(HT: Progress Ohio)

Wenzel Strategies is an Ohio conservative polling outfit founded by former Toledo Blade political reporter Fritz Wenzel.  Last year, Wenzel’s polling for Ohio Right to Life showed Kasich with his biggest lead over Strickland than any other pollster showed at the time.  Last July, he claimed that David Yost was sitting on an a stunning eighteen-point lead, even though most Ohioans had not yet ever heard of David Yost and Yost wasn’t even able to run any television ads (thanks to a massive infusion of cash by the Ohio GOP, Yost was able to air some ads that resulted in a far more modest five-point victory.)

As we discussed at the time, Wenzel Strategies regularly polls for the fringe conservative website WorldNetDaily and advocates for the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which provides for the election of U.S Senators by the people.  A reporter by trade, Wenzel learned the art of public opinion polling while at Zogby International, a polling outfit that is widely regarded as unreliable based on its unconventional polling methods and less than stellar track record in predicting races.

That being said, Wenzel Strategies recently conducted a poll of over 1,200 registered Ohio voters on SB 5 and Governor Kasich. And although Wenzel did not release the precise phrasing of what it asked,  here’s what Wenzel Strategies’ says its poll found:

  • 51% of Ohioans favor repeal of SB5; 38% support the law; 11% undecided.
  • Among independents: 54% favor repeal; 41% support the law.
  • Among Democrats: 73% favor repeal; 10% support the law.
  • Among Republicans: 27% favor repeal; 63% support the law.
  • 32% of voters “strongly support” the bill; 38% “strongly oppose” it.

So already we see that the GOP loses a quarter of its base on SB 5.  That’s not good, especially since the number of registered Republicans in Ohio is still a million less than registered Democrats.  Even more bad news for SB 5 supporters: most of the undecided votes are registered Democrats (17% Democrats are undecided as opposed to the 5% of Independents and 10% of Republicans.)  Kasich and his corporate allies are going to have a hard time winning over much of the undecided vote if it’s mostly Democratic voters.

Also, absent any other issue on the ballot, most of the voting in November are going to be in urban areas where there are city elections like in Columbus (where both the Republican and Democratic candidate for mayor opposes SB 5), which is predominantly Democratic.  Remember, so far the polling on this is registered, not likely voters.  We could expect a likely voter model would show a more Democratic bent to it as the electorate in November is likely to be more Democratic than the registered voter population at large.

And as for Kasich, what does the WND pollster find about him?

  • 37% approve of Kasich’s job performance; 56% disapprove;
  • 43% say Kasich is doing a “poor” job, the most negative of the options available to them to select;
  • While only 65% of Republicans approve of Kasich’s performance; 59% of Independents (a key constituency that lead to Kasich’s election) disapprove
  • 37% believe the State is headed in the right direction; 51% don’t.  Among men the number who think it’s headed in the right direction is at 43%, but among women that number is 32%.

Kasich apparently is doing really poorly in Northwest Ohio, but is maintaining his best support in the GOP base region of Southwest Ohio.

Taken in a vacuum, I’d ordinarily be suspicious of this poll.  However, it does seem to be much in line with what we’ve seen in other polling:

Kasich Approval rating

(Registered voters)

  Approve Disapprove
Wenzel Strategies (4/12) 37% 56%
Quinnipiac (3/23) 30% 46%
PPP (3/15) 35% 54%
Ohio Poll (3/14) 42% 46%

So Wenzel puts Kasich’s approval/disapproval is right around where PPP, a Democratic polling outfit, puts it.  And the approval rating is pretty much in the middle between where Quinnipiac and the Ohio Poll (U.C.) had it, but vastly higher on disapproval than they had it.

Support for Repeal SB 5 (Registered voters)
  Approve Repeal/
Oppose Bill
Oppose Repeal/
Support Bill
Wenzel Strategies 51% 38%
Quinnipiac (split sample) 54% 35%
PPP 54% 31%

It’s kind of hard to detect a pattern here, huh?  Also, just like the three polls conducted within the past month, Wenzel shows the same problems for Kasich with independents and female voters.

Unlike what we saw last year, this Wenzel Strategies poll is largely in line with what we’ve seen in other polling in Ohio.  To the extent that it has a reputation of being biased, it’s always been considered bias with a decidedly conservative bent.

We’re still waiting through Monday to find out if Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will approve the proposed summary language for the referendum submitted by the “We Are Ohio” campaign or not, then once we get his approval we still need to get the sufficient signatures before the end of June.  However, if we can do that, it appears were in a pretty good position to defeat SB 5 this November, but a lot of things can change in seven months, too.

Keep up the fight, folks.

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