Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quinny Poll: Brunner is toast. But Fisher will come away crippled.

Back in December I wrote a post detailing why I was happy Jennifer Brunner was not going to be the nominee chosen by Ohio Democrats.

Since then, Brunner has been dealt setback after setback.

And the latest poll from Quinnipiac serves as the 798th nail in the coffin of Jennifer Brunner's senatorial campaign.

Quinnipiac's poll sampled likely, not registered voters, for the upcoming Democratic Senate primary in Ohio. This provides a much more accurate depiction of the electorate and how things will go down in May.

As of right now, Fisher is up 33-26 on the Progressives favorite candidate.

Amazingly, Fisher is found to be more liberal, more trusting, and more likely to share the values of Democratic primary voters. So much for the effectiveness of Brunner's total reliance on social media as a campaign strategy.

And while a large chunk of voters say their decision isn't firm, it still highlights what we've been saying for months as the main problem for Brunner. She is down in the polls and thanks to her money situation, she has no medium to communicate her message to a large group of people and improve her situation.

Peter Brown from Quinnipiac says so himself:
"With so many voters lacking so much information with so little time to go until the voting, the election is going to be decided by which of the two does a better job reaching this big group of voters who don't think they know enough at this point to make a choice," Brown said. "Given how campaigns work, the candidate with the biggest and best television campaign is most likely to prevail."
But the large chunk of unsure voters puts Fisher in a difficult predicament. He still needs to spend money to solidify his lead. But does he have it?

An analysis of his last campaign finance report showed him in a slightly tougher financial bind than he has let on.

If you look at the individual and PAC contributions, then subtract the maximum limit from each, you come up with $615,195 that can’t be spent in the primary. In other words, many individuals and PACs have already given their max on the primary, and the surplus (up to the maximum allowed to be contributed) must go to the general.

That means as of the last report, Fisher only has about 700k to spend on a substantive amount of statewide TV. That will buy you maybe two weeks. Hardly enough for a crushing blow.

In the meantime, Brunner hasn't raised enough to get her a meeting with the sales department at the local public access station in Dayton.

Now obviously Fisher has continued to raise general money through the 1st quarter of this year, but whatever he reports won’t be the full amount he can spend for the primary.

Sure, it will be enough to separate himself from Brunner at the last minute, but it will leave Fisher severely crippled for the general election race against Portman.


  1. Your math might work, but the assumptions behind it are questionable. You're assuming Fisher has already tapped the complete universe of potential donors, which is a pretty specious assumption, isn't it?

  2. Michael,

    First off, thanks for the comment. It's an understandable conclusion you make, but a faulty one.

    First off, the fact that much of Fisher's stash is, for the lack of a better term, doubled up money, means he's done a much poorer job raising the money than initially thought.

    Second, the fact that he's done so poorly despite being in a competitive primary against an opponent that has done an extremely poor job raising money says a lot. In other words, the money guys clearly picked Fisher over Brunner, but that still didn't bring out the big bucks.

    Third, months ago a Democrat was far more favored to win than now. In other words, for those looking to send money to a likely winner, it looked like a far better idea months ago than it is now.

    Fourth, Portman's money advantage is going to be massive. Far too massive for Fisher to make a serious dent in over just seven months. Especially when you consider the fact that Portman has led for so long.

    Just a few more things to think about, and I'm happy to discuss more if you're so interested.


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