A commanding lead among male voters has made Ohio Gov. John Kasich the early favorite for re-election in 2014, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday morning.
Kasich, a first-term Republican, leads his two most likely Democratic challengers, Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, who is actively campaigning; and former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray, who is up for re-appointment as the Obama administration's chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
According to the poll, Kasich leads FitzGerald with 46 percent to the Democrat's 37 percent. Matched up against Cordray, Kasich has 45 percent to Cordray's 38 percent.
There is a striking difference among male voters - Kasich leads FitzGerald by 19 percentage points among men and Cordray by 18 percentage points.
"In a state where self-described Democrats outnumber Republicans 35-27 percent, Kasich seems to be in reasonably good shape as he looks ahead to the 2014 gubernatorial election,'' said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Kasich is also strong among independent voters, among whom he leads FitzGerald by 20 percentage points and Cordray by 17 percentage points.
His job approval remains above 50 percent - 52 percent, to be exact. In a February Quinnipiac Poll, Kasich had a 53 percent job approval rating.
The Connecticut university's polling institute surveyed 1,138 registered Ohio voters between April 10-15. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percent.