I’ve heard some rumors that a new Ohio poll may be coming out this weekend.
The question is where this one will place the race.
With a swarm of polls last week that showed the race all over the place – from Kasich +6 to Kasich +17 – it’s hard to guess how this one will look.
In polls going back to June of last year, the Ohio Poll has conducted two tests of the electorate. In both of those polls, the two that showed the highest level of support for Governor Strickland of all polls taken both came from the Ohio Poll. In October of 2009 they had him at 48%. In May of this year they had him at 49% with a 5 point lead on Kasich – the only poll besides Quinnipiac to show a Strickland lead all year.
With that in mind, it’s safe to say this one will likely be fairly friendly towards the Governor.
I wouldn’t expect a lead or even a level of support equaling previous Ohio Polls, but considering the Ohio Poll’s history, something closer to what we’ve seen from the recent Rasmussen and CNN/Time polls seems to be a fair assumption.
That would place Strickland at anywhere from 41-43 percent support and a 5-8 point deficit.
While that would shrink Kasich’s aggregate lead, it shouldn’t give the Strickland campaign room to cheer.
First off, you’re still losing. Second, if you are well under the 50% threshold it means you’ve got a lot of work to do – especially if you’re an incumbent Democrat in this environment.
And don’t forget, there are only 38 days left in this race. History shows that undecideds near the end of an election tend to break towards the challenger – and in a political environment like this one it’s very unlikely that will change.
As we said before the debate last Tuesday, the Governor’s polling has already hit its basement. Without a major scandal, it’s unlikely that his level of support could shrink anymore than the 40% average we were seeing. That means the Governor has nowhere to go but up, and with his decision to finally embrace some moderately positive advertising, it’s expected.
The problem for the Governor is that the combination of the environment, the poor strategic decisions at the campaign level, and his own conduct means it’s going to be especially difficult for him to reach the all-important 50%+1 mark that he hasn’t seen since April of 2009.
If the poll does come out this weekend, it should be on Sunday. Keep an eye out.