Kasich Leads FitzGerald By Comfortable Margin, But Trails Clinton In '16 Matchup

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UPDATED: Thursday May 15, 2014 12:05 PM

A new Quinnipiac poll finds Gov John Kasich in a strong position for reelection less than six months before Election Day, but he trails Hillary Clinton in Ohio in a hypothetical matchup for president in 2016.

The poll finds Kasich with a 50 to 35 percent lead over Democratic nominee Ed FitzGerald.  Kasich's approval rating is 56 percent, with only 33 percent disapproval.

"Kasich has opened up a 15-point lead in his reelection race as voters give him sterling grades for his job performance, especially on the economy," said pollster Peter Brown.  "These numbers are crucial because the economy and jobs are the most important issues in the minds of voters."

Ohio voters approve 53 to 38 percent the way Kasich is handling Ohio's economy.  Half of voters, 50 percent, say the state economy is better now than it was four years ago.

The poll results may be reflective of an early television ad buy from Kasich's campaign.  In addition, the Republican Governors Association has paid for two ads that have aired in markets across the state.

While Kasich leads FitzGerald comfortably, there is at least one Democrat in Ohio more popular.

The Quinnipiac poll finds former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leading Kasich in Ohio by 47 to 42 percent in a hypothetical matchup for president in 2016.

Of the possible GOP contenders polled - Bush, Christie, Cruz, Huckabee, Kasich, Paul, Rubio and Ryan - Clinton has a higher favorability rating.

President Obama's approval rating in Ohio remains low at 39 percent.

"Although he's not on the ballot this November, such a consistently low rating can't be helpful to the Democratic ticket, especially FitzGerald who trails Kasich and remains somewhat unknown to Ohio voters," said Brown.  "If the president's numbers remain in the basement, look for Kasich's TV ads to tie FitzGerald to the president."

The poll also found Senator Sherrod Brown with a 49 percent approval rating and Sen Rob Portman with 44 percent approval.

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