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.


  • sluggo

    Also the SB5 No voters barely outnumber SB5 Yes voters 450-415 with 226 saying they don’t know how they voted (Really?).

    This poll is garbage.

  • Retrofuturistic

    They have to have poll results favoring Kasich— so when they throw the election, it’ll look like it was on the up and up.

  • jr6020

    Good points you raised. But why are the State’s Dem leaders and the party pols doing nothing to help Fitz? Why aren’t they pointing out the obvious bias of the Dispatch poll and getting the message out to their press allies? We hear nothing from the state chair, nothing from Sen Brown, nothing from Labor in support of Fitz. They all act weak, feeble, defeated. The party chair showed hold a press conference now and call out the CD for its biased poll and shilling of JK. I think the real aim of the GOP (and its allies the CD and PD) is to feed the impression JK is so far out front the DEMS will be too discouraged to show up and vote…

  • jr6020

    As an aside, I did call Mr Rowland of the Dispatch poll and left him a message about some of the points raised by Joseph and how he can contact me…I hope he responds with a follow-up call or an email. If he does, I will pass along any rebuttals he might offer up…

  • Stephen Beard

    It’s The Dispatch, Jake. Forget about it.

  • DublinIrishBob

    In just a few years, Ben Marrison will be selling newspapers in a booth that The Dispatch sets up in grocery stores and community events. The paper will be irrelevant, published just a few times a week as their circulation numbers drop to unsustainable levels.

  • Misnomer Thom

    They never had much faith in Ed to begin with. His candidacy was largely met with a “meh”.

  • Misnomer Thom

    Of course it was largely old men to respond. How many 25 year old women would respond to a mail in poll ? The whole thing is a sham. The sad part is that the general public pays zero attention to how polls are done. They see the numbers and move on.

  • Misnomer Thom

    Looking at the push poll questions, it brings up something I’ve been thinking about the last few days. If Ed had just apologized right after the 4am report went live, would things be different? I think the campaign totally miscalculated by trying to use the incident to get the base excited and raise some money. If Ed went another direction and had just said “Nothing happened, but it was bad judgment on my part. I should know better to be hanging out at 4am” would we be having this conversation? Would the license thing have even gotten out? And, what if the campaign had done a better job at controlling the message – something they clearly failed at time and time again. The media has controlled the message from the get go because Ed and his team never responded quickly and/or the right way. Their inexperience showed.

    This might be not be a true scandal in many people eyes but the way Ed’s campaign reacted was flawed. Waiting a good week or so to send out an apology to supporters (and that was after the infamous cancer e-mail) was almost as bad as how they dithered on the Kearney/LG pick. They didn’t learn their lesson from that at all. They never got a platform together. We know GOPers are more willing to forgive a “scandal” but Dems aren’t usually so forgiving. A quick apology and maybe things are different and Dems would be more enthused. All in all, this campaign imploded due to incompetance just as much as the media chasing a story.

  • dmoore2222

    A few things. This same poll article said Kasich wants a mandate. A mandate with less than 50% of 50% of the voters Ha, ha, ha.Ha, ha, ha, ha ha ha. Ah, Ha, ha, ha. ah, Ha, ha, ha. That’s not possible. It just shows how desperate this chump is to rule over everyone as though he was some kind of monarch. Secondly, the people who are going to decide this election don’t read the Dispatch. Either they know it’s a republican first grade primer or think it’s just an advertising bundle. Lastly, if democrats show up on election day then Kasich loses, and they know it. It’s that simple. It’s why republicans have spent a lot of time and money on voter suppression tactics, and trash polls and articles like this one. They want to brainwash everyone into thinking that no one stands a chance against Frackin John. I’m sure Eric Cantor’s campaign thought it was going to be a 30 point drubbing too. And Brownbeck in Kansas is trailing a guy who most voters don’t know but are willing to vote for because Brownbeck is a stooge like Kasich. I think election day is going to be a big surprise for Johnny and his friends.

  • Misnomer Thom

    You can’t honestly be comparing Paul Davis in KS to Fitz. Davis has 100 GOP officials supporting him. He was a known quantity. He’s a strong fundraiser. How does Ed compare to that? He has none of those qualities.

    Like it or not,history shows that Ohio leans red during the mid terms for multiple reasons. They range from lack of depth on the Dem bench to poor fundraising to poor candidates. Ed will be lucky to get 40% just like Lee Fisher in 2010. Kasich is using the strategy that Portman did. Say nothing, do nothing, and let the weak opponent do himself in. That has a long history of working for the GOP in this state. The ODP isn’t exactly a potent organization.

  • dmoore2222

    No. I’m not comparing those two. I’m saying Kasich and Brownbeck are very similar in their ideologies and both are incumbents who you would think would have an advantage. Especially in a mid-term. But strange things have happened in the last few years. No one would have guessed that democrats would sit on their hands in the 2010 election and basically hand the governorship to this creep. Had they turned out, it wouldn’t have even been close.

  • 333SAL

    Considering the moat that the Dispatch has built up around its little empire, and the difficulty of directly responding to their pandering, it takes a snail mail letter to let them know how you feel, which this voter has done. Like they care…

  • DublinIrishBob

    No way are they similar. Brownback is a True Believer, whereas Kasich has no real principles. Kasich will say whatever it takes to get elected, even calling for the expansion of Medicaid. Brownback would never do that for the poor; maybe he would read the Bible to them, but not much else.

  • Chuck Strader

    The reason why is because of the candidate. With all the truly qualified individuals in this state why can’t we find someone with a clean history to run. Obviously someone needs to do a better job vetting. Fitzgerald is making it too easy for the Republicans to focus on his character and not the issues. Like it or not character matters to most voters.

  • Jeff

    So now that the election is over, let’s compare the Dispatch poll results with the actual election results. Hmmm, how did that go?

    Dispatch editor Benjamin Marrison’s column on page F1 on Nov. 9 will show just how accurate the poll was, as usual.

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