I’ve been in court pretty much all day today, but it looks like the media has lost its mind on polling with today’s release of the Quinnipiac poll showing Kasich at a 10-point lead.  The Dispatch reported it as if Kasich’s lead is growing even though any person with any knowledge of polling would mock any such assertion when Quinnipiac showed virtual no movement anywhere.

But, heck, even polling that shows no change in the race isn’t good news for Strickland who still needs to close the gap.

But let’s keep everything in perspective.

Let’s first remember that Quinnipiac’s likely voter model has been the most generous to Kasich ever since they started using it.  (In the first likely voter poll, it showed Kasich’s biggest lead ever, a seventeen-point lead that even Jon Keeling admits was flawed and cannot be believed.  The only other polls that have come close to Quinny’s ridiculous numbers was the constantly mocked, yet still done anyways, Dispatch “mail” poll and SurveyUSA, which Stu Rothenberg has indicated could not be believed. 

Although Quinny has come down from that number, there’s no evidence that they’ve changed their likely voter model at all.  I don’t expect a soon to be released SurveyUSA poll to be any more reasonable than the last one in September that mirrored the ridiculous results that have only been exceeded by the Dispatch’s mail in poll and that 17-point lead in Quinnipiac, unless they’ve demonstrated that they’ve substantially changed their likely voter model.  For that reason, the Strickland campaign has said that “Quinnipiac polls are irresponsible, inaccurate, and completely removed from the reality of the Ohio governor’s race.”  And they are absolutely correct.

In short, a month later, and the same observations in this post still apply.  The only reason these polls are showing Kasich with a lead is because they’re predicting more Republicans than Democrats and Independents will vote, something early voting strongly suggests won’t be the case (and since we’re half way through early vote, we’ve got a statistically reliable sampling.)

Remember, the only reason the Ohio Poll showed Kasich moving from a four-point lead to an eight-point is only because the Ohio Poll shifted its likely voter model to a more GOP electorate in which nearly half the electorate was Republicans.  Had the Ohio Poll used the same model it used in September, the Ohio Poll would have shown the race actually narrowing to a two-point race, which is pretty much exactly what the latest Rasmussen poll has shown.

There is no evidence, none, that the smallest population of the registered voter population in Ohio (registered Republicans) will be the biggest population of the general election population in November to such an extent that they will be a majority of the general election vote (which is the only way a poll like Quinnipiac can show a lead greater than the Ohio Poll, which requires an unprecedented 49% GOP electorate.)

In 2008, when Ohio was considered a “tossup” State in the Presidential election, exit polling suggested only a 31% electorate.  The idea that we’ve gone from a +8 Democratic electorate to a > –7 one (a fifteen-point swing in two years) is unbelievable in a State where Democrats have nearly a million voter registration advantage and is reported leading overall in early voting.

I’ve had more than one source that Kasich’s internal polling showed him only ahead by two points, even after Kasich’s pollster on Twitter insisted to us that it was five-points.  Kasich is campaigning heavily in counties today that went for Blackwell.  The National Review has said that Kasich has a problem in his base. His campaign is overwhelmingly negative.  In other words, Kasich’s campaign and his supporters like the RGA don’t act like they believe they have this race won, so neither should you.

Keep working the phones, talking to your friends and neighbors, and we can prove them wrong on November 2nd.

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  • Anastasjoy

    Kasich is campaigning in counties that went heavily for Blackwell? That shouldn’t take him much time!

  • Jrmiller6020

    I had a chat with a union official tied directly into the Strickland campaign today (Tue) 10/19). He confirmed pretty much what you say here. According to this source, the internal polling has a “dead even” race. Early voting in Cuyahoga County shows a 56% Dem to 23% Rep vote. Summit county has “2/3 of early ballots” cast by Dems. The key will be the Dem GOTV campaign. If it is has massive as this source says, Ted may pull this off yet…Jim, Columbus

  • Dave

    Kasich does indeed have a problem with his base. But that doesn’t mean he’s not ahead and he won’t win. Ohio voted Republicans statewide for years and years before 2006. Cleveland and Youngstown are still hemorrhaging population while Cincy and Columbus are growing. A 15 point swing from 2006/2008 is quite believable as a return to the mean. factor in the Obama unpopularity and revulsion and we see why Kasich is ahead and Portman is way, way ahead.

    Oh and I remember the days in 2006 when I did posts like this where I looked for hope wherever I could find it in the face of unrelenting negative polls. Very adorable.

  • Anonymous

    Dave, in 2006, you were making this argument in a race that had poll numbers like we’re seeing in the Fisher-Portman race, not in a race where the latest Rasmussen poll showed the race essentially tied. I think you also tried to argue that it wasn’t over as the Early Vote numbers we were seeing was not reflective of the general election population we’d see on Election Day. Again, that’s totally opposite of what I’m saying here.

    You criticized polls because your “gut” just told you they weren’t right. I’m criticizing them because actual hard data–the early votes cast so far–suggests a far more better Democratic turnout, and far worse GOP turnout, than these polls use in their likely voter model for statistical weighing.

    You overstate the Republicanness of the Ohio electorate. The reality is that the GOP only dominated STATE statewide elections from 1994 through 2002. However, Clinton did just fine in Ohio during that time. Most people agree that Gore made a huge mistake in pulling out of Ohio in 2000.

    The reason the GOP did well during that eight year period wasn’t so much that the electorate in Ohio was overwhelmingly Republican as the Ohio Democratic Party was overwhelmingly disorganized and incompotent to recruit quality tickets. In 1994, I was a College Democratic President who didn’t even know the name of our gubernatorial candidate. He was so bad, we almost lost our status as a major party in Ohio (something that may occur in Colorado this year for the GOP). In 2002, our candidate was so bad he could only run a web ad (remember “Taft Quack?”) and he got SUED by AFLAC for it.

    In 1998, the strongest candidate on our statewide ticket was Lee Fisher. Really, I can stop there.

    Kasich’s own pollster shows this as a closer race with them having a slight edge. I believe that’s probably more accurate than what we’ve seen in Quinnipiac, Fox News, and the Ohio Poll who, in my opinion, was unjustified tweaking their model to be more Republican than it was in September. I don’t dispute that.

    But saying that a race in which it’s more likely tied to, at best, really only a five point race, and saying it’s still anyone’s ball game is vastly different from you saying that in a race in which Ted was pulling at 55% and Blackwell at or under 40% in ALL polling. I’m not doubting these polls because of my gut, or even because of the turnout in 2006 or 2008, I’m questioning these polls because they’re based on a statistical modeling of turnout that is refuted by the turnout we’ve already seen so far in THIS election.

    I believe this isn’t a wave election, it’s just a wash for both parties. Kasich’s campaign seems to be acting like a campaign that’s in a very tight race. They’re polling shows it to be a much tighter race than these polls (Ohio Poll, Fox News, Quinnipiac).

    You didn’t see that in 2006. There are completely valid reasons and objective evidence to suggest that these polls are grossly overstating how the so-called “enthusiasm gap” will favor the GOP in turnout. We’ll see in a little of a week who’s right.

  • Pingback: CNN has Ted up by a point – enthusiasm!!()

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