The Columbus Dispatch released a “poll” this weekend that is so amazingly bad, so biased and so clearly aimed at promoting John Kasich’s campaign for governor, that it should be embarrassed to call itself a news organization.

Last week we revealed that Dispatch Editor Marrison was scheduled to headline a GOP fundraiser (he later cancelled).   This week the Kasich/Dispatch love affair hit a new low when the paper reported its poll results on the front page the Sunday edition, proudly declaring “Kasich ahead by 30 points.”

Let’s be clear here, FitzGerald hasn’t been doing great in the polls, but not one of the five or more polls released since August (Buckeye, QuinnipiacAARP, etc.) has shown anywhere near a 30 point lead.  And. more importantly, none has shown Kasich getting over 50% of the total vote.  Quinnipiac, for example, finds Kasich leading by only 12 points, and only receiving a total of 48% vs FitzGerald’s 36%.

Quinnipiac, of course, uses real people to call other real people on cell phones and landlines.  While the Dispatch continues to use their same old and discredited mail-in poll format.

Quinnipiac’s respondents are appropriately weighted and distributed across party identification, sex and age.   The respondents in the Dispatch poll skew heavily toward Kasich-supporting Repubublicans.

According to the Dispatch, 56.2% of their respondents voted for Kasich in the last election vs. 36.3% who voted for Strickland.   The actual results of that election?   49.04% to 47.04%.

The 2010 election saw Kasich win by exactly 2 points.  But the Dispatch poll skews toward pro-Kasich voters by 20%!   The same is true in nearly every other area, with the Dispatch including more men and more older folks, people who traditionally vote Republican.

But it’s the selection of questions that really puts this poll into a class of its own.   After asking the respondents to pick their choice for governor and their opinion on the state of Ohio’s economy, the poll quickly reverts into a marketing effort for Team Kasich with hits against Ed FitzGerald not-so-cleverly disguised as questions…

  • “As you may know, police in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake found Ed FitzGerald and a woman not his wife alone in a parked car…”
  • “As you also may know, Ed FitzGerald did not have a regular Ohio driver’s license for 10 years…”

Multiple “questions” about FitzGerald’s personal life.  No questions about Kasich, of course.

This so-called poll is so flawed, in so many ways, the Dispatch should other publish a retraction or just give up the guise of fair and balanced reporting and unbiased journalism and admit they are nothing more than Ohio’s Fox News.