Head to Head:
Ted Strickland would start out with the lead if John Kasich were to challenge him for Governor of Ohio in 2010, but it's certainly not an insurmountable advantage.
Strickland's approval rating is 48/35. In June we found it at 47/26, so while his approval has pretty much remained static over the last seven months, a number of people have moved from the 'no opinion' to the 'disapprove' column during that time.
A 42% plurality of voters in the state don't know enough about Kasich to have an opinion of him one way or the other. Among those who do, 34% see him favorably and 24% have an unfavorable perception of him.
One piece of good news for Strickland is that he leads Kasich 44-41 among white voters. The reason he only has a six point advantage overall is that the poll found him only winning 52-29 among black voters. Polling a long ways out from an election tends to underestimate black support for Democratic candidates but it seems likely Strickland will at least match the 77% he got against his African American opponent, Ken Blackwell, in 2006 or exceed it. Any Ohio Democrat who wins the white vote will win a contest for statewide office.
Nevertheless if Kasich decides to make the race this will be one to watch.
Full results here.