Yesterday, Quinnipiac University released a poll of Ohio voters. Ohio Democrats are celebrating the results of the presidential questions. We’ll take a look at that first, then we’ll move on to the excellent news for Governor Kasich second.
This poll has liberals excited for a couple of reasons. First, it shows President
Downgrade Obama beating Mitt Romney by six points. Second, Obama hits the 50% support level, which is key for an incumbent to feel safe.
But, if there’s one thing about polling that I can’t repeat often enough, it’s to look at the partisan weighting. How many Democrats did they include versus Republicans? And how many indies?
For this poll, the D/R/I sampling was 35/27/32 for a Dem +8 advantage.
That’s a big red flag right there. Why? Because Dems are way oversampled. That number assumes that Democrats are going to turn out to vote in vastly higher numbers than Republicans. In 2008, we saw the most energized Democratic turnout in recent history. It was a huge blue wave, and according to Ohio exit polls, the Dem advantage was +8 that year.
But two years later, in 2010, Republicans actually outnumbers Dems at the polls for a +1 advantage. That was a wave election in the opposite direction and we saw a D/R/I breakdown of 36/37/28.
It’s highly unlikely that Democrat turnout and enthusiasm is going to match 2008. Nobody believes that is going to happen.
Turnout for this year’s election will almost certainly fall somewhere in between 2008 and 2010. Since there is still an enthusiasm gap in favor of Republicans, a more realistic sample would be 36/33/31, somewhere around a Dem +3 advantage.
Using this more realistic sample, the Obama lead shrinks from 6 to about 2, which is within the margin of error. The bottom line is that Ohio is neck and neck, and will mostly likely remain that way all the way into November.
Quinnipiac is a reputable pollster, and usually employs better samples than this. However, for this one, they did the poll in cooperation with CBS and the New York Times, and those two outlets are notorious for oversampling Democrats in their polls.
The good news for Governor Kasich comes here:
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Kasich is handling his job as Governor?
Approve: …… 47%
Disapprove: … 38%
DK/NA: …….. 15%
That is a major improvement. As much as Democrats and the unions have torn this governor down, Ohioans are starting to realize that his policies are helping Ohio. Independents now approve of Kasich 48 to 38.
When you take into account that Democrats were oversampled, it makes Kasich’s approval numbers look even better.
This has to worry Democrats like Ted Strickland who intend to run against Kasich in 2014. He has come through a storm of attacks initially hurt him, only to see his approval ratings continue to climb.