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Poll: FitzGerald Narrows Gap With Kasich In Governor’s Race


UPDATED: Wednesday February 19, 2014 4:01 PM

A new poll shows Gov. John Kasich is leading his likely Democratic opponent Ed FitzGerald, but the gap has narrowed since November.

The Quinnipiac University poll has Kasich at 43 percent and FitzGerald at 38 percent.  Kasich led 44 to 37 percent in November.

"The race to become Ohio's next governor is a five-point game," said pollster Peter Brown.  "However, relatively few Ohioans, less than three in ten, know enough about FitzGerald to have an opinion about him.  That's a double edged sword for the challenger.  It indicates he has not made much headway in the past three months, but it does provide him with an opportunity to make up ground among the vast number of voters who are unfamiliar with him."

Kasich's approval rating is 51 percent, but only 46 percent of those polled say he deserves to be reelected.

FitzGerald continues to struggle with name identification, with 70 percent of those polled saying they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

"This race is likely to be a 45 to 45 percent battle when you factor in the base vote for each side," said 10TV political analyst Jim Heath.  "Every dollar we see spent from both campaigns from here to Election Day will attempt to appeal to the truly undecided 10 percent.  And many of them won't make up their mind until late October or early November."

Campaign strategists say there are many historical factors to gage when considering where the undecided voters will go including campaign fundraising, the national political environment, and whether voters believe they are better off now than the last election.

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