Yesterday, John Kasich held a pro-Issue 2 rally at the (I’m not making this up) “Spread Eagle Tavern” in Columbiana County.  Roughly 200 people showed up in favor of Issue 2 (although at least one media outlet pegged the crowd roughly around 100, instead.)

A year ago, candidate John Kasich held one of his largest rallies at the same venue, attracting roughly 300 folks to hear him talk about how lobbyists weren’t going to drive policy in Ohio if he’s governor (something that is still a work not in progress with the new Governor.)

Sure, you could attribute the drop in the crowd size as this being an off-year election, but the drop almost mirrors the roughly 1 out of 3 Republicans who oppose Issue 2 in the polling in the race.  Kasich’s invitation-only event in Zanesville we wrote about yesterday had “about” 100 people (in other words < 100.)  For all the media’s fascination with an “enthusiasm gap” last year, there’s been no mention of it in the coverage of Issue 2, especially when it comes to polling (because it favors Democrats this time, perhaps?)

It is not exactly rocket science to figure out that the anti-Issue 2 crowd is more energized and engaged.  (Teaser for tonight’s post:) That’s why we’re already seeing evidence of Republicans starting to do the post-Issue 2 “blame game” and post-mortem a week before the election.  Kasich is not a draw except to repel people from supporting Issue 2 (more on that tonight, too.)

I still don’t believe Issue 2 will be defeated by twenty points or more.  But Kasich and Building a Better Ohio have done nothing in the past week to change the momentum of this race which has favored We Are Ohio the entire campaign.  All these rallies Kasich is doing is designed to keep the base from becoming so disheartened that they don’t vote and We Are Ohio winds up running up the score and gets a twenty-point victory. 

The Quinnipiac and PPP polls were based on registered voters, not likely voters, and so it’s unlikely we’ll see the kind of margins they projected.  Expect Kasich to claim anything less than a twenty point or twenty-five point victory was signs that they “had momentum” in the end.  It’s not.  A review of Building Better Ohio’s campaign finance report shows they’ve been polling like crazy during this campaign (again, more on that tonight).  If their polls showed they had any momentum, they’d put that out there either as a leak or directly.  They’re not.  Instead, Building a Better Ohio is trying to claim momentum by citing… newspaper endorsements from newspapers that were the same ones that endorsed Kasich last year in the first place.

If those who oppose Issue 2 vote, we win.  It’s just that simple.  Our own complacency is the only hope Building a Better Ohio and John Kasich have left in the final six days of this campaign.