While his numbers are still decent, the drop is noticeable and troubling for the current Administration. Via the Dayton Daily News:
"...voters disapprove of Strickland’s handling of the economy, 45-39 percent. In a poll released Feb. 5, voters approved of Strickland’s handling of the economy, 44-37 percent."That's a 14 point swing in just over a month. And it's going to get worse.
How does he do against Kasich? Well, he still whoops his butt. 51-31. The good news? Kasich has gained 10 points since the last poll in February. An interesting aside -- Kasich performs weakest in southeast Ohio, Strickland's base. But there is a chip that has yet to be played in this region and it's summed up in this March 7 headline from the Columbus Dispatch: Strickland's school-funding plan faulted in southeastern Ohio
Speaking of education, the Guv's #1 priority despite the economy being in the toilet, Ohioans are losing faith there as well.
[On February 5,] by 42 - 22 percent voters believed that the Governor's plan would improve education in Ohio. Now, it's almost a wash, with 31 percent thinking that same way, 29 percent saying no, and 40 percent not sure.So to put this plainly -- by a majority, Ohioans disapprove of Governor Strickland in the two most important issues facing the State today -- the economy and education. And just as important, this happened without anyone but the media and individual's own experiences morphing their opinions. In other words, without an announced opponent pointing it out.
Allowing approval of Governor Strickland to fall 'on its own'(for lack of a better term) lends these beliefs to become more inherent into the voter psyche. If Strickland had an announced opponent right now, the opponent's criticism would be welcomed with a sense of cynicism by swing voters. Furthermore, Strickland could deflect the issue by refocusing the media onto Republican 'plans' for the economy and education. Finally, the media would be more focused on learning more about the new GOP nominee than targeting Strickland's failures.
Instead, voters are developing an understanding, without anything to distract them, of what Strickland has let happen to the great State of Ohio.
This poll has provided yet another reason why the political environment isn't quite ripe for Kasich to officially enter the fray.
Be patient, Ohio. It will happen.