(CNN) - A new poll of Ohio voters indicates that the recession is taking a toll on Gov. Ted Strickland's approval rating, and could make his bid for re-election next year more difficult.
Forty-six percent of those questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday say they approve of how Strickland's handling his duties as governor of Ohio, 4 points higher than the 42 percent who disapprove. The 46 percent approval rating is down 11 points from two months ago, and marks the lowest approval rating for Strickland since February 2007, one month after he took office.
"The lousy economy and its impact on any politician's ability to deliver the goods have taken their toll on governors throughout the nation and now Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is feeling the heat," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "In addition, the squabbling over the state budget has taken its toll on Strickland's image, and that of the Legislature as well."
Strickland, a Democrat and former congressman, is up for re-election next year. The poll suggests that in a hypothetical head to head matchup, Strickland and former Republican congressman John Kasich, a possible challenger, are essentially deadlocked: Strickland draws 41 to Kasich's 40 percent. Kasich trailed Strickland by 12 points in the early May survey.
The Quinnipiac University telephone poll of 1,259 Ohio voters was conducted June 26-July 1. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.