Ohio Gov. John Kasich's poll numbers keep getting better: He boasts his best-ever job approval rating in a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday, with 55 percent of voters approving of the Republican's performance and just 32 percent disapproving.
Voters say 49 percent to 37 percent that the governor deserves to be reelected, and he leads his likely Democratic challenger, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, 47 percent to 33 percent. The poll also measures Kasich's support against Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, who hasn't ruled out running: The governor leads him, 47 percent to 36 percent. Most Democrats don't expect Cordray to get in the race -- everyone from Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown to state Democratic chair Chris Redfern to a majority of the state's Democratic county chair have now declared their support for FitzGerald's candidacy.
Kasich's leads over both men are similar to an April Quinnipiac poll that found him beating FitzGerald, 46 percent to 37 percent, and Cordray, 45 percent to 38 percent.
While Kasich has a 47 percent to 28 percent favorability rating, the two Democrats suffer from low name identification. More than three-fourths of voters say they don't know enough about FitzGerald to form an opinion, and 66 percent say the same about Cordray, who previously served as Ohio's attorney general.
Kasich's numbers have seen a notable turnaround over the past several months -- more than 50 percent of voters disapproved of him in late 2011, and just 42 percent approved of him as recently as December of 2012. He appears to be benefiting from a perception that the economy is improving: 44 percent say the state's economy is improving, with 42 percent saying it's unchanged. Among those believing it's getting better, a whopping 91 percent give at least some credit to the Kasich Administration -- significantly more than the 63 percent who say the Obama Administration deserves some of the credit. And voters approve, 52 percent to 37, percent of Kasich's handling of the economy.
The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 941 registered voters from June 18-23 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.2 percentage points.