OH-Gov/OH-Sen: Strickland Weak; SSP Changes to “Lean D”

Research 2000 for Daily Kos (7/6-8, likely voters, no trendlines):

Ted Strickland (D-inc): 44

John Kasich (R): 39

Undecided: 17

(MoE: ±4%)

R2K is now the third straight pollster to peg Strickland in the mid-to-low 40s, apparently solving the OH-Gov polling mystery. This is not a pretty chart:


One important thing to note, though: R2K has Obama’s favorables at 59-35 in Ohio, while Quinnipiac pegs them at 49-44. R2K is probably the outlier, though, as the two firms show similar favorables for Strickland, and Q’s job approval numbers for Obama now match up with PPP’s.

As a result of this recent nosedive, the Swing State Project is changing its rating on OH-Gov from Likely Dem to Lean Dem. Of course, it’s early; if Strickland can pull out of this tailspin, then we’ll be ready to adjust our rating once again as needed.

R2K also looked at the Senate race:

Lee Fisher (D): 22

Jennifer Brunner (D): 17

Undecided: 61

(MoE: ±5%)

Lee Fisher (D): 42

Rob Portman (R): 35

Undecided: 23

Jennifer Brunner (D): 40

Rob Portman (R): 36

Undecided: 24

(MoE: ±4%)

These numbers are very similar to those shown by Quinnipiac and PPP.

RaceTracker: OH-Gov | OH-Sen

19 thoughts on “OH-Gov/OH-Sen: Strickland Weak; SSP Changes to “Lean D””

  1. I don’t follow Ohio politics too closely, but I have been watching local television news from Toledo for the last few weeks, and they’ve been running fairly regular stories about various local agencies or organizations (ie. the Toledo-Lucas County Library system) that are facing major budget cuts because of cuts to state aid. Whenever they run a story like that, it’s not explicitly anti-Strickland, but it is a story along the lines of, “Due to the cuts proposed by Governor Strickland, X could be facing a budget shortfall of…”

    So I think a lot of people could just be frustrated by cuts in services and the situation in general, and Strickland’s poll numbers are suffering because of it. It’s not that people don’t like Strickland, it’s that they want to blame someone for a bad situation, and his name comes up a lot. He’s suffering from the same problem every other governor in the country is facing.

    I think in a campaign setting, with the governor actively making his case and reminding people that, hey, he’s actually done a decent job in the midst of tough times, his support will stabilize.

    At least, I hope so. If a popular and personable governor like Strickland can’t get re-elected in Ohio, then John Cherry doesn’t have a chance in Michigan.

  2. Haven’t seen June numbers for Ohio yet but May unemployment rate for Ohio was 10.4%.

    An incumbent holding around a six-point lead with double-digit jobless numbers isn’t bad at all.

    The rule of thumb that any incumbent below 50 is endangered does kick in, but, since his personal favorability is not yet upside down, Strickland has the potential to soar if the economy picks up by Nov 2010.

    And, if it doesn’t and Kassich doesn’t shoot himself in the foot, well, we will probably see the undecideds break 3-1 for the challenger.

    Under the circumstances, I think the leaner call is dead solid perfect. The economic numbers should have Strickland behind; the fact he retains a lead is a testament to the strength of his core support, yet calling likely D would be a stretch as long as he is below the magic number.

  3. Just looked at Quinni trends from January on Strickland’s personals. Yikes! Pretty steep rate of decline.

    Still, could have been worse under the circumstances. And makes retaining a lead more impressive. Love to see how his 44 compares to right/wrong track for the state.

    If anyone should be kicking himself, it should be Kassich for not being able to take a lead.

    Not that sure of the 38-30-32 DRI or whether by registration or party self-ID. Ohio has very high 55 percent undeclared. Stay that way there unless vote in a primary. Of course, they tend not to vote, primary or general, so probably not bad being light on Indies. Particularly hard to get them to do survey in off-off-year.

    And kind of hard to figure what breakdown to use when they had 1,114,740 registered voters in Cuyahoga County out of a total all-ages population of 1,283,925. Guess there are no minors in Cleveland. But the Dem numbers have been trending nicely all over the state. 50 of 88 counties now have Dem majority. And, outside the oddity of Cuyahoga, by and large Dems are gaining in counties growing in population and GOP in ones shedding people.

    Of course, this reads too much into short and medium-term trends. Every year we get a little farther away from the Taft immolation of the state GOP. Bound to see a little bounce back towards historical norms, especially when in opposition in hard times.

  4. What is the typical relationship between approval ratings, favorability ratings, and re-elect numbers?

    Iowa Governor Chet Culver’s approval numbers have ranged from the low 40s to the low 50s in recent months (SUSA found his approval at 42 percent in April, 48 percent in May and 42 percent in June, while a recent Republican poll put him at 53 percent approval).

    However, all of the polls have Culver’s re-elect numbers much lower–usually something like 35 or 36 percent say he deserves to be re-elected, while a much larger number say it’s time to give someone else a chance.

    Is this normal, or does Culver have an unusual problem?

  5. I think this could potentially stem the tide of job losses if gains could be made in cities like Columbus where major universities draw in highly educated workers who tend to favor D’s and who are less likely to lose their job in a recession.

    Those folks would seem to be more inclined to vote both for Democrats and incumbent Democrats in a down economic period because a) they are better educated and b) they aren’t upset about their employment situation.

    Just a thought. Anyone with local insight?

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