Back in September, the Fisher campaign, and its willful allies in Old Media, were practically crowing about a Quinnpiac poll showing Fisher with his first beyond the margin of error, nine-point lead over Jennifer Brunner and significant, but tight lead over Republican Rob Portman in a general election matchup.
Brunner saw a five-point bounce in her head-to-head primary matchup with Fisher since September. That is significant movement. On the other hand, Lee technically lost two points that could be dismissed as statistical "noise" except that he also an eight-point slide in his favorability numbers since September. His unfavorability number is up by two, and more voters now say they don’t know enough about Fisher to form an opinion about him than they did back in September!
Where did Brunner’s bounce come from? Previously undecided registered Democratic voters. Although 51% of registered Democrats are still undecided, that four points less than felt that way in September, that accounts for most of Brunner’s bounce. As registered Democrats have starting to come off that fence, they are heavily breaking for Brunner.
At a time when voters clearly want to vote against the Establishment whom they blame for the continued economic problems, Lee Fisher is absolutely the wrong candidate at the wrong time.
In fact, I’d argue that Fisher’s numbers are actually inflated and his support is softer than people realize. Let’s face it, most registered Democrats very likely don’t even know that Lee Fisher was the Director of the Ohio Department of Development and took on the responsibility of economic development in Ohio. That’s why his numbers didn’t drop nearly as much as Governor Strickland’s. As that becomes known, and it’s only a matter of whether his primary opponent, or if he’s the nominee, Portman, is the first to educate voters on that fact (although Fisher’s website seems to broadcast that message rather well, too.), his support will collapse even further.
This is the problem for Old Media. They don’t get the average voter doesn’t care about the money primary that Old Media has been obsessing over. They don’t understand that the average voter doesn’t care that Old Media has decided that Brunner has no chance. In fact, the more Fisher and his friends in Old Media try to push Brunner out, the more the voters want her.
If you read the newspaper coverage before today, you’d think Brunner would be nuts not to drop out. I think it’s credible to say that Ohio’s progressive blogsphere, which has rejected Old Media’s narrative that Brunner is a lost cause, is partially responsible for Brunner’s bounce at a time when Old Media suggests is her campaign’s darkest hour.
It just goes to show you– they may buy your paper, but that doesn’t mean they buy your coverage.