Just like every other week, today we got the latest poll from Rasmussen which essentially confirms what the latest Fox News poll said: this is a 5-7 point race, not a race where Kasich has a double-digit lead like the bipartisanly mocked Dispatch poll has claimed.
Two weeks ago, just as Strickland was beginning to go back on the air after giving the airwaves exclusively to Kasich and the RGA for six straight weeks of constant ads, Rasmussen showed Kasich with a 52% to 40% lead when leaners were included. A twelve-point lead.
Little over one week after this ad started to run:
And Kasich’s lead in Rasmussen’s polling has been cut nearly in half.
I don’t pay to subscribe to Rasmussen, so I don’t get to see the cross tabs. But Rasmussen gives enough detail to allow you to deduce where the movement has been. In the head-to-head, Kasich lost two points while Strickland gained three. Who moved?
Well, we know it wasn’t Democrats or Republicans. The support each candidate gets within their party barely moved.
88% of Republican likely voters are behind Kasich; two weeks ago that was 86%. Strickland went from having 75% to 77% of the likely Democratic vote. In other words, no statistically significant movement among the bases.
But note the language change in Rasmussen’s releases about independent voters.
Two weeks ago, Rasmussen said:
Kasich leads by a greater than two-to-one margin among voters in Ohio not affiliated with either major political party.
That means that Kasich was getting over 2/3rds of the Independent voters (over 66%). And over thirty-point advantage (according to Rasmussen.)
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the GOP candidate leads by more than 20 points.
Strickland’s Invacare ad cut Kasich’s lead in half because it turned off Independents to Kasich. Strickland also saw a small bump in his approval rating and a small dip in his disapproval rating.
This poll shows that there is real movement in favor of Strickland since they went back on the air.
The Jon Keelings of the world can scream about how ineffective Strickland’s Invacare ad backfired, etc., but the polling trends do not lie. Since Strickland has gone back on the air, the race has substantially tightened and Kasich’s edge with Independents is starting to slip away.
I think people like me can put away the paper sack we were breathing into two weeks ago. The good news is that I can sell to the Kasich folks who have to wonder if the ad about Kasich’s personal involvement in killing Ohio jobs and sending them to China and Mexico has done all the damage it’s going to do or not.