Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kasich expands lead

After holding small leads in PPP's first two Ohio polls of 2010 John Kasich has opened up a 50-40 advantage in his bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland.

The race has pretty much shaped up as a referendum on Strickland and that is not to the incumbent's advantage. Only 34% of voters in the state approve of the job he's doing while 52% disapprove. Republicans are now almost universal in their disapproval of him at 83% while Democrats are a little more divided in their support of his work at 67%. Independents go against him by a 59/26 margin as well.

Ohioans are decidedly ambivalent when it comes to their feelings about Kasich himself. 33% see him favorably, 33% see him unfavorably, and 33% have no opinion. Republicans are pretty positive toward him (62/10) while Democrats are almost equally negative (7/58) and independents are split nearly right down the middle (31/29). Voters in the state don't have any particular affection for Kasich, but this election isn't really about Kasich. It's about Barack Obama and Ted Strickland and not being them is enough to have Kasich in a very strong position to win in November.

Kasich leads 44-33 with independents and is pulling 89% of the Republican vote while only 78% of Democrats are committed to Strickland at this point. Those numbers with GOP voters are one of the major developments in the race since PPP polled in late June. At that point Kasich was up only 73-12 with voters in his party but Strickland has lost almost all of his crossover support since that time and it's now an 89-5 advantage for Kasich there.

Strickland's other big issue is one Democrats everywhere are having to deal with: diminished interest from the party base. Barack Obama won Ohio by 4 points in 2008 but those planning to turn out and vote this year say they went for John McCain by a 3 point margin. Between Strickland's unpopularity and the enthusiasm gap this is now looking like a very tough office for Democrats to hold.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

The only question is how many House seats Democrats will lose in Ohio.

Driehaus, Kilroy, and Boccieri are gone. Sutton and Space are not looking good. Will Charlie Wilson lose too? If I had to bet today I'd say all 6 lose.

Zornorph said...

Great news! John Kasich is my favorite GOP'er running this year. Unlike a lot of Republicans, he's actually walked the balanced-budget walk. He's also not stuck on the social issues, so a perfect fit for me. I think he'll be a fantastic governor and hopefully will have a GOP state house and senate to work with. Who knows - if he does a good enough job he might yet wind up as Prez.

DBL said...

Since you went to "likely" McCain voters have outnumbered Obama voters in Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Obama is down to 282 electoral votes. If you do Wisconsin and Maine and get similar results John McCain becomes President. Isn't that the way it works?

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Since you went to "likely" McCain voters have outnumbered Obama voters in Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Obama is down to 282 electoral votes. If you do Wisconsin and Maine and get similar results John McCain becomes President. Isn't that the way it works?"

If the election were held today and the people who said they voted for those candidates in 2008 would still vote for them now, yeah.

TK said...

Hi Tom,

I have doubts about your likely voter model, specifically, your youth vote. In the top line of your latest Ohio vote, only 8% of the age 18-29 are likely voters. However, in 2006 mid-term election 31% were 18-29 (http: I'm not saying 2010 Ohio's youth vote will be 31% again, but I don't think it will drop down to 8%. I might be wrong in interpreting your top line and that the 8% is the number before PPP weighs the raw number. Could you clarify this point? Thanks.

Tom Jensen said...

They had 31% turnout, they weren't 31% of the vote. Exit polls show 18-29 at 13% in 2006 in Ohio and we aren't too far off that.

tk said...

Ahhh, doh! Thanks for your quick response. One last question: Is 8% of the electorate the average for 18-29 in mid-terms in Ohio? Thanks in advance.

Modern Esquire said...

A conservative poll showed Driehaus and Kilroy within the margin of error. The NRCC has essentially abandoned challenging Space this year given his GOP opponent facing a 6:1 cash on hand advantage... same thing with Wilson.

So, I'd take that bet Anonymous.

The one thing about this poll is that it was taken just as Strickland returned to the airwaves. For a month and a half Kasich and the RGA have had the airwaves to themselves. It's not surprising to see them do so damage.

On Monday, the Strickland campaign began airing an ad about how John Kasich, personally, was involved in shipping hundreds of Ohio manufacturing jobs to China and Mexico in 2006 while sitting on a corporate board.

I'd repoll this race in a few weeks to see if Strickland's paid media strategy has had an effect because this poll was taken before these ads could have an affect.

Anonymous said...

Modern Esquire is a well-known blogger who is a former Strickland staff aide, and routinely fails to disclose that tie to Strickland. His reference to a "conservative poll" showing Driehaus and Kilroy "within the margin of error" is disingenuous, because that poll had Driehaus down by 3 and Kilroy down by 5. Driehaus's chances are nil.

The question of how many congressional seats Democrats lose in Ohio is not yet determined. It depends on how successfully those candidates can distance themselves from Strickland, who is the ticket's sinker. Any Democrat who stumps as a Dem. machine candidate will lose. Those who sever the Strickland tie may survive.

Funny because "Modern Esquire" has blogged regularly about how the Ohio economy is actually improving. That being true, the continued deterioration of support for One-Term Ted demonstrates that the real issue for Ohio voters is Strickland's ties to pandemic corruption in the Democrat-controlled counties of Cuyahoga, Scioto, Pike, and Athens.

Ohioans can read, and reason. Too bad Democrats ran perhaps the only man whom John Kasich could easily beat.

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