If you know anything about the last few weeks, you know that Eddy Fitz is not off to a great start with his campaign. All of this, as recent polling from an independent institute shows his opponent, Governor John Kasich, with an improving approval rating.
So when a new survey from a Democrat polling firm came out yesterday, it raised a few eyebrows:
Public Policy Polling, after a survey of 551 Ohio voters, found FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, leading the Republican incumbent 38 percent to 35 percent…
These results are at odds with a June poll by Quinnipiac University, which measured Kasich’s job-approval rating at an all-time high of 54 percent. Kasich led FitzGerald in that poll by a comfortable margin of 47 percent to 33 percent.
After all-time high approval numbers, and a double-digit lead just a couple months ago, we’re supposed to believe Governor Kasich is now trailing a corrupt Cuyahoga County politician with a god complex? There’s multiple reasons to question PPP’s results.
First, as they always do, PPP oversampled Democrats. Their partisan split was 42% Democrat, 36% Republican and 22% Independent. In other words, PPP has Democrats at a +6% advantage, and representing over 2 out of every 5 voters. To put that in perspective, in 2012, when Democrats turned out in record numbers, Democrats had a +7% advantage, at just 38% of the electorate. Take into account that every politico knows that midterms are more favorable to the GOP, and PPP’s Democrat oversampling is not only apparent—it’s blatantly inflated.
Second, look at the Independent vote. PPP has Indy’s breaking 40% to 31% in favor of Fitzy, putting Kasich at a -9% disadvantage. Just two months ago, Quinnipiac had Indy’s going 45% to 28% in favor of Kasich, a +17% advantage. I recognize that it’s impossible to compare across different polls and methodologies, but are we to believe that in the last 60 days, Kasich has lost over 25 percentage points among Independent voters? Me thinks not.
Granted, I will concede the fact that over that time, there has been some negative press surrounding Governor Kasich and the non-profit development entity, JobsOhio. But the claims from Fitzy’s camp were found to not only lack merit, but presented no actionable allegations at all. It was all about the negative press, to hell with the truth.
But don’t take my word for it—Democrats openly admit it. Yet, even with all that, it’s still laughable to think that Governor Kasich has slid over 25% among Independents.
When you get right down to it, Public Policy Polling is a Democrat polling firm. And while they brag about their accuracy come Presidential election time, when the national spotlight is off, they have no issue throwing a bone at a candidate who clearly has a lot of ground to make up. This poll is nothing more than PPP trying to bail out Fitzy after his incredibly poor start, in hopes that the poll might spark some enthusiasm or funding support.
Yet, even if we’re to believe that the PPP survey is completely accurate this far out from the election, Fitzy is still an unknown commodity to 62% of Ohioans. And he’s only getting 61% support from those in his own party. Even if this poll wasn’t a hack job, it still leaves plenty of room for Fitzy to worry.
At the end of the day, November 2014 is a long way off. A lot can still happen. But Fitzy has botched everything from Day One, has had lackluster financial support, and national pundits give him little chance of pulling off the upset. And despite his blitz of campaign lies surrounding JobsOhio, and the flurry of news stories mentioning his name, he’s still unknown to well over half of Ohio voters.
And none of that can be changed by one laughably partisan poll.