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Government & Politics

The Latest National Poll Shows Kasich Remains an Unknown to Many -- and That May be a Strength

John Kasich announcing his run

  More than any other GOP presidential candidate still in the field, John Kasich is an unknown to voters nationally. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, the results of the latest Quinnipiac national poll say that could be one plus for the Ohio governor.

The new poll shows Donald Trump easily leading – with nearly four out of every 10 Republican- and Republican-leaning voters supporting him. Kasich has about 6 percent, higher than before his second-place finish in New Hampshire but still well behind not only Trump but Rubio, Cruz and even “don’t know.”

But Quinnipiac’s Tim Malloy notes Kasich’s unfavorable ratings are low and more than a third of the likely voters say they don’t know enough about Kasich yet. Malloy says that may ultimately play in Kasich’s favor.

“If he can last, his more gentlemanly statesmanlike approach – which is totally absent right now—could work for him. So there’s another possible upside: The fact that there’s more to learn about him and, more than anybody on the Republican side, I think it’s safe to say, he’s been a real gentleman.”

The poll shows voters give Kasich high ratings for honesty, but not so much for leadership -- or the likelihood that he could beat a Democrat.