Quinnipiac continues to the an outlier poll that has grossly overestimated John Kasich’s lead.  For that reason, I debate even writing about a poll that even Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine said in Sunday’s Dispatch is simply not believable.

But in case you’re wondering, and you have a sadist streak that requires you to fret over nonsense polls, today’s Quinnipiac poll also shows the race tightening to Kasich 49% to Strickland 43%—a six-point race.

What’s remarkable about it is that it’s the first time since Quinnipiac went to its flawed likely voter model that it has Kasich under 50%.

It also shows Strickland radically improving his standing just a week ago while Kasich’s deteriorates.

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According to Quinnipiac, Kasich has lost five points while Strickland has gained six since mid-September.  That’s an eleven-point swing in a little over a month.

Again, if anyone believes that Quinnipiac has any basis in reality, what should scare the living daylights out of the Kasich campaign should be the movement with Independents … in a week!

According to last week’s Quinnipiac, Kasich had nearly 2:1 lead with Independents.  This week, it’s down to five points.

  Likely Independents  
  October 26, 2010 October 19, 2010
Strickland 42% 32%
Kasich 47% 59%
Someone Else 1% 1%
Don’t Know 10% 8%

Even Quinnipiac shows what other polls have already shown, Kasich has bled support from Independents. He dropped twelve points with them while Strickland gained ten.  That’s a twenty-two point swing in a week.  Quinnipiac gives us this one valid data point.  The idea that John Kasich has a substantial advantage with Independents is gone in all available public polling.  That advantage which more than just Quinnipiac put at nearly 2:1 as recently as August is now down to a consistent single digit lead.

Quinnipiac is the only poll showing Kasich having any crossover support advantage, and its gender vote crosstabs are also a major outlier.  But even with that, it’s hard to imagine a plausible general election population in which Kasich wins with only a five-point lead among Independents unless you project an electorate that is so heavily pro-Republican like the model the Ohio Poll used last week (and then quickly discarded in conducting Tuesday’s poll.)  Quinnipiac is now the only recent poll to put Strickland’s support under 45%.

Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinny’s polling noted that despite its poll showing Kasich still ahead beyond the margins, Strickland has had real momentum since September:

“Gov. Ted Strickland, on the other hand, has made the race for governor competitive. He still trails by six points, and certainly has his work cut out for him. But Strickland has had the momentum in the last month.”

Ted Strickland isn’t six-points behind in this race.  In fact, he very well could already be ahead.  Nobody believed the last Quinnipiac poll.  As far as we can tell, they haven’t changed their model, so you can’t really take much stock in this one, either.

Nonetheless, it’s always fun to see the Carpetblogger running out of material he can spin.

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