(CNN) – Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is making a modest rebound in polls, a new survey released Tuesday shows.
According to the Quinnipiac University poll, 48 percent of Ohio voters approve of the job that Strickland is doing as governor, with 4 in 10 disapproving. The 48 percent approval rating is up 3 points from a November 2009 rating of 45 percent, which was the Democratic governor's lowest score in Quinnipiac polling since he won office in 2006.
The survey indicates that Strickland, who's battling for a second term, leads probable Republican challenger John Kasich 44 percent to 39 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup. Strickland and Kasich, a former congressman, were deadlocked at 40 percent in Quinnipiac's November poll.
"There has been an improvement in voters' views of Gov. Ted Strickland," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The movement is a few points, but it is consistent across a number of measures. Voters, however, remain negative on his handling of the state budget and the state economy."
According to the poll, 52 percent of Ohio voters disapprove of the job Barack Obama's doing as president, with 44 approving how he is performing in the White House. That's a slight drop from November, due mostly to a big drop among independent voters. Fifty-six percent of those questioned disapprove of the current health care reform plans passed by the House and Senate, but 53 percent say Obama and Congress should keep trying to pass a reform bill.
"Given that President Obama carried the state with more than 51 percent of the vote, these numbers mean many Ohioans who were in his corner have now deserted him," adds Brown.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted February 16-21, and 1,662 Ohio voters were questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn