Ohio’s chief favored in poll

By Marc Kovac

Of those polled, 46 percent said they would re-elect Ted Strickland.

COLUMBUS — Although Gov. Ted Strickland remains popular among Ohioans and appears poised for re-election in 2010, his approval ratings have slipped, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The poll shows 54 percent of respondents are happy with his work as governor — a drop from 60 percent in August but in line with results in February and June, according to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Although Gov. Strickland ends 2008 with his lowest job approval rating of the year, mostly because Republicans who in the past viewed him favorably are now evenly split about him, he remains a solid favorite for re-election,” Peter Brown, the institute’s assistant director, said in a released statement.

“In a trial heat, 46 percent said they would give him a second term, while only 26 percent would back an unnamed Republican.”

Quinnipiac, which regularly gauges Ohioans’ opinions on candidates and issues, polled 1,468 likely voters over the past week, with questions focused on potential matchups for the governor’s race and congressional elections in the state.

As for potential opponents in the next gubernatorial election, former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine received the highest favorability ratings (43 percent).

Former U.S. Rep. John Kasich was second, with 18 percent of respondents saying they had favorable opinions (compared with 73 percent who said they had not heard enough about him).

And former U.S. Rep. Rob Portman was third, with 12 percent (and 80 percent who said they hadn’t heard enough about him to form an opinion).

Among other poll results:

UU.S. Sen. George Voinovich could have “a potentially more difficult challenge for a third term ... with only 44 percent of voters, and a lukewarm 54 percent of Republicans, [saying] he deserves to be re-elected.”

“Incumbents, especially those well-known to voters, as is Voinovich, are thought to be in trouble when less than 50 percent of voters say they deserve to be re-elected,” Brown said.

“Moreover, in a mythical trial heat, he is tied with an unnamed Democratic opponent. That’s not a good sign for Voinovich’s chances.”

UA total of 26 percent of those polled viewed Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner favorably, compared with 24 percent who viewed her unfavorably.

The remainder said they had not heard enough about Brunner to form an opinion.

Outgoing Republican House Speaker Jon Husted, believed to be among potential opponents for Brunner, was viewed favorably by 7 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 5 percent, with the remainder saying they had not heard enough about him.


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