The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ohio’s Kasich cruises to reelection

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) easily won reelection Tuesday. (Tony Dejak/AP)
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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) won an easy reelection Tuesday, brushing back a challenge from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D).

Kasich was once one of the Democrats’ biggest targets: After signing controversial legislation on collective bargaining rights and changes to voting procedures, his approval ratings plunged into the mid-30s. But he rebounded, bolstered by a recovering economy, and his approval ratings topped 50 percent in recent polls.

FitzGerald proved a flawed candidate, too: His first pick for a running mate had to drop out of the race over revelations that he owed thousands in back taxes. FitzGerald was also hurt by revelations that he had been questioned by police when he was found in a parked car with a woman who was not his wife at 4:30 in the morning.

Democrats initially planned to spend millions of dollars against Kasich, though they pulled out early after FitzGerald’s poll numbers collapsed. Public surveys in late October showed Kasich leading by more than 20 points.

Kasich is considered a potential presidential contender in 2016. The former House Budget Committee chairman who left politics before running for governor in 2010 has not made some of the overt moves toward a run that others have, but advisers are quietly laying the foundation if he decides to run.