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Hard road to re-election for Kasich?

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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.

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.