Kasich began the week with a new ad on education—something that seemed incredibly off-message on a campaign that has said it is focused exclusively on jobs and on an issue that Democrats traditionally win.  Kasich has not  announced any concrete plan for education, which made the decision to do an ad on education even more bizarre.  That, including with Kasich’s comments about scrapping Gov. Strickland’s evidence-based model, lead to a week of headlines across Ohio that Kasich’s education plan would result in higher property taxes across the State.  Not exactly the kind of headlines the Kasich campaign was hoping for in the final week before early voting.

Kasich did get the endorsement of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, but that resulted in Ohio’s largest utility very noisily backing out of an organization one of its top executives sat on its Board in protest.

I’ve been told by multiple sources who have been incredibly reliable in the past that Franklin County GOP Chairman Doug Priesse—a close Kasich associate—and Mary Taylor have told people that their own internals show the race similar to what the Ohio Poll, Fox News, and Strickland’s internals. shows.  It makes sense given that the Kasich campaign released a new ad that for the first time mentioned Strickland by name and attacked him as Strickland’s ads have becoming increasingly more positive and just better.

The Ohio Poll, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, is widely accepted by journalists and political consultants by both sides as the “gold standard” of Ohio polling.  Nate Silver actually rates it FIFTH overall in all of his pollster rankings.


The Ohio Poll shows the Governor’s race as tight as Strickand’s internals.  In fact, exactly where the Strickland campaign’s internals that they disclosed to the media to end the media reporting that this was somehow a double-digit race.

The Senate race, at least as the Ohio Poll shows it, looks doomed.  The Dayton Daily News is the only outlet that put the entire poll online.  The graphics  to the left are from the Akron Beacon Journal.  The only positive in Fisher’s poll numbers is that he leads with young voters—which are expected to be the least likely to turn out demographic.

Closing the gap with Independents

One of the interesting findings of the poll is that Strickland is in a dead heat among independents, with a statistically insignificant one-point lead.  All prior polling has shown Kasich with a double-digit lead with independents, but with Strickland quickly closing the gap.

Cuyahoga County Corruption Probe is becoming a major problem statewide.

What has to be troubling for both campaigns is that the Ohio Poll actually shows that Northeast Ohio is a dead heat.  Some people I’ve talked on background dismissed the Columbus Dispatch’s poll because it showed Kasich leading Strickland in the region.  However, it’s getting harder and harder to avoid the reality that the Cuyahoga Democratic corruption scandal is creating a substantial dampener on support for Democrats up and down the ticket that has statewide implications.

Not even Republicans and people who support the Tea Party blame Strickland over the economy.  Congressional incumbents should be concerned, however.

Among the other findings, only 5% of Ohio likely voters blame the Strickland Administration for the economic condition of the State.  By far, the Bush Administration gets blamed by 25% with the Obama Administration and Congress getting 18% of the blame apiece.  However, Independents blame Congress by a statistically insignificant lead over Bush, and overall the Obama Administration and Congress was blamed by slightly more likely voters for the economy than Wall Street.  Only 9% of likely Republican voters blame Strickland for the economy in Ohio.  More people chose the catch-all (Someone Else or Don’t Know) than blamed Strickland!

The enthusiasm gap

The poll shows a 21-point gap between the number of Republican voters who are extremely to very enthusiastic about the election compared to Democratic voters.  That is larger than we saw in the Politico/Battleground poll.  However, 65% of the likely Democratic vote is either extremely or very enthusiastic about the election.  So it’s not like our voters aren’t motivated to vote.  It’s just that they aren’t as excited about voting as Republicans are.  I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that the media keeps telling people before a single vote has been cast what a great election this is going to be for the Republicans.  Independents, it should be noted, as as enthused, or not enthused, as Democrats.  This isn’t the Great Independent Revolt as portrayed.  It’s mostly all from the far right wing of the Republican Party looking for electoral payback.

Kasich’s pledge to not increase taxes not very popular outside of his base.

As for Kasich’s promise to only reduce the State’s projected deficit without tax increases?  It’s actually very unpopular. Only 37% support Kasich’s approach as opposed to 52% who’d rather see a combination of spending cuts and tax increases instead.26CGPOLLB.jpg

  • Adrienne

    Didn’t you know that TGOP don’t like evidence unless you can turn use it to convict someone of a crime?

    They do better just lying and making stuff up like those great tax cuts that created all of those great jobs in
    and the tax cuts that created the bubble that burst destroying the remainder of the economy not devoted to wiping rich people’s behinds and other services exclusive to fat cat evil Wall $treet crooks.

  • Dennis Spisak

    Yup, I figured Brian would believe this poll was accurate…..Ted’s only a few points down….but if the poll showed Ted-Head down 10 points, the poll would have been flawed……

    C,mon Brian, take off your cheerleader skirt…..your rah-rah act is getting old.

  • Anonymous


    I know you’re upset that your boyfriend John Kasich, who you love to parrot in your anti-Strickland screeds, isn’t doing even better, but all I’ve said is that any poll showing more than a 4-7 point lead is not to be believed. A majority of the recent polling data (Ohio Poll, Rasmussen, CNN/Time, Fox News, and both campaigns’ internals) say that I’m right. Meanwhile, national pundits like Stu Rothernberg said that my criticisms about the Dispatch poll was well-founded. Neither you nor any other Kasich defender has so much attempted to try to rebut my criticizisms of the obvious flaws of the Quinnipiac poll, which shows a margin three times larger than a majority of the recent polling.

  • Dennis Spisak

    John Kasich is not my boyfriend, he might be yours, but let’s not discuss your personal night life.

    If Ted Strickland were a Republican, you would be calling for his head.
    The bottom line is, the boy from Duck Run has done a lousy job at running this state….except to run it into the ground.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t quote John Kasich favorable. You do, routinely. If Ted Strickland were a Republican, he wouldn’t be Governor because he’s too progressive for that party.

    Sixth fastest growing economy in the State. Tuition increases kept to national minimiums. Leading the nation in green jobs.

    Dennis, you don’t even run a school district.

  • Anastasjoy

    I’m concerned about Northeast Ohio too — not that I think it’s actually tied, but I’m worried about whether people will even come out. The “everyone’s corrupt; why bother” attitude that the Plainly Republican (Plain Dealer) has laid the groundwork for in the past two and a half years has born fruit — we saw the dismal turnout in the primary for the “most important election in Cuyahoga County history.” The Plain Dealer has been actively working to destroy the Democratic Party. They may say that’s not true, but that’s the effect of their reckless, broad-brush coverage. Well, if Kasich gets elected, fewer people will even be able to afford a newspaper subscription and they might go under. As a journalist, that idea used to depress me but now I’m just, whatever.

    In addition, the anger here against Lee Fisher seems to not be abating. If anything it’s growing, and the number of Democratic activists I run into sitting out this year increases daily. Fisher apparently thinks he has this area sewed up. He doesn’t talk to us, he doesn’t show up at important events, all we hear is “He has to be in southern Ohio because people don’t know him there,” or “he has to raise money.” In other words, screw you if you can’t write a large check. This is tainting the governor’s race because a lot of people I talk to are angry that the governor’s office injected itself into the primary and won’t be in the mood to forgive for a long time. I’ve kept quiet for months because I hoped somehow Fisher would smarten up and actively reach out for those who hadn’t supported him in the primary and mend some bridges. Instead, we get this snippy attitude from some on his campaign that we need to get over it and get behind Fisher for no other reason than ‘You don’t want to see Portman get elected, do you?” More and more, I’m talking to people who respond, “I just don’t care; he’d be only one of 100 and we don’t hold the seat now anyway.”

    I heard yesterday there’s a huge billboard-style Portman sign in Shaker Heights a few blocks from Fisher’s house. Maybe that’s why Fisher won’t come out and actually talk to the people of Northeast Ohio. I just can’t believe what a terrible campaign he’s run in a race that was tied forever.

  • Not surprised about the Senate race at all. I’ve seen Portman on TV, Portman booths at festivals (I let Bram have a Portman balloon at the Woolly Bear festival yesterday, and he immediately popped it), and haven’t heard sight nor sound about Lee Fisher.

  • Anonymous

    I have to admit that Portman is killing Fisher in the ad war. I’m seeing about a 3:1 ratio of Portman to Fisher ads. And I’m not talking just airtime. Literally, I think Portman, and groups supporting him, have three ads all attacking Fisher to Fisher’s one.

    And it’s clearly having an affect.

  • Adrienne

    This is why we are going to have the Best Senate that money can buy thanks to the evil Supreme court. One person = one vote is not the same as billionaires buying their own Senator.

    Who is Portman going to be working for again? Oh yeah right the same people that Voinovich is working for (not us) but the wealthy and privileged to make them wealthier and privileged at our expense. Senator Portman: corporate overseer to deliver Ohioans into neo-serfdom.

    Thanks John, Tony, Sam, (the black guy who hates himself), and the really old guy for making sure that “We the people” means only for people who can pay for it.

  • Anastasjoy

    Adrienne, sorry to say that the Senate race isn’t just about billionaires buying the seat for Portman, but Portman working a lot harder for it than Fisher is. Back in May on a teleconference call, Fisher admitted he would have less money than Portman and that he needed to run the type of grassroots campaign that Jennifer did in the primary (he admitted on the call that she was better at it than he was).

    Then he vanished for the summer. He did not reach out to Jennifer’s supporters. He did not mobilize activists. He even mostly stopped sending out emails. At one point he didn’t update his Facebook page for nearly two weeks.

    I understand about the money glut and I hate it and think it’s an affront to democracy. But it’s hard to feel bad for Lee Fisher when he made the primary all about money and now he’s getting a little taste of that. And it’s hard to feel bad for a candidate who may have better policies but also seems to be catering more to people with money than to regular voters. I feel like he gave away this election.

  • Adrienne

    Thanks Anastasia nt

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