The latest Quinnipiac Poll is out and it has the best polling news the outfit has shown for Kasich since he took office.  Kasich has seen a five-point bounce in his approval rating from 35% in late July to 40%.  His disapproval rating, however, remains largely unchanged since May hovering right at the 50% mark.  This is the most popular Kasich has been since taking office and he’s still -9% under water.  Independents, who were a key part of Kasich’s victory a year ago, still largely disapprove of him more than approve at 48%/38%.  Kasich’s bounce is due in part to Republicans coming back home to him and supporting him 72% to 18%, a vast improvement from July when only 66% approved of him.  He’s also improved his standing with male voters going from a 40%/48% approval/disapproval in July to 45%/46%.  Most of Kasich’s bounce comes from those two demographics: Republicans and male voters.  The partisan nature of bounce is reflected elsewhere in the poll which show no real significant movement on fundamental questions that would indicate a broad-based improvement in Kasich standing.  49% of Ohioans believe Kasich’s budget is unfair to people like them.  Only 36% believe it’s fair.  That’s a marginal improvement from the 32%/50% in July.  Kasich’s handling of the budget still hasn’t substantially improved.  He has a 35%/53% approval/disapproval on the budget, which is not much better than the 32%/54% he had in July on the question.  And Ohioans dissatisfaction with the direction of the State is essentially unchanged from May.  All of this indicates that Kasich’s bounce is entirely Republican voter driven.

Ohioans, also, still greatly oppose Kasich’s turnpike lease proposal by a margin of 56% to 32%.  The turnpike privatization plan is popular with Republicans (with a weak 55% in support) and unpopular with everyone else (including male voters.)  Not surprisingly, the plan is downright politically toxic in the regions of Ohio that the Ohio Turnpike runs through.

It appears that Issue 2 has had an unintended consequence of having a “rally around the leader” in Republican circles.  With a major statewide campaign in full swing that many view as a referendum on Kasich, the Republican faithful are starting to fall back into line.  This is reflected in the latest polling on Issue 2 which shows it tightening, albeit still with a heavily favored lead for the repeal of SB 5.

In July, Ohioans supported repealing SB 5 by 56% to 32%, a  twenty-four point lead.  Now that the campaign is in full swing, that lead has shrunk to a thirteen point lead (51% to 38%.)  Effectively, Building a Better Ohio has been able to swing five percent of the electorate from opposing Issue 2 to supporting it. 

But if you look at the crosstabs, you start to see that it’s mostly due to Republicans coming back home to support Issue 2.  Again, a “rally around the flag” moment for the Ohio GOP.  Among registered Republican voters, support for Issue 2 went from 56% in support-35% to repeal to 65% to 23%.  So almost the entire swing for Building a Better Ohio has come from mostly Republican voters alone.  The rest comes from male voters who went from 37% (support) to 55% repeal in July to 45%-50%.  With still nearly 1/4 Republicans still opposing Issue 2, Building a Better Ohio’s only chance to win is to either pick up the remaining holdouts in their party or start to broaden their appeal beyond Republican and male voters.  Independents haven’t moved an inch since July going from favoring repeal by a nineteen-point margin in July to favoring repeal by twenty-point margin now.  Again, the polling on the individual provisions of the bill have not substantially changed since May, nor has the majority of Ohioans who believe that Issue 2 has nothing to do with balancing the State’s budget.  Like Kasich, Building a Better Ohio’s bounce seems to be almost entirely Republican-voter driven.

Across the State, opposition to Issue 2 has cooled somewhat, but still each region shows double-digits opposition to Issue 2.  It’s roughly a twelve point advantage in Southwestern Ohio, Northwestern Ohio, and Northeastern Ohio.   Only in Central Ohio and West Central Ohio does it drop down to an eight-point margin.  That’s a pretty promising map for Building a Better Ohio.

The reality is that races tighten as election day draws near, especially as members of a party start to fall back in line.  The real question for Building a Better Ohio is whether they can continue this trend by bring Republican voters home or have they essentially tapped out there and can now present a message that resonates more with independent and female voters.

To have any chance to win, Better Ohio is going to need to repeat what they’ve done in the past sixty-nine days in the next forty-two, which is difficult to believe it can do since most of the shift has been the lowest hanging fruit for them to pick up.  They’re starting to run out of Republicans they can likely get back on the reservation. They’ve got to do between now and election day something they’ve yet to do since July, make a dent with female voters and independents.    The odds still favor We Are Ohio at this point.

Have volunteers for We Are Ohio been tapped out from petition signing process?  Chances are yes.  Have they grown complacent?  Absolutely.   Will this poll perhaps reenergize and focus the We Are Ohio campaign for the final six weeks?  We’ll find out in November.

  • Greg Soper

    The best thing for us is that lead shrinks.  That will make sure our voters come out and not think it is over.  

    When Kasich seen his lead evaporate, his voters came out, but, if his lead had not gotten smaller, they would have thought it was in the bag.

    Even though it is up 13, THIS IS FAR FROM OVER!!!- GET OUT THE VOTE

  • Modern Esquire

    I agree that I think many of us have grown too complacent about the polling in this race.

    By way of examples, the casino issue showed it polling at over 60%, only to see it pass by ten points on election.  Then there’s the 2005 Reform Ohio Now amendments (RON amendments), which had at least some of them polling as passing, only to see them overwhelmingly defeated.

    The same people who did phone calls and canvassing for Kasich last year are doing so again.  It wasn’t enough for people to sign or circulate a petition or vote.  We Are Ohio needs people to make phone calls and canvass RIGHT NOW.

    There’s no “do-over” come November 9th.

  • Anonymous

    Not surprising – since the price of gasoline is dropping the pirates think that people will forget about the whole thing.  They may be right, too, if we don’t all get on the band wagon and keep the pressure on for people to get out and vote, so tell every one you know what a bad deal SB 5 is for Ohio and make sure they know to:
    Vote NO on Issue 2 on November 8, 2011!!

  • Annekarina

    What I don’t get, is why are they counting the gambling money before it has “hatched”?

  • Anonymous

    That’s the way Kasich’s corporate clients did their books when he worked on Wall Street. He thinks he can do likewise with state government accounting.

  • Adrienne

    Thanks for the information, excellent. 

    We just have to work harder.  Prince John and the other minions of evil have lots of money and backing from the corporatist (future slave owners), and the MSM lies for them. We call; we knock on doors; we do it one person at a time. Vote no on Issue 2. 

  • Anonymous

    I, too, took some major hits last week with the petition drive for Fair Elections Ohio and We Are Ohio calls.  Went to bed with a migraine from 3 hits from people that totally broadsided me, but this is what they want – for us to give up.  A friend said years ago-consider it a vitamin and let it make you stronger, so I got up out of bed and went to the phone bank and made more calls for NO on Issue 2.  It is emotionally draining, but we cannot let them win this!
    Mrs. Spitfire

  • Anonymous

    The difference is that it’s much harder to pass an issue than defeat it, and the wording of the issue is in our favor.  It’s much harder to get to yes than to get to no.  So, at least we have that going for us.

  • Anonymous

    Some of us from We Are Ohio have been focusing on Fair Elections Ohio–the repeal of HB 194–collecting signatures on petitions for a more insidious bill that people didn’t even know about.

    I do notice that the kool-aid drinkers have started on facebook to link the Building a Badder Ohio commercials. The 13-point jump probably has quite a bit of the media effect. Kasich coasted to victory because people just got hammered with the commercials, and they’re hoping for the same thing for Issue 2. As long as we keep banging the drum loud and long, we’ll keep our chance to drive it back.

  • Anonymous

    Have an internet beverage of your choice for your efforts, my friend. You might try to point out to them that those “leeches” are their friends, neighbors, and kids’ teachers who also live in the community–making them poorer makes the whole region poorer.

    PS: Let ’em know, too, that Issue 2 is like saying it’s okay if every Ohio State/Michigan game is reffed by Michigan coaches.

  • Anonymous

    Props to you, Mrs. Spitfire. When they bring out the petty meanness, we know we’ve touched a nerve.

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