Thursday, April 29, 2010

Breaking it Down: The 4/29 Ohio Governor and Senate Quinnipiac Poll

Today's Ohio Governor and Ohio Senate poll from Quinnipiac is more of what we saw a month ago. Kasich is down 6 and Portman is down 3.

But as we've detailed before, in cooperation with Jim Geraghty from NRO, the current Quinnipiac registered voter model skews the results as it inaccurately reflects the political identification breakdown of Ohio.
...[last month's] sample was 24 percent Republican, 33 percent Democrat, and 33 percent independent or no party, and the remaining 9 percent were other or refused to answer.

In February, Quinnipiac had it at 27 percent Republican, 30 percent Democrat, and 37 percent independent, and 4 percent other or refused to answer.

That 33/24 split among Democrats and Republicans really stands out, as the 2008 exit poll put the split in Ohio at 39 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican. In other words, does Quinnipiac really think that the makeup of the electorate will be better for Democrats on Election Day 2010 than it was in 2008?
And with this latest poll, it's more of the same.

For example, in the previous poll with the skewed Party ID numbers, Kasich won Republicans 75-9 and Independents 38-34. Strickland won Democrats 80-9.

Today's poll showed differentiations of +1 for Kasich among GOPers and Independents. Strickland had a +2 bump among Democrats.

In other words, Kasich's support increased by 2 points and Ted's support increased by 2 points. And yet, Strickland's lead increased overall by one point. The only way this can happen is with yet more skewing of Party ID by Quinnipiac.

As of now, I've requested the Party ID numbers for the latest poll from Quinnipiac but have yet to obtain them.

Fortunately, if history holds, Quinnipiac should move to their likely voter model in June or so. The question is whether those likely voters will simply be determined by voting history, or also by the questioner asking about voter enthusiasm.

That all said, let's take a closer look at the numbers.

Name ID

As would be expected, Kasich, Strickland and Portman's name ID numbers haven't changed. After all, none of them is on TV or sending out any form of paid media. But what's interesting is that despite Fisher being on TV the past couple weeks, Fisher's name ID among Registered voters has only improved by one point. Compare that to the eight point bump Fisher received in yesterday's poll of Likely Democratic Primary voters and you can see how distinct the difference between the two samples can be. Interestingly enough, as Fisher's name ID improved by 8 points, so did his lead over Brunner. That's not a coincidence.

Voters simply aren't comfortable supporting someone they don't know. And that's one of the difficulties facing Kasich right now. No one knows him. In fact, Strickland's name ID is 42 points higher than Kasich. In other words, Strickland is already established in voters' minds, but Kasich is still unknown. Makes you wonder how Kasich's numbers will improve in this poll as his name ID increases, eh?

The Bad News for Strickland and Fisher
As I just mentioned, Strickland's high name ID is already established. Meanwhile, Fisher will obviously be attached at the hip to the Strickland Administration and the Jobs Crisis by Portman.

So considering the answers about some of these questions about Ohio, Strickland and Fisher are in trouble.
  • By 58-41 overall, and with Indies at 66-34, Ohioans are dissatisfied "with the way things are going in Ohio".
  • By 41-37 overall, and with Indies at 46-28, Ohioans don't believe Ted Strickland kept his campaign promises.
  • By 53-36 overall, and with Indies at 59-31, Ohioans disapprove of the way Ted Strickland has handled the economy.
  • By 48-36 overall, and with Indies at 50-31, Ohioans disapprove of the way Ted Strickland has handled the state budget.
And somehow, with Ohioans even knowing who the hell he is, Kasich barely wins questions asking who would do a better job rebuilding the economy and handling the state budget. That is amazing.

Rob Portman's Favorite Question
Quinnipiac asks, "would you like to see the next United States Senator elected from Ohio generally support Barack Obama's policies or oppose Barack Obama's policies?"

Oppose wins 48-45. Among Indepedents, oppose wins by an astounding 55-36.

Health Care
This answer has to please not just Kasich and Portman, but Republicans across the state. By 55-38 overall, and 63-28 among Independents, Ohioans disapprove of federal health care overall.

Opinion of the Parties
To no surprise, Republicans like Republicans and Democrats like Democrats. So it's more interesting to see whether Independents approve or disapprove of each Party.

Among Indies, the GOP has a -9 rating. But among the same group, Democrats sit at -15. That explains the Independent support both Kasich and Portman now appreciate.

But what I love is the opinion of the Tea Party. They are the only one of the three to have an overall positive rating, sitting at +10. But what's impressive is their +18 number among Indies. Someone remind me why Democrats keep insulting Tea Partiers, again? Morons.

As said above, this poll is more of the same.

Portman simply needs to attach Fisher at the hip to Ted Strickland. Fisher's term as Ohio's failed Job Czar should take care of that just fine.

The fact is, Ohioans are upset with the direction of the state and don't believe Strickland can do the job, but are tentative to support Kasich until they know a bit more about them. That's nothing some paid media about his sterling accomplishments in Congress can't fix.

Strickland needs to find a way to fix his own reputation while defining Kasich negatively at the same time. And that's extremely hard to do.

Especially with a double digit unemployment rate staring you in the face.

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