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Kasich leads Gov race in Ohio; Strickland stuck in the 30’s

Democratic Governor Ted Strickland still trails his Republican challenger, John Kasich, by eight points in his bid for reelection in Ohio. The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Kasich picking up 47% support while Strickland draws the vote from 39%. Seven percent (7%) prefer another candidate in the race while another seven percent (7%) are undecided. The latest results are little changed from those found two weeks ago, when Kasich attracted 48% of the vote while Strickland earned 40%. But the race had been close for months prior to the previous survey. Since December, the Republican’s support has ranged narrowly from 45% to 49%, while the Democrat in those same surveys has earned 38% to 45% of the vote. This race remains Leans Republican in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard. When leaners are included in the new totals, Kasich’s lead grows to 12 points. With the leaners, 52% favor Kasich, and 40% are for Strickland. Two weeks ago, Kasich held a 52% to 42% edge among leaners. Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. Early in any campaign, the numbers without leaners are generally more significant. Later in a campaign, the numbers with leaners matter more. After Labor Day, Rasmussen Reports will report the numbers with leaners as the primary indicators of the campaign. Seventy-five percent (75%) of supporters for both candidates are certain of how they will vote this November. Kasich earns the vote from 86% of Republicans, while Strickland is backed by 75% of Democrats. Kasich leads by a greater than two-to-one margin among voters in Ohio not affiliated with either major political party. (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The statewide survey of 750 Likely Voters in Ohio was conducted on August 30, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. The state’s U.S. Senate race is a toss-up, as Republican Rob Portman now holds a 44% to 39% lead over Democrat Lee Fisher. Other data from the survey will be released later this week at RasmussenReports.com/Ohio. Like voters nationwide, Ohio voters put the economy first in terms of how they vote. A plurality (48%) says economic issues are the most important in terms of how they vote, while fiscal issues take a distant second with 15%. Twelve percent (12%) say national security issues are most important to their vote, while another 12% name domestic issues such as social security and health care. Kasich and Strickland are almost even among voters who put economic issues first, with Strickland holding a small 45% to 42% lead. Kasich holds a dominant lead among voters who say fiscal issues are most important. Strickland still earns mostly negative reviews from voters for his job performance. While 39% approve of the job he’s doing in office, 59% disapprove. Those ratings are slightly worse than results found two weeks ago. Strickland, then a U.S. congressman, was elected governor in 2006 with 60% of the vote, but with Ohio one of the hardest hit states economically, he’s been wrestling with unemployment and budget issues for much of his time in office. Kasich, also a former congressman, has been working in recent years as an investment banker and part-time Fox News host. Kasich is viewed Very Favorably by 25% and Very Unfavorably by 17%. Strickland’s ratings are 22% Very Favorable, 31% Very Unfavorable.

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