By MARC KOVAC
Gov. Ted Strickland gained some ground but still trails his Republican challenger, John Kasich, in the latest poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The state’s top Democratic officeholder trailed Kasich by 9 points, 50 percent to 41 percent, among likely Ohio voters.
That compares with 54 percent to 37 percent during the institute’s survey last month.
Additionally, only 14 percent of respondents believe Ohio’s economy is getting better, while 45 percent say it is getting worse.
And 53 percent of voters disapprove of Strickland’s work in office, while 58 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy.
“Whether his fault or not, the pessimistic public mood about the economy is a problem for Gov. Ted Strickland and a plus for John Kasich,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the institute, said in a released statement. “The governor’s race has tightened, but Kasich still has a healthy lead with four weeks until Election Day.
“If Gov. Strickland is to mount a comeback, he needs to make a major dent in Kasich’s commanding lead among independent voters, who often make the difference in close elections in Ohio.”
Brown added, “Four weeks is a lifetime in political campaigns, but the governor needs to seize the momentum soon if he is to win a second term.”
Connecticut-based Quinnipiac regularly gauges Ohioans’ views on candidates and issues. It polled 1,025 likely voters over the past week on the gubernatorial election, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.