After bringing Ohio back from the brink, Governor John Kasich is certainly popular with Ohioans. In fact, Quinnipiac has his job approval at an all-time high of 53%. Of course, that’s not the only thing Quinnipiac had to say about Governor Kasich–his reelection campaign is looking stronger than ever:
In an early look at the 2014 reelection race, Gov. Kasich holds 6-point to 10-point leads against each of the four potential contenders for the Democratic nomination to run against him:
- 45 – 35 percent over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald;
- 44 – 38 percent over U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray;
- 44 – 36 percent over U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan;
- 45 – 38 percent over former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton.
In other words, Kasich has a sizable lead against every major potential Democrat challenger. A full 46% of Ohioans believe Kasich deserves to be reelected–that improves to 47% among the ever-important Independent voters. Just 36% believe Kasich doesn’t deserve a second term, for a +10% overall margin. But that’s just half the story, considering how registered voters felt about Kasich’s reelection just a few months ago:
- Overall, Kasich has gone from -7% to +10%, a 17-point improvement.
- Kasich has solidified support among his base of GOP voters, up 14 points from 67% to 81%.
- Independents swung a whopping 23 points, from -9% to +14%.
- And among women, Kasich went from down -11% to up +8%.
There’s double-digit improvements almost across the board, and in some very key demographics. And as the above quote shows, these numbers hold no matter who the opponent is.
While voters give the best name recognition to Richard Cordray, at 36%, only 25% have a favorable opinion of him. Now, I know I’m not exactly a Democrat strategist, but why Ohio Democrats continue to alienate the only man who Ohio voters recognize is beyond me. Then again, when only a quarter of Ohio voters view him favorably, perhaps Democrats know something I don’t.
Of course, betting on a candidate that has never run statewide isn’t exactly the smartest play either. In fact, no matter who the potential challenger is, Independents favor Governor Kasich by (the low) +12% against Cordray (the only one to have run statewide), and an impressive (the high) +21% against Cuyahoga wonder-boy Ed FitzJerrold.
That’s not good for the presumptive front runner, especially after he’s already hired top Democrat staffers.
But before looking at Mr. FitzGeŕµld, let’s start with the numbers behind the two candidates that are less likely to be the eventual Democrat nominee: Congressman Tim Ryan and former-Congresswoman Betty Sutton.
Putting aside Congressman Ryan’s penchant for squeezing dried grapes (no, that’s not a euphemism for his drinking problem), his numbers are just as easily put aside: 72% of Ohioans don’t know who he is. And even among the Independent voters who did recognize his name, more disapproved of his job performance than approved. In a potential match up with Kasich, Ryan loses nearly every demographic, including Independents and among every income bracket.
Of course, the numbers don’t improve much for Sutton, with 69% who don’t recognize her. And while one might think having a woman on the ticket would help Democrats, in a potential match up with Governor Kasich, they’re both tied—tied!—among women voters. In fact, Governor Kasich gets 40% or 41% from women, no matter the candidate. That’s a huge problem for Sutton, but since she basically walks around in Nancy Pelosi’s shadow, it’s no wonder Ohioans aren’t jumping to see her in the Governor’s office.
But, while it’s fun to tear down the Tier II candidates, the numbers speak for themselves on the Democrat front runner: Cuyahoga County Executive Edwűrd FickleGerald. Though he’s clearly posturing to be the nominee next year, voters know him the least among all Democrats surveyed.
That’s right. FitzGerolled is unknown to 80% of Ohio voters. The funny part? That’s an improvement. Only 15% recognized his name two months ago. At this rate, around 40% of voters will at least know him come Election Day 2014 (though, less than 30% would view him favorably).
In a potential match up, Governor Kasich holds a 45% to 35% edge over FitzGibbons. Kasich is +21% among Independents, +4% among women, and holds leads in every age demographic. Kasich also is up among all income brackets, coming in at +15% among middle class voters.
And all of that from the supposed lead Democrat challenger. Perhaps FitzellGruber should worry less about his name and more about his numbers.
But that’s the story no matter who the challenger is. In fact, Governor Kasich wins among every income bracket, no matter the potential opponent, except narrowly losing 41% – 40% to Cordray among those making less than $50k. And bolstering Kasich’s numbers is his incredibly strong performance with his base—regardless of the challenger, Kasich brings in 84% to 86% of the GOP vote.
Given the latest numbers, Kasich’s reelection campaign is looking strong. That just builds on his previously strong numbers. And we’re starting to see a trend here–a trend that’s certain to worry any and all potential Democrat challengers.