I've had a few regulars e-mail me to ask about how Kasich is doing among Independents. Apparently the most recent Ohio Poll brought about some confusion.
The Ohio Poll released this past weekend had Strickland leading Kasich among Independents 44-43.
If you decide that the Ohio Poll is the only poll worth paying any attention to, you have your answer.
But, if you, like nationally regarded poll analysts, believe you have to take all legitimate polls into consideration, the answer gets quite a bit fuzzier.
First off, let's start with the Ohio Poll.
As we said, this weekend showed Strickland up 44-43 on Kasich among Independents. But, what if you take into consideration the last Ohio Poll taken back in May? Back then Strickland was also up among Independents - but the margin was 44-30. In other words, just by taking the Ohio Poll into consideration, Strickland has stayed completely static among Independents since May while Kasich has improved by 13 points.
Now, what about the slew of polls taken between September 13-20?
Here is how the crosstabs read among Independents:
Survey USA: Kasich 51, Strickland 33
Quinnipiac: Kasich 55, Strickland 32
CNN/Time: Kasich 54, Strickland 38
Rasmussen: Kasich 54, Strickland 33
Fox News: Independent subgroup N/A
Ohio Poll: Strickland 44, Kasich 43
As the Sesame Street gang used to say, one of these is not like the other.
Now both sides can argue in circles about which poll is valid and which isn't. That's why picking which ones you like and don't like doesn't really get you anywhere.
But one thing is clear - you'd be hard pressed to find any serious analyst that would say the clear similarities among the first four polls can or should be dismissed.
Even if you wanted to say the Ohio Poll was the only poll worth paying attention to, you would still have to submit that Strickland hasn't improved even one percentage point among Independents while Kasich has improved 13 points.
No matter how you cut it, Strickland isn't closing the gap on Independents.