Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the first-term Republican, is almost dead even with a generic Democratic opponent, despite his rising job approval numbers according to a poll released earlier this month by Public Policy Polling.
Kasich is up for re-election in 2014.
The poll, conducted Nov. 3-4 among 1,000 Ohio likely voters, asked this question: "If there was an election for governor today, would you vote for Republican John Kasich or his Democratic opponent?"
Kasich had the support of 44 percent; the generic Democrat had 43 percent; and 13 percent said they are not sure.
Kasich's job approval rating was 45 percent, with 40 percent saying they disapprove of his performance as governor and 15 percent saying they are not sure.
The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
There are any number of potential Democratic gubernatorial candidates, including former governor Ted Strickland, whom Kasich defeated in 2010; former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray, now an Obama administration official; Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles.
In the same poll, issued before the Nov. 6 election, Public Policy Polling had President Obama with a five percentage point lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Ohio. In the end, Obama won Ohio by three percentage points.
Public Policy Polling, based in North Carolina, is a Democratic polling firm, but this poll was not paid for by any candidate or political organization.