Suffolk University out of Boston polled the Ohio Statewide races as well as some other issues. I guess it’s a testament to the important of Ohio to the national political scene that we have so many out-of-state, East Coast universities who poll Ohio fairly regularly like Quinnipiac.
Anyway, the poll of 500 likely voters had some expected, and unexpected results.
Guess which polling outfit has shown the closest margin in the Senate race? Well, this poll comes close but it’s still shows a double-digit lead as opposed to the last Rasmussen poll which is the only poll recently that shows a single-digit lead, albeit at 9 points. Here’s the Pollster.com graph even after you make it draw more sensitive trend lines like I did recently with the Governor’s race:
Portman has now pretty consistently polled at or over 50%. No polling outfit has shown Fisher improving his numbers (the most recent Ohio Poll actually showed Fisher dropping 7 points in his support.) This race is over. I’d challenge anyone to explain to me how this many pollsters could be so wrong, or cite me one case where a candidate polling as Fisher is has turned it around and win this close to the election. Fisher has been talking about his 1990 run for Ohio Attorney General as an example of his come from behind tenacity. However, I’m pretty sure there was not polling in 1990 as bad as this. Regardless, Fisher hopes people haven’t noticed that he used the same arguments in 1994 and again in 1998—he lost both of those races. Lightening only strikes the same place once.
Anyway, it’s another poll and another within the margin of error lead for John Kasich who sits on a four-point lead. However, and this is what makes me distrustful of all of Suffolk’s numbers in all the races, they claim that Kasich has a nearly fifty point lead among independents. That is twenty points more than any other poll has shown in the entire race. Almost all other polling shows it within twenty points and narrowing. The poll also shows that Strickland has his Democratic base by five points more behind him than Kasich does his Republican base. Suffolk claims this is in part because Strickland takes in six points more of crossover votes than Kasich does.
However, in the third-party level, Suffolk’s number defy any explanation. According to it, only Democrats are thinking about voting for the Libertarian candidate and Green Party candidate Dennis Spisak gets twice as much support from Republican voters than he does from Democratic ones. Granted this is all within the margins, but that simply is incredulous.
The poll also showed David Pepper with a four-point lead over David Yost, but that’s within the margin of error. Most people I’ve talked to believes that it’s a larger lead than that.
Down ticket, this is yet another public poll that reports results that defy my expectations on the State Attorney General’s race. By 44% to 38%, the poll shows Mike DeWine ahead of Richard Cordray. That’s slightly beyond the margin of error, and, if true, would suggest little chance for Cordray as an incumbent to win if he’s only polling 38% now. I simply cannot believe that, and yet, all public polling so far has consistently shown DeWine with a lead (although even the Dispatch poll showed a statistical dead heat with Cordray at 42% last month.)
The poll shows Kevin Boyce in a statistical dead heat, but slightly ahead of Josh Mandel 37%-34%. However, it’s never good to have an incumbent poll below forty this close to an election. And with 24% undecided and a massive fundraising advantage, Mandel has the resources to win (if he ran less divisive ads.)
Suffolk also shows Maryellen O’Shaughnessy sitting on a seven-point lead over former House Speaker Jon Husted. 40%-33%. I really want to believe that’s the case, but, again, with nearly a quarter of the vote undecided, Husted’s monetary advantage can more than make up the difference if he runs effective ads that O’Shaughnessy cannot compete.
The poll also says that we have a seven-point lead in the generic Congressional ballot question.
If Suffolk is correct, then we’re poised for a very good year in Ohio wherein our congressional candidates could win, even though our Senate race seems lost, and Democrats could theoretically control the Apportionment Board even if Strickland were to lose. Perhaps I’m too cynical, but I’m hard pressed to believe that we’ll see such ticket splitting this year. Historically, the down ticket races have fared however the top ticket races fared. For candidates like Boyce and O’Shaughnessy who lack the financial resources to keep up with their opponents, even a Strickland victory may not be enough to carry them over a finish line. Whomever wins the Governor’s race, it will not be by a significant enough margin to have any real coattail effect.
I guess we’ll find out in a few weeks, huh?