Independents in Ohio are way down on Governor Ted Strickland and he continues to trail John Kasich in PPP's polling of the race. The good news for Democrats is that the Kasich lead is getting smaller. He's up 43-41 this month after holding a 42-37 advantage in a March PPP survey of the race.
The continuing small Republican lead in this race has very little to do with Kasich and everything to do with Strickland's poor approval numbers. Only 37% of voters in the state give him good marks while 48% disapprove of how he's doing. Republicans are much stronger in their disapproval (79%) of Strickland than Democrats are in their approval (61%). Independents also split against him by a 36/47 margin.
Kasich is an unknown to 41% of voters in the state and for those who do have an opinion it leans toward being a negative one- 30% have an unfavorable view of him to 28% with a positive one. That's a change from PPP's last poll of the race when Kasich still had slightly positive favorability numbers and an indication that early attacks on Kasich are having some impact.
In the head to head Strickland and Kasich are doing basically identically good jobs at locking up the support of their parties. 73% of Republicans are going for Kasich and 72% of Democrats are going for Strickland. But Kasich holds the slight overall lead thanks to a 45-26 advantage with independents. That overwhelming support with them has held constant in PPP's polling of the race over the last year. In March Kasich was ahead 47-24 with independents and in June 2009 it was 54-33.
This race has looked like a tossup for more than a year now and these numbers don't do much to change that reality.
Full results here