Almost half, 48 percent, of those surveyed said they would vote for Kasich compared to 36 percent for Fitzgerald, the Quinnipiac University Poll said. Kasich's lead has dipped slightly since May when Kasich led 50 percent of 35 percent.
More than half, 55 percent, said Kasich is doing a good job while 31 percent said they disapprove of his performance. Exactly half, 50 percent, said Kasich deserves another term.
Men support Kasich 55-31 while women are almost evenly split. Both candidates have strong support from members of their own parties, but Kasich has a 47-28 lead in the crucial independent bloc.
Peter Brown, the poll's assistant director, said Fitzgerald's biggest problem may be lack of name recognition.
"County Executive Ed FitzGerald is gaining little or no ground in his bid to unseat incumbent Gov. John Kasich. The Democratic nominee still has a long way to go with little more than three months until Election Day," Brown said. "Almost two-thirds of registered voters don't know enough about FitzGerald to have an opinion of him. That's an awful lot of Ohioans who still have to be introduced to him."
Some sitting governors are involved in close races this year. The most endangered appears to be Republican Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, who has run 20 percentage points behind his Democratic challenger in some polls.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,366 registered voters from July 24 to July 28. The margin of error for the entire sample is 2.7 points.