An article by Jon Craig in the Cincy Enquirer yesterday echoed several sentiments I’ve been making about the Ohio gubernatorial campaign over the past few months.
- The Kasich campaign should be patient when it comes to establishing his identity among the voters:
The former congressman from the Columbus suburb of Westerville has plenty of time to define his campaign through debates, public appearances and TV ads, said Herb Asher, professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State University.
- Ted Strickland took much more time in 2006 than Kasich has when it came to presenting himself and his plans to the media:
Strickland and his campaign spokesman, Keith Dailey, met one-on-one with reporters in 2005 and early 2006. Except for a conference call announcing his candidacy in May 2005, Strickland didn’t hold his first press event until May, 2006.
- Until voters start paying more attention, Kasich should continue to focus on a grassroots strategy of working local low key events, particularly among activists, that will be most effective in the long-run:
Kasich makes himself available to local media whenever he speaks to county GOP committees. He’s been to 84 of the state’s 88 counties during the past year, according to Nichols.
- Kasich’s position in Quinnipiac polling is nothing unusual, and in fact, puts him in a positive position:
Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said 62 percent of voters said they didn’t know enough about Kasich to have an opinion on him. Even so, poll respondents thought Kasich would do a better job handling the economy and state budget.
“John Kasich remains unknown to most voters,” Brown said. “But that’s not an unusual number for a candidate in February of an election year, especially when they haven’t run statewide before.”
“John Kasich is no different than most challengers. He has his base of support,” Brown said. “By election day he’ll be virtually as well-known in the state as Ted Strickland. He won’t have a name ID problem. Whether he’s as well-liked is another story.”
Nichols and Asher agreed Strickland can’t win with job approval ratings below 50 percent.
Perspective, history, and a basic understanding of campaign strategy helps a lot when determining where things stand in this race.