By Marc Kovac
Ohio voters are happy with Gov. John Kasich’s work in office but unhappy about giving him a second term.
That’s according to a new poll released Tuesday by the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which regularly gauges Ohioans’ opinions on candidates and issues.
In a survey of 1,165 registered voters completed earlier this month, the institute found 42 percent of Ohioans approved of the way the governor was handling the job, while 35 percent said they disapproved.
It was the first positive rating since his inauguration almost two years ago.
But by a comparable margin (43 percent-36 percent), voters also said they did not think Kasich deserved a second term in office.
The results have a margin of error of about 3 percentage points.
“Things are looking better for Gov. John Kasich,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the polling institute, said in a released statement. “But it is not all blue skies as Gov. Kasich enters the last half of his term. His job-approval rating is positive for the first time among registered voters, although he started getting positive scores in Quinnipiac University surveys of likely voters during the presidential race.”
He added, “Ohio Gov. John Kasich still has work to do to convince voters that he deserves a second term, and there is significant support for a primary challenge to him. One in five voters are not sure whether they want him around for another four years.”
Asked about the results Tuesday, Kasich said he was “not familiar with any poll.”
“I don’t pay that much attention, because, as you know, from presidential campaigns, it’s who you ask, how you ask, what you ask.”
He added, “I travel around the state, and people feel better. ... At the end of the day, I won’t be in this job, I’ll be moving on to other great and exciting opportunities, but I’ll be able to look back and think this state was dying and now it’s alive. The sun’s coming up in Ohio.”
Among potential Democratic challengers, former Gov. Ted Strickland fared the best, with 41 percent of respondents having a favorable opinion of him and 29 percent who did not.
Voters said they didn’t know enough about former Attorney General Richard Cordray, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, to offer an opinion.