(ht Schecter and friends) Peter Brown, Asst. Director at the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute has a piece today about the dark cloud over Ohio for the GOP:

In fact, polls of Ohio voters are finding them less inclined to support GOP candidates, less likely to consider themselves Republican than in the recent past, and giving higher ratings to potential Democratic candidates with a consistency that should set off alarm bells at the Republican National Committee.

As we know, there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip. Ohio Dems should know this all too well, but the tea leaves do look pretty good. Brown points out many reasons why those down on South Fifth might need to stock up on Pepto:

* The war in Iraq and President Bush are at least as unpopular in Ohio as both are nationally, perhaps even slightly more so.

* The previous Republican governor, Bob Taft, left office in January with a job approval rating in the teens – the lowest in the country – after an administration beset by scandal and loss of support even among Republicans.

* The Ohio economy is not doing as well as the rest of the country. In fact, two-thirds of Ohioans told a Quinnipiac University poll last month that the state’s economy was “not so good,” or “poor.”

* New Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has a job approval rating in the same Quinnipiac poll of 53 percent favorable, 12 percent unfavorable.

With the wide margin growing in political affiliation and the climate in Ohio being one of having a new team on board making progress, I like the chances for more wins in the state. As always, it will take great candidates, campaigns, staffs, and activists all making it happen. Will be fun to watch. The message to Dems is pretty clear. Head down and grow the gap. Focus on the job at hand and continue to work to turn the state around. Oh, and watch for the stupid makers.

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