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Kasich approval rises above 50% for first time

For the first time as governor, Republican John Kasich’s approval rating is over 50 percent — a key measure as he tries to rally public support for his two-year budget proposal and heads into a re-election cycle.

A poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University shows that 53 percent of voters approve of Kasich while 32 percent disapprove. This compares with a 42-35 percent rating for Kasich in a December 11 survey by Quinnipiac University.

The poll also found that Kasich holds between six and 10 point leads against four potential challengers in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

Right now, Kasich’s leads against the following Democratic contenders:

45 - 35 percent over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald

44 - 38 percent over former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray

44 - 36 percent over U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan

45 - 38 percent over former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton

“What a difference a few months make,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Not that long ago, Democrats were licking their lips at the prospect of taking on an unpopular governor who had a disapproval rating in the 50s. Now his job disapproval rating is just 32 percent and his chances of re-election appear to be much better than they were thought to be as recently as December.

“The good news for the Democrats is that Kasich does not get 50 percent of the votes against any of the four potential candidates. But he does have consistently good numbers on a number of measurements that indicate strength in the electorate.”

The poll surveyed 1,011 registered voters from Feb. 21 to Feb. 26 and has a margin or error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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