Plagued by the economic downturn, Ohio’s Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland finds himself trailing former Rep. John Kasich in the state’s gubernatorial race, according to an Ohio Newspaper Poll conducted Jan. 13-19.
Kasich leads Strickland 51 percent to 45 percent with 5 percent undecided. The margin of error is 3.4 points. Strickland won election as governor in 2006 with 60 percent of the vote.
“If the election were held tomorrow, we might be talking about how a bad economy contributed to a political environment that had voters in the mood to fire their incumbent governor,” said poll director Eric Rademacher of the University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research.
Strickland is still seen positively, though not by a large margin. Fifty percent approve of the job he is doing while 45 percent disapprove, with 5 percent undecided.
But he is seeking re-election at a time when 58 percent say economic conditions in Ohio are getting worse. Forty-seven percent say their standard of living is worse than it was four years ago while 44 percent say it is about the same. That said, only 3 percent blame Strickland’s administration for the state’s economic woes.
Twenty-four percent blame Ohio’s economic problems on the Bush administration, 23 percent finger Wall Street and financial institutions, 19 percent blame the Congress and 13 percent blame the Obama administration.