This is apparently not an April’s Fools Day joke.? In less than four weeks, John Kasich has seen his only sizeable poll lead completely evaporate.

Jon Keeling has even announced on Twitter that it’s going to take him overnight to figure out a way to spin this into a positive.? When you’ve lost Rasmussen…. then you’re in trouble.

I’ll save Keeling the trouble of waiting from Kasich High Command before Keeling shares us his wisdom after he descends from the Virginia mountaintops:

Republicans peaked too soon.

Whether you want to believe either Quinnipiac or Rasmussen (or disbelieve one vs. the other, depending on your perspective), they both share the same conclusion:

Independents are flocking back to the Democratic ticket.? And not just in the Governor’s race.

Again, the Quinnipiac poll showed that Portman’s prior lead to Jennifer Brunner and Lee Fisher evaporated because independents moved from the R column into the D. Obama’s standing in Ohio went from decidedly disapproving to a split… in a month.?

Keeling tried a dishonest spin of the last Quinnipiac poll, too.? It, too, also showed the Kasich’s support with Independents was waning while they flocked back to Strickland.?

“Perhaps it’s the passage of the health care overhaul and the fact that people like being with a winner: There has been a small, but consistent movement toward Democratic candidates and causes in Ohio in the last month,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Whether this is the beginning of a long-term move or not won’t be clear for some time, perhaps until November.”

Quinnipiac also showed that Kasich no longer has any advantage on who voters think would be better on the economy or the budget (a stunning finding given that Kasich-Taylor’s entire selling point is supposed to be on budgetary issues.)? Strickland now leads on who they trust more in office to do what they say they’ll do and who shares their values.

Guess, what Rasmussen said?

Strickland seems to have made his biggest gains this month among voters not affiliated with either major party. A month ago, Kasich led among these voters by nearly three-to-one. Now the Republican’s lead among unaffiliateds is 49% to 40%.

There has been a sea change in Ohio, and it’s making the Ohio Republican Party seasick.? With stories that Jon Husted very well may lose the Republican primary for Secretary of State and a divisive civil war brewing with the Tea Party activists in that and the State Auditor race, the Ohio GOP has gone from looking like it might regain control of the Apportionment Board to… a Democratic sweep of the Apportionment Board.

Read that statement again.? Yes, for the first time, it’s possible to say that the Democrats could complete what we started in 2006.

David Pepper is building a unified party campaign for State Auditor; while the GOP nominee will have a major party riff to heal first.? We’re going to win the Secretary of State office.? And the Governor’s race is trending Strickland’s way.? His approval ratings are trending up, and Independents are coming back.

I’ll let James Carville and Stan Greenberg say it:

Republicans peaked too soon.

Keeling?? Any response?

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The sooner Democrats realize that the political environment is changing in our favor; the sooner the partisan “enthusiasm gap” dissipates.? And the more Jon Keeling struggles to explain away the polls he obsesses over so much.

And 2010 could become the election that got away from them.? Just imagine if their 1994-sized tidal wave was… Scott Brown?

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