-John Kasich's seen a remarkable improvement in his image over the last year. When PPP polled Ohio in August of 2011 Kasich's approval rating was just 36% with 53% of voters disapproving of him and he trailed Ted Strickland 54-39 in a hypothetical rematch of their 2010 contest. Now he's pulled even on his approval numbers, with 41% of voters both approving and disapproving of him. And he leads a generic Democrat by a 43-39 margin in head to head contest. Florida's Rick Scott and obviously Wisconsin's Scott Walker have also seen their poll numbers improve a good deal this year. The 2010 GOP class of Governors is seeing some improvement as it goes along.
-Rob Portman didn't get picked as Mitt Romney's running mate, but the public speculation about him may have helped his image in Ohio. 38% of voters approve of the job he's doing, the best number we've found for him since he took office, to 31% who disapprove. He's gained 6 points from a 32% approval rating when we last polled the state in late June. Portman's seen a particularly large rise with Republicans from +31 (50/19) in June to now +45 (59/14).
-Ohio voters are with the Obama administration on the early voting issue. 61% think the entire early voting period should be available to all voters, compared to only 30% who believe the last three days should be only for members of the military. Democrats (80/15) and independents (66/25) overwhelmingly think it should be available to everyone in the final three days while Republicans (39/48) disagree and think it should be military only.
-Ohio voters don't have a particularly high opinion of John Boehner. Only 35% approve of the job he's doing as Speaker of the House to 45% who disapprove. Republicans nevertheless have a 45-41 lead on the generic Congressional ballot in the state, including a 38-26 advantage with independents.
-Ohio State fans are happy with the job Urban Meyer is doing so far as their football coach. 60% approve, while only 2% disapprove. 38% say they're not sure and are presumably waiting to see the on field product. Nevertheless there's still considerable division within the Buckeye fan base about whether it would rather have Meyer or Jim Tressel as its coach. 38% say they're happy with Meyer, but 33% would still prefer Tressel. 65% of the Buckeye faithful see Tressel favorably to 14% with a negative opinion and clearly those feelings are still pretty strong.
-37% of Ohio voters identify themselves as Browns fans to 21% who go with the Bengals. But they're realistic about the calibers of the respective teams- 40% think the Bengals will have a better season to 26% who pick the Browns.
Full results here