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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Friday, February 21, 2014

State of the State early key in governor's race

It will be interesting to see what policy goals Gov. John Kasich unveils Feb. 24 during his annual State of the State speech in Medina.

But another key thing I’ll be watching to see is how the Republican governor portrays himself personally especially because he is up for re-election in November and the event will provide an early spotlight for him before Ohio voters.

After being elected in November 2010, Kasich appeared to lean more toward conservative ideology at first, but as his term evolved he’s taken some moderate positions, such as his push for Medicaid expansion in Ohio.

Kasich had work to do on his image and political standing after a statewide referendum repealed Senate Bill 5 in November 2011 that had aimed to strip many collective bargaining rights from workers.

Some say an apparent move toward the center that has angered some conservatives is part of an effort by the governor to attract more independent or moderate voters and even may be part of a strategy to perhaps run for president in 2016.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Feb. 19 that can be viewed online at showed a majority think Kasich is doing a good job and he enjoys a 51-36 percent job approval rating, virtually unchanged in the last 12 months.

Surveyed were 1,370 registered voters from Feb. 12-17, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Interviewers called land lines and cell phones.

The poll also showed the gap has slightly narrowed between Kasich and his main challenger Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, a Democrat.

It revealed Kasich has a slim 43-38 percent lead over FitzGerald, closing a gap from a Nov. 26 poll by the university that showed Kasich with a 44-37 lead.

Of course, this is just one poll and still very early in the campaign so perhaps voters aren’t yet fully paying attention, but there are some other interesting points the survey highlights.

For example, it showed Kasich leads 82-6 percent among Republicans and 43-31 percent among independent voters, while Democrats go to FitzGerald 74-11 percent. Men back the Republican 49-33 percent while women back the Democrat 42-37 percent.

Ohio voters say 61-31 percent that Kasich is a strong leader and say 52-35 percent that he is honest and trustworthy, but are divided on whether he cares about their needs and problems, as 43 percent say he cares and 47 percent say he doesn’t care.

The governor gets a 42-30 percent favorability rating and voters say 46-42 percent he deserves to be re-elected.

For FitzGerald, the poll revealed that 70 percent didn’t know enough about him now to form an opinion.
But the encouraging news for FitzGerald is he still has plenty of time to make his case and he’s not likely that far behind.

Lake County Dems endorsements

Officially endorsed Feb. 15 by the Lake County Democratic Party were Thaddeus Jackson, Ed Jerse and Kenny Yuko for Ohio Senate District 25; John Rogers for Ohio House District 60; Rick Walker for Ohio House District 61; Daniel P. Troy for commissioner; Timothy P. Cannon and Cynthia Westcott Rice for 11th District Court of Appeals; Colleen A. Falkowski for Domestic Relations Court judge; Ron Graham and Dennis N. LoConti for Common Pleas Court judge; Lisa Klammer for Probate Court judge; and Mark Schneider for state central committee 18th Senate District.

Geauga GOP Lincoln Day

State Auditor Dave Yost will be the featured speaker March 29 for the Geauga County Republican Party Lincoln Day event at the E.O.U.V. in Russell Township. Further details are forthcoming.


  • Troy hosts Mardi Gras Party on Fat Tuesday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 4 at LaMalfa Party Center. See Kip Molenaar.
  • Lake County Commissioner Robert E. Aufuldish hosts St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, 5 to 7:30 p.m. March 20 at LaMalfa Party Center. See Kathie Aufuldish-Freshour or Ernie Koenig.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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