead if that was the case," Brown says. "Or people may say ‘yes it’s important’ but it may not deter them from voting for the governor.”

In general, 60 percent of those polled say they are very or somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in Ohio, which is likely to help Kasich. But Brown says a race is never over with three months left.

“Obviously one would much rather be in Mr. Kasich’s shoes than Mr. FitzGerald but three months is a long time in politics," Brown says. "Three months is a long time in anything and in politics, it’s an especially long time.”

And 13 percent of the poll’s respondents say they are undecided on who they will choose for governor this fall.

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