This post isn’t about the politics, merits, beliefs, or qualifications of the Republican candidates for Attorney General.
It’s about political reality.
There are some things in politics that one simply can’t change, no matter how much you believe in a candidate or no matter how much a candidate frustrates you.
Very recently, I obtained a copy of a private poll conducted by the nationally renowned Tarrance Group. The Tarrance Group, run by Ed Goeas, is widely known as the premier polling firm of Republican candidates. If you want a poll, and can afford it, you talk to them.
Here are the results:
Among all likely voters in the 2010 general election for Ohio Attorney General, DeWine currently captures 50% of the vote compared to incumbent Richard Cordray’s 42%, leaving 9% undecided.
In two of the three largest designated market areas (DMA) in the state, DeWine holds tremendous leads over Cordray. In Cleveland, DeWine garners 50% to Cordray’s 41% and in the Cincinnati DMA he leads by 42 points, with 68% of the vote to just 26% for Cordray.
Among a subset of likely Republican primary voters across the State of Ohio, DeWine captures more than four-fifths of the vote (82%) against potential opponent David Yost’s 10%, leaving 9% undecided. DeWine’s support remains within the margin of error of his overall score across all regions and subgroups.
Two obvious takeaways?
1. Cordray should be worried.
Cordray is currently polling only two percent higher than Strickland did in the most recent Quinnipiac poll. In other words, not good.
2. Dave Yost doesn’t stand a chance.
Down 73 points is never good.
Why the massive support for DeWine? Name recognition. When you’ve served as Senator and Lt. Governor as long as he did, Ohioans are going to know you. Yeah, some of that name recognition isn’t positive among the Republican base. But it’s still positive enough to garner DeWine 82% against an unknown candidate.
And that’s Yost’s challenge. He’s unknown, and he doesn’t have the cash to overcome that.
Yes, I know he won the Butler County Republican Party endorsement. But that doesn’t buy name recognition among the thousands of Republican primary voters across Ohio.
The political reality is this – it’s not Dave Yost’s time…..yet.
Fortunately, he’s playing his cards just right. He understands the enormous odds against him and isn’t risking his political future by attacking the frontrunner. In order to succeed in Ohio politics, you need establishment support. And you don’t gain establishment support by thumbing your nose at the frontrunner.
Dave Yost is a fantastic candidate, and as long as he maintains a positive campaign and focuses his energy on beating the Democrats in the fall, he has a future in Ohio politics. He will be good for Ohio. But the time is not yet ripe.
One closing thought before I head to Rhino’s in Georgetown to catch the Buckeye game, this poll also says a little something about the Governor’s race.
Cordray is currently suffering from the fatigue facing Democrats throughout Ohio. Thus, his similar polling number relative to Strickland. But Cordray is facing a Republican who is garnering 50% of the vote. Comparitively, Kasich was at 40%. But how is Kasich different from the other three? Name recognition. As Kasich’s name recognition improves – and it will significantly, I’m confident we’ll see a similar uptick in his support. Republicans and Independents who know Kasich quantitatively approve of him. Increasing his name recognition among those that don’t will only increase his support and build a lead against the struggling Ted Strickland.