Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Well, after seeing Ted’s new ad, the only deduction is that Strickland is insane.
You guessed it. The Governor new advertisement is once again attacking John Kasich and Lehman Brothers.
Will it work? Of course not. How do we know? Because over $3 million in advertisements screaming the exact same message has already proven to have relatively zero effect on the race.
Let’s take a look at all polling from the 6 months before the first Democratic barrage hit on May 4th, and everything since.
Despite Kasich’s unfavorable rating going from 20 to 27% and his favorable rating staying firm at 36%, his overall level of support remained unchanged in the two time periods with both sitting at 44%.
And Ted? He went from 42% before the barrage to 43% after. And his job disapproval went from 43% to 51%.
What’s that mean? That even a 7 point change in a challenger’s unfavorable rating means virtually nothing when job approval for the incumbent is in far worse shape.
In sum, Strickland and his allies paid $3+ million for a 1-point bump.
But let’s look even more closely at the month before the May 4th barrage and everything since.
I’m sure there had to be some debate within Strickland’s camp about whether to go positive or double down on stupid.
As I said back in May, the only sane move for Strickland is to attempt to repair his image in the eyes of the voters. No matter what poll you look at, his job approval has never been at a level that will win him re-election. In referendum elections, the incumbent needs a certain level of approval from the electorate. And no matter how much you try to de-legitimize your opponent, if people are still ticked off at the job you’ve done the opposition will be inspired to turn out against you and Independents will side with the new guy. What helps your chances is to mitigate the frustration within the electorate, thereby encouraging the opposition to stay home and improving your standing among your own base.
Does that mean Strickland’s allies should lay off the Kasich attacks? Of course not. It just means letting the special interests handle that dirty work.
Instead, Strickland is once again attaching his name to negative advertising.
Does that have any chance to improve his job approval rating? No.
Is it anything that voters haven’t heard already? No.
Does that mean it’s a waste of money? Absolutely.
Strickland is wasting valuable campaign dollars and time by repeating the same tired mistakes he made before. Remember, every dollar and every 30-second spot attacking Kasich is a dollar and 30 seconds not used more effectively.
And ultimately, I’m pretty damn impressed at how close our commercial came last night to being what Strickland put up today.
Thanks for being so predictable, Ted.