Poll: FitzGerald, still largely unknown, trails Kasich by 12 percentage points

Jul 30, 2014

Ed FitzGerald
Credit Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald trails incumbent Republican John Kasich by 12 percentage points and is still not well known to about two-third of Ohio voters, according to an independent poll released this morning.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which polls voters in key states, has Kasich with 48 percent to FitzGerald’s 36 percent.

In May, Kasich led FitzGerald by 15 percentage points in the last Quinnipiac Poll.

Perhaps the worst news for FitzGerald, who is the Cuyahoga County executive, is that 65 percent of those polled said they don’t know enough about the Democrat to have a favorable or unfavorable opinion – despite the fact that he has been campaigning statewide for more than a year-and-a-half.

Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipac Poll, said FitzGerald has “gained little or no ground” in his campaign to unseat the first-term Republican governor.

“The Democratic nominee still has a long way to go with little more than three months to election day,’’ Brown said in a news release accompanying the poll. “Almost two-thirds of registered voters don’t know enough about FitzGerald to have an opinion of him. That’s an awful lot of Ohioans who still have to be introduced to him.”

Kasich, as the incumbent, is much better known – 21 percent of those polled said they didn’t know enough about him to form an opinion. But 46 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Kasich, while 30 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of the governor.

FitzGerald’s campaign went up on broadcast and cable TV with its first TV ad around the state two weeks ago. Kasich’s campaign has been running TV ads for months.

The Democrat is at a severe financial disadvantage in terms of campaign dollars. According to campaign finance reports filed in June, Kasich had raised $9.3 million to $1.9 million for FitzGerald.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute surveyed 1,366 registered Ohio voters between last Thursday and Monday. Interviewers called both land lines and cell phones. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.7 percent.

You can read the full poll here.