COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Little has changed in the race for Ohio governor, according to a new Quinnipiac Poll. The poll finds Gov. John Kasich with a 48 - 36 percent lead over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic challenger. Kasich's lead was 50 - 35 percent in a similar poll back in May.
“County Executive Ed FitzGerald is gaining little or no ground in his bid to unseat incumbent Gov. John Kasich. The Democratic nominee still has a long way to go with little more than three months until Election Day,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Almost two-thirds of registered voters don’t know enough about FitzGerald to have an opinion of him. That’s an awful lot of Ohioans who still have to be introduced to him."
The poll was conducted shortly after the Democrat began airing television ads statewide.
The traditional gender gap exists as men back the Republican 53 – 31 percent, while women are divided, with 43 percent for Gov. Kasich and 41 percent for FitzGerald. Kasich leads 92 – 2 percent among Republicans and 47 – 28 percent among independent voters, while Democrats go to FitzGerald 78 – 9 percent.
Kasich's approval ratings remain at the highest level he's seen while in office. 55 percent of Ohioans give him the thumbs up, down from his high mark of 56 percent in May. Half of those polled believe he deserves a second term, down from 53 percent in May.
Less than 100 days before election, 65 percent of Ohio voters don’t know enough about FitzGerald to form an opinion of him.
The poll finds that 60 percent of Ohioans are either satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in the state. 39 percent say they are somewhat or very dissatisied.
Those surveyed give Kasich a wide lead on issues like the economy and jobs, taxes, government spending, and health care. FitzGerald scores closest on education, where Kasich leads 42 - 36 percent, and abortion, where he trails Kasich 36 - 32 percent.
Expect to hear a lot about Senate Bill 5, legislation that was passed to limit collective bargaining for public employees and later overturned by voters in 2011. Eight in ten Ohio voters say the issue is still very or somewhat important to them. 31 percent of voters said the issue makes them less likely to vote for Kasich, with 19 percent more likely and 45 percent who say it will not affect their vote.
“Four out of five voters say Kasich’s largest embarrassment as governor – the SB5 fiasco – is important to their vote. Many voters say the fight over collective bargaining makes them less likely to vote for Kasich, but a plurality says it won’t affect their choice.”
From July 24 – 28, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,366 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.