Answer is likely yes, it did.
Since November (the last Quinny poll), the race went from a dead heat to a five-point lead for Governor Strickland (44% to 39%). Despite the addition of Mary Taylor to the ticket, the Strickland-Brown ticket has a major advantage with female voters (48% to 33%).
Strickland now splits Independent voters, a key demographic.
Strickland’s improvement is across the board with both his favorability (+7 point jump) and approval ratings (+3 point jump) receiving a sizeable boost. Meanwhile, Kasich continues to remain largely unknown (62% of voters still don’t know enough about John Kasich to form an opinion about him), and even worse for him, he is becoming increasing unpopular (he’s tied his worse showing on unfavorable opinions).
Strickland not only has his party’s voters more strongly behind him, but in the head to head, he actually takes more Republicans voters from Kasich than Kasich takes of Democratic voters.
The only bright spot for Kasich in this poll? Kasich leads Strickland by six-points on which candidate voters think would do better rebuilding Ohio’s economy and handling the State budget. But then again, these are the same voters who 62% don’t know enough about John Kasich to form an opinion about him. As Kasich is defined by his reckless tax plan, even that advantage will continue to crumble.
Even if you look at the Rasmussen polls (which show Kasich ahead), you’d note that over the last three months the Republican advantage in both that race and the Senate race has been slowly shrinking.
I’ll continue to watch the polls, but we’ve may have seen a political environment that may have peaked too soon for the Republicans.