Those have been the margins of Ted Strickland’s lead leading up to today’s release of rarely GOP-friendly Qunnipiac’s poll numbers for next year’s Governor’s race.
And we haven’t even really started yet.
Let’s breakdown the more interesting numbers…
- Kasich takes over the lead for the GOP nomination for the first time. The margin is small, only 35-32 over DeWine(who won’t even be running for Governor), but is a turnaround of 16 points from the last poll and says a lot about how effective the Kasich team’s rollout has been.
- Strickland’s lead has shrunk from 19 in May to 5. R, D, male and female numbers are about what you’d expect, but Kasich is leading among Independents 36-34. That’s a staggering 17 point turnaround from the last poll. It seems those that had a bad taste in their mouth after the Taft Administration are truly starting to identify Strickland as Taft 2.0. Of all the numbers in this poll, these Independents have to be the biggest worry for Ted’s campaign.
- Only 42% approve of Ted Strickland. Down from 60 just five months ago. Independents disapprove 40-39. And here’s my ‘told you so’ moment. Other bloggers and activists with whom I discussed the Kasich campaign’s rollout strategy intensely disagreed with me, and Kasich’s team, about the timing of Kasich’s campaign announcement. They said he was waiting too long to raise money and waiting too long to take begin hitting the Governor. I stressed that it was vital to give Ohioans time to identify Strickland as the source of Ohio’s troubles. Injecting Kasich too early into the campaign would encourage the media to focus on his candidacy and quite possibly pull focus away from Strickland. Now we’ve seen months of Ohio’s editorial boards hammering away at the Governor and each release of Ohio’s job numbers bring more and more negativity upon Strickland. There’s plenty of time to raise money, but giving Ohioans a chance to attach the Governor to Ohio’s economic difficulties has been priceless.
- Since February, GOP Senator and Guv candidate Kevin Coughlin’s name ID has increased 0%. In fact, 91% of Ohioans still have no clue who in the hell he is. Eventually this gnat will get the hint.
- A particularly disheartening response for Strickland had to be the “has the Governor kept his campaign promises” question. In an 18 point turnaround, voters say no by a margin of 40-34. Not only do Indies answer say no by a 13% margin, even 23% of Dems said he hasn’t.
- A plurality of 53-33 disapprove of Strickland’s handling of the state’s economy. In the last poll those numbers were even. As for his handling of the state budget, it’s even worse with 53-31 disapproval. In the last poll these numbers were flipped with Strickland enjoying a 43-40 approval rating. Even Strickland’s SE Ohio base is disapproving by 7 and 9 points, respectively. See my ‘told you so’ above. Ha.
- While 60% approve of gambling in Ohio(the same number that approved last August before the 2008 gambling initiative was soundly defeated), by a margin of 84-13 voters believe they should have a chance to vote on it rather than Strickland and the legislature imposing their will.
To sum up, nothing but great news for the Kasich campaign and Ohio as a whole. Clearly voters are paying attention to Strickland’s failures and his numbers are plummeting — and all without the help of a Kasich campaign making daily attacks. Ohioans are finding out on their own. And that’s a good thing.