[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/14/art.strickland.file4.ohio.jpg caption ="Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland holds a small lead over his Republican challenger in his bid this year for a second term in office."](CNN) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland holds a small lead over his Republican challenger in his bid this year for a second term in office, according to a new poll.
The Quinnipiac University survey, released Tuesday morning, also indicates that more Ohio voters favor than oppose passing an immigration law similar to the new controversial measure in Arizona.
Forty-three percent of those questioned in the poll say they support Strickland, with 38 percent backing former Rep. John Kasich, and 15 percent unsure. Strickland's lead is just within the survey's sampling error. His advantage is basically unchanged from Quinnipiac polls conducted in March and April.
According to the survey, Strickland overwhelming leads among Democrats and Kasich among Republicans, with Strickland holding a slight 40 to 37 percent advantage among Independents.
"Incumbents generally start a campaign with a name recognition edge and that is certainly the case in the governor's race. Sometimes as the challenger becomes better known the race narrows. That has yet to happen in this case, although the share of voters who do not know enough about Kasich to form an opinion is at 52 percent, down from 62 percent April 29," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The survey also indicates that a majority of Ohio voters disapprove of how Strickland's handling the economy and the state budget, and by a 48 to 31 percent margin say he hasn't kept his campaign promises.
"Kasich still has four months until Election Day and Strickland's other numbers show his potential vulnerability, but at this point the Governor remains ahead despite the anti-incumbency wave sweeping the country," says Brown. "The good news for Strickland is that he is ahead. Nevertheless, when an incumbent governor is getting less than 45 percent of the vote four months out, it should make him concerned."
Strickland held a five point lead over Kasich in a University of Cincinnati Ohio poll conducted last month.
Forty-eight percent of Ohio voters questioned in the Quinnipiac survey approve of Arizona's immigration law, with 28 percent opposed, but they are split on whether the measure will lead to discrimination against Hispanics and Latinos.
The recently enacted Arizona law initially allowed police to ask anyone for proof of legal U.S. residency, based solely on a police officer's suspicion that the person might be in the country illegally. Arizona lawmakers soon amended the law so that officers could check a person's status only if the person had been stopped or arrested for another reason.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted June 22-27, with 1,107 registered Ohio voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.