With word this morning of the Ohio Supreme Court overwhelmingly shooting down Ted Strickland's slots plan in favor of a voter referendum, I am forced once again to wonder how much is too much?
How much bad news can the voters really comprehend?
As we learned with the most recent Quinnipiac poll, Ohioans have a more positive perception of the man that is Ted Strickland than of the job he's actually doing. With massively negative numbers on issues like the economy and budget, it's clear that Ohioans can comprehend what a bad job the Governor is doing, but his approval numbers reflect a sense of forgiveness or 'at least he's trying.'
- 60,000 illegal aliens getting driving privileges.
- A massive budget mess.
- Breaking promises and cutting early education funding.
- A corrupt and mismanaged cabinet.
- Doubling of unemployment.
- Going back on his word on slots.
- A bait and switch on public education.
And on and on and on...
Is it possible that when the voters hear about all of these issues that they recoil and question their validity? It's almost as if there is too much to actually be believed to be true.
And yet, it is.
The Kasich campaign's challenge will be determining how to keep their message simple and focused. We all know campaigns with incumbents are first and foremost a referendum on their term in office. Trying to hit the Governor on all these issues is like trying to hit a target from 60 yards with a shotgun shell. You might pepper it, but using a single bullet and a scope will cause a lot more damage.
The campaign against Strickland must focus on a single issue. Strickland tries to bring up education? Fine. Turn it around and bring up the job crisis. Strickland wants to brag about property tax cuts for seniors? Fine. Turn it around and bring up the job crisis.
The Kasich team will be well served to remember that what's most important is the answer to every question, not the question itself. No voter remembers the question being asked...
Unless it's, "are you better off than you were four years ago?"