FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich delivers his State of the State address in Lima, Ohio. As they gear up for re-election, many GOP governors, particularly those across the upper Midwest, find themselves in positions of strength, having benefited from improving economies, if not changes of heart over their policies. Kasich scored a victory when the legislature approved his agenda to lower taxes on income and businesses, specifically the state’s growing energy sector. And unemployment has tumbled steadily, from more than 9 percent when he took office to 7 percent in April. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File) Ohio Gov. John Kasich delivers his State of the State address in Lima, Ohio, on Feb. 19, 2013. (Rick Osentoski/Associated Press)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) scores his highest job approval rating ever in a new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday, and he holds double-digit leads over potential Democratic opponents.

Fifty-four percent of Ohio voters say they approve of the job Kasich is doing, while 32 percent say they disapprove. Since 2011, Kasich's image has recovered dramatically. His approval rating was once mired in the 30s.

Part of Kasich's success appears to be due to the way Ohioans view the economy. A plurality (44 percent) say it is getting better, and about half (52 percent) say they approve of the way the Republican governor is handling it.

Nearly half of voters say Kasich deserves to be reelected. He leads Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald (R) 47 percent to 33 percent in the poll, with women  split over the two. Fitzgerald announced his campaign for governor in April. Most voters say they don't know enough about him to form an opinion yet.

Kasich also leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, a possible candidate, 47 percent to 36 percent.