Wow…. that ad is more effective that I realized!

Yesterday, I wrote:

Despite an attempt by Chabot’s campaign and outside Republican groups to tout some, well, laughable poll numbers, the race is still considered a tossup, even as forecasters like Charlie Cook have gotten more bullish on the GOP’s chances of retaking the House.

Almost immediately after writing that post, we started to see conservatives (who denying reading us like they’ve never seen a Playboy, but for some unknown reason felt compelled to say something about the race immediately after my post) tweeting about how the “most recent” polling showed Chabot with something like a fifteen point lead—never mind that it was done by a shadowy conservative group with no proven track record in polling.

However, that’s not what the most recent publicly released polling showed.  Those conservatives were wrong even on that fact.

Yesterday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported:

A poll out today froma conservative group shows GOP challenger Steve Chabot with a scanty lead over Rep. Steve Driehaus.

The poll from the American Action Forum shows Chabot leading 47 % to 45 %, though the poll’s margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.

You’d have to believe that the race is actually at the lower end for Driehaus’ possible margin of error and at the highest possible end for Chabot’s margin of error to get a Chabot double-digit lead.  Unlikely that a conservative organization polled that favorable for Driehaus.

Here’s a few of the surprising observations from the poll:

  • “President Obama draws a 50 to 42 percent favorable to unfavorable rating.”
  • Health care reform isn’t much of a draw in the district.  Only 7% of the respondents called it an important issue, roughly 41 points behind the economy.
  • At 39-34, voters (according to this conservative poll), believe that Chabot would “will do the right thing to fix the health care reform bill” over Driehaus.
  • Voters split as to which candidate has better ideas for the country.
  • The memo calls Driehaus’ support for health care reform “his greatest weakness,” but the polling data shows that only by a margin of 49% to 41% did respondents say they opposed the bill.
  • More voters say Driehaus’ support for health care reform (48%) makes no real difference if they’ll support him in the fall vs. 39% who say it makes them “much less likely to support him.”  Another 10% say it make them “somewhat less likely to support him.”  In other words, at best, Driehaus’ biggest weakness is a draw.
  • Only 8% cited government spending as their top issue; 22% say a candidate that will “control government spending” will most likely affect their vote.
  • There wasn’t a single issue they tested where Chabot got a majority vote over Driehaus as being better to handle that issue.

I haven’t seen any internals from Driehaus’ campaign or the DCCC.  But I can tell you that this poll describes the environment far more closely to what I’m hearing, across Ohio, from the Congressional campaigns.  Most voters are not angry over the health care bill; they’re worried about keeping or finding a job and keeping their house.

Little over sixty days until the election and former Congressman Steve Chabot finds himself in a dead heat race while offering no plans on the issues at all while attacking Dreihaus on his “greatest weakness”  which only splits the district.

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This isn’t exactly what the NRCC was expecting from a former incumbent who has been running non-stop since he lost in 2008.

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