CEDARVILLE — Mike DeWine hasn’t even announced he’s running for governor and he’s already leading the Republican polls.
The Cedarville resident and current Ohio Attorney General received 47 percent of the votes in a survey compiled by American Freedom Builders that includes potential candidates in Secretary of State John Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Cong. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth.
DeWine also received 95 percent name recognition on the survey with a 71 percent favorable rating.
“I’m very pleased with the results,” DeWine said Feb. 1. “Very humbled by them. It’s not just name identification, the other big thing you always look for is favorable and unfavorable.”
Despite the solid numbers, DeWine was not ready to officially declare he is campaigning for governor.
“It is no secret that I’m very interested in running for governor in 2018,” he said. “It’s not the appropriate time yet to make the announcement. What I’m trying to do first and foremost is do my job as attorney general. We’re focused on what I’m doing. If I do what I need to do, every day, the election will take care of itself.”
If the survey can be used as a gauge, the rest of the would-be candidates have some work to do.
Of those surveyed, 71 percent had never heard of Renacci, 57 percent had never heard of Taylor and 33 had never heard of Husted. Just 5 percent said they had never heard of DeWine, who previously was lieutenant governor under George Voinovich in the early 1990s as well as a U.S. Senator and member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
That came as no surprise to DeWine, who is currently in his second term as the state’s top lawyer.
“Ohio’s a difficult state to get known in,” he said. “You’ve got at least seven major media markets. It’s just hard to get known across the state of Ohio. Some people watch West Virginia television stations, some watch Fort Wayne television stations. It’s not like a state where you’ve got one or two media markets. It takes a long time.”
American Freedom Builders is a nonprofit organization founded to educate and advocate for constitutional principles of limited government and free-market economic solutions.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.