- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich enjoys a positive job approval rating but hasn’t been able to shake his possible Democratic challenger, the “largely unknown” Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, according to a Quinnipiac University survey.

Ohioans give Mr. Kasich a positive 51-36 percent approval rating and a 43-38 percent lead over Mr. Fitzgerald, compared to a 44-37 percent lead in a Nov. 26 survey.

The pollsters said the incumbent governor, who is seeking a second term this year, gets high marks for his personal characteristics and judgment, “though not so much on understanding the problems of average folks.”

Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said the race to become Ohio’s next governor is “a five-point game, little changed from the seven-point spread” in the institute’s November survey.

“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,” he said. “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.”