Sunday, October 31, 2010

Team Strickland overly optimistic in Cleveland [UPDATE: Really funny pic added]

Today's visit by President Obama and Vice President Biden in support of Ted Strickland was supposed to be the big campaign finale for the Governor.

The event was in the heart of Cleveland and expectations were high.

Apparently too high.

From WKYC:
The event drew a crowd of 8,000. Cleveland State's Wolstein Center holds 14,000. There were contingency plans in place for a possible second event at Krenzler Field to handle an overflow crowd that never materialized.
Now don't get me wrong. 8,000 is a heckuva turnout for a normal, gubernatorial campaign rally. It's one any statewide candidate would love to have.

But this event was with the leader of the free world.

This event was in the heart of what's supposed to be ground zero for Democrats in Ohio.

This event was supposed to have far more than 14,000 people.

Instead, they had just over half that.

One thing is clear - Cleveland isn't energized to a level that the Strickland campaign expects. If it was, 14,000+ would have shown up.

They didn't. Not by a longshot.

And that's bad news for Strickland.


UPDATE II: When even the New York Times notices, that's bad news.

Two New polls - Things are Tight!

I didn't like the two latest polls.

Newly minted official pollster of national Dem blog They Daily Kos, PPP, has Kasich up one, 49-48.

The Columbus Dispatch mail-in poll has Kasich up 49-47.

Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather be ahead than behind, but both of these are within their margin of error, meaning things are incredibly tight.

That said, there are reasons to be optimistic.

First, let's look at PPP.

What struck me first was their partisan breakdown. By far, they have the largest sample of Democrats we've seen from any pollster in awhile. According to PPP, 43% of the electorate are Dems, 37% are GOP, and 20% are Independents.

To put that into some perspective, in the year of Obama, 2008, the CNN exit poll showed the Democrat portion of the electorate at just 39%. In other words, PPP's poll says a larger portion of the electorate this year will be Democrats than when they voted for Barack Obama. Somehow, I'm not confident that will be the case this year.

But there was another number in the PPP poll that simply shocked me, and should greatly worry Democrats. Kasich is up 56-38 among Independents. That's an 18 point advantage.

Among partisans, both are doing well with Strickland getting 87% of Democrats and Kasich getting 90% of Republicans.

That said, Strickland only gets 75% approval from Democrats. That a sitting Governor who has been in office for four years can only gain 75% from his base is stunning. Among Independents, Strickland's approval is in the dumps, coming in at 30%-58%. Comparatively, Kasich's favorables among Independents sit at +7, a net difference of 35 points. That explains the massive margin of Independents favoring Kasich.

What about Obama?

His overall approval in Ohio sits at just 38%. Among Democrats he gets only 71%. That means more than 1/4 of his entire base doesn't approve. Pretty amazing.
And the Independent voters? Pretty ugly. By 30-61%, they disapprove of the President.

Ultimately, this PPP poll with their heavy Democratic sample seems to be a best case scenario for Democrats on Tuesday. And that's not good enough.

Now the Dispatch poll...

This one seems a bit more realistic to me, but not without some questions.

Party breakdown works out to 42%R, 40%D, 16%I. That seems to be an undersampling of the likely number of Independents, but is likely accurate in the GOP advantage of 2 points. For comparison, in 2006 we saw CNN's exit poll showing a 40D, 37R, 23I breakdown. Considering Blackwell's position in 2006 at the time of the election, it's not surprising that Dems had the turnout advantage. Fortunately, things are a bit different this time around.

But onto the results.

Once again, both candidates do well with their partisans, with Kasich winning 89% of GOP voters and Strickland winning 92% of Dems. Once again, we see a Kasich advantage among Independents - winning 49-40.

Strickland is up eight among early voters in the poll. But is that enough? As a percentage, Obama had about an 18 point lead coming out of early voting in 2008 and he only went on to win Ohio 51-47. In other words, Strickland's 8-point lead is not near where it needs to be to hammer down a victory.

Most geographic and age breakdowns are about what you'd expect, but it's the enthusiasm numbers that really struck me.

Voters were asked, compared to previous elections, if they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting, less enthusiastic, or about the same.

Among those more enthusiastic, Kasich voters have a 71-26 advantage. Strickland has a large lead among those who are less enthusiastic or about the same. In other words, if the Strickland machine can get these people to the polls, they may stand a chance. But turnout has to favor Kasich at this point.

In summary, yes, things have definitely tightened and this could go either way. That said, I'm still supremely confident that the incredibly consistent lack of support for Strickland among Independents and the enthusiasm gap is too much for any visit by President Obama to overcome.

After these two most recent polls, RealClearPolitics now has the Kasich advantage at 48.8 to 45.8.

Now let's take advantage of the incoming wave and go win this.

Get out the vote!

Two days.

Two days left.

That's it.

The only thing left is GOTV.

Get out the vote.

For two days out I decided this speech from Any Given Sunday was most fitting.

"Life is a game of inches."

[note: NSFW language]

Now let's go win this.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What I did on my Saturday afternoon.


That's the only way I can describe the mess of a Strickland/Clinton rally that I decided to attend late this afternoon.

The event was supposed to start at 3:45 right outside Teamster HQ.

So, up I walked through what technically could be considered a gathering of people.

A crowd it was not.

Here are a few sample shots that I took right around 3:45, the time the rally was supposed to start, from various spots in the crowd.

I walked around a bit while we waited for the former President and the Governor to jump up on stage. And that's when things got amusing.

After a few snarky tweets of mine, up came a Democratic volunteer/staffer/whatever asking me if I wanted to volunteer. I said no. He responded, "your readers may be interested in it."

Ya know what? Those goofy kids on Team Strickland were so quick on the Twitter draw that not moments after I began tweeting from their event they had someone in the crowd looking for some blogger. Yours truly.

Paranoid much, fellas?

Maybe instead of worrying about the likes of me, they should have focused on doing some decent advance work and secured the Strickland/Brown sign on the front of the podium before their slate of statewide candidates took the stage.


What was most amazing was 20 minutes after the rally was supposed to start, I walked right up from the back of the rally site to the 2nd row so I could take that shot.

For pete's sake, Clinton is supposed to be the most popular politician in America, and I'm able to walk right up to the 2nd row 20 minutes after the rally was to start? Yeesh.

Anyways. After becoming bored with the President's speech I decided to walk back and check out the protestors chanting from across the street.

Between calls of "Mary Jo Must Go" and "Thanks for signing NAFTA, Bill!", I couldn't stop laughing.

That was until all the middle fingers and threats came from those leaving the rally early or sneaking from the back of their pack to give us some choice words. For being the Party of Tolerance, they need some sensitivity training.

After approximately the 297th minute, or at least it felt like it, of Clinton's speech, it was time to pack up and go do some GOTV and write up this post.

Overall, I was underwhelmed with the crowd, its enthusiasm, and Team Strickland's advance work. I was amazed at their sensitivity to a lone blogger and a few scrappy protestors.

But what fun this was. It's good to be home in the Buckeye State.

Is this the hope and change you were waiting for?

The great Charles Krauthammer wrote a column yesterday that really should hit home for what's left of Obama's supporters.

Key word? Should.

It should hit home. But it probably won't. So many are still distracted by the glow of the supposed post-partisan President.

Check it out:

In a radio interview that aired Monday on Univision, President Obama chided Latinos who "sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.' " Quite a uniter, urging Hispanics to go to the polls to exact political revenge on their enemies - presumably, for example, the near-60 percent of Americans who support the new Arizona immigration law.

This from a president who won't even use "enemies" to describe an Iranian regime that is helping kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. This from a man who rose to prominence thunderously declaring that we were not blue states or red states, not black America or white America or Latino America - but the United States of America.

This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends - not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution.
Is this the hope and change you voted for? 

3 days.

Three days left.

And with it being the last Buckeye game before election day, how could I not post this?

Let's get after it, folks.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I believe.

Ted Strickland's campaign has his closing argument advertisement out.

It's called "Believe".

While the ad is a bit on the sloppy side and hits a few too many notes to be particularly effective, the "I believe" message from the Governor is more optimistic than we've heard the entire campaign season.

It got me thinking. If you believe Ted Strickland, then I have a few things I believe myself...

I believe a 39MPH 3-C choo choo train that costs too much and whose schedule is inconducive to gaining any regular ridership has the potential to revive Ohio's economy.

I believe 258 investigations and 44 referrals to the Ohio Inspector General's office about the Strickland Administration is the kind of ethical executive branch Ohioans voted for four years ago.

I believe sometimes it's a good idea to have no idea about how to pay back $3 billion plus interest to the federal government for unemployment funds. After all, Ohioans love surprises.

I believe after firing several prison guards for selling drugs to inmates and lying to supervisors and outright incompetence, that the best course of action would be for the Strickland administration to re-hire those same state prison guards who had been fired for lying, incompetence and dealing drugs.

I believe Cathy Collins-Taylor told the truth.

I believe a pimp is probably the best choice to manage the Governor's faith-based initiative.

I believe the Governor's mansion is one helluva place to have a party. Provided you're a part of the Ohio penal system.

I believe failing to send your cabinet appointees to the Senate for affirmation is the sign of a diligent and focused Administration.

I believe Ohioans are fond of the status quo.

I believe Kent Markus, the Governor's top counselor, had no idea his handpicked, Harvard educated, and now indicted top lawyer in the Department of Public Safety was illegally tapping into e-mails of employees as they contacted the Inspector General and media.

I believe the best way to manage an $8 billion budget deficit is to completely ignore it.

And I believe I'd get my butt kicked if I was responsible for making sure Ted Strickland got his warm cookies on the plane that was moved from Don Scott Airfield a few miles away to the Columbus airport so the Governor didn't need to spend a few extra minutes in the car.

But there's one thing I know.

Ted Strickland is going to lose on Tuesday.

Just so we're clear....

Rich Galen neatly packaged up the massive policy and messaging failure of the Obama Administration this summer. Check it out...
Going into the summer of 2010, we were assured by the political geniuses in the White House that Barack Obama and Joe Biden would be out selling it as "Recovery Summer."

In fact, on June 17 the White House published an announcement on its website saying,
"The Administration today kicks off "Recovery Summer," a six-week-long focus on the surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects that will be underway across the country in the coming months - and the jobs they'll create well into the fall and through the end of the year."

Ah, that blasted reality.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (a subdivision of Obama's Department of Labor) in July 2010 - a month into Recover Summer - there were 14,599,000 Americans who were unemployed.
After three months of "focus on the surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects" in September 2010 there were 14,767,000 Americans looking for work. 168,000 more than before Obama and Biden went out into the countryside to tell us how well we're doing.
The Stimulus cost our nation more than the entire Iraq War.

That is fact.

What do we have in return? An employment rate and job loss at a rate far higher than they promised us.

And what did they promise us? This.

Anyone else feeling in the low 7s?

Yeah, me neither.

This is what our Democratic led Congress gave us. Don't let them get away with it.

Strickland: "...Deceptive to the point of ridiculous..."

You don't want to go into the last four days of the election with your pants on fire.

Leave it to Ted Strickland.

You may remember an ad from the Governor that took Kasich's words at a gaggle and scrambled them to build a case against his plans for the Department of Development.

At the time, Mytheos Holt of the National Review absolutely obliterated the ad and his words were seen in a response commercial from the Kasich campaign. In turn, rather than debate the facts, Team Strickland did what came naturally and conducted a desperate personal attack against Holt. It blew up so big that Rich Lowry, Editor of the National Review, sent a scathing letter to Chris Redfern that did a fine job of shutting the Chairman up.

Well, it turns out Holt was right all along.

From Politifact:
While the words in the ad did come out of Kasich’s mouth, they are from edited video that links statements out of context. Without that context, viewers have no way of knowing that some of the lines clearly were said in jest, and they are instead presented as if Kasich is serious.

And Kasich clearly says during his conversation with reporters that bonuses would go to workers for JobsOhio and that they could not be secret, but would instead be public.

Taking comments from different parts of conversation and linking them together to bolster a message is more than just false, it’s deceptive to a point of ridiculous.

For a statement like this -- "Kasich wants to use our tax dollars to give secret bonuses to his corporate friends" -- there’s only one answer: Pants on Fire!
Governor, this is an awfully silly way to look these last few days before election day...

Insiders: Kasich is going to win

The polls say it.

Larry Sabato says it.

Nate Silver says Kasich has an 80% chance to win.

And now the insiders say it.

From the National Journal's poll of Republican and Democratic insiders: the key governor's race in Ohio, the National Journal Political Insiders said by a wide margin that Republican nominee John Kasich would unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland. Overall, 82 percent of the Insiders said that Kasich would beat Strickland while only 18 percent said the Democrat would survive. Two thirds of the Democratic Insiders predicted Kasich would win, while nearly all of the Republican Insiders -- 98 percent -- said he would be the Buckeye State's next governor.

4 days.

Four days left.

I've been having some fun with this countdown series, but this election is no laughing matter.

We have an opportunity to truly make a difference and take our country back.

The words in this video, as compiled by the Republican Study Committee, tell us exactly what this election is about.

It's a choice. It begins with you doing whatever you can to get out the vote. It ends when you pull that lever on Tuesday.

Four days. Let's roll.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Loser's Strategy

When you're losing, desperation can set in.

And it seems very possible that is the case in a new set of suspicious mailers being sent to conservatives around the state.

An organization called the Ohio State Tea Party is sending mailers to Republicans recommending they vote for Libertarians in races where one exists. In some cases, this could split the conservative vote and win the seat for the Democrat.

Here's a sample...

Binsky happens to be the Libertarian candidate.

Now I'm all for free speech and pushing whomever you want for office, except there is one problem.

No one in the Tea Party chain of command in Ohio has ever heard of this organization sending out mailers.

In fact, the Ohio Liberty Council, the umbrella organization that helps coordinate the Tea Party organizations around the state, sent out this message to their members today in response to the above mailer:

"The Ohio State Tea Party" was registered with the Secretary of State after the 10/14 financial reporting deadline so they won't have to disclose donors until AFTER the election is over. Make your friends aware that they should be suspicious of fliers like this.

Considering the number of false Tea Party organizations sprouting up around the country as the election draws closer, it seems clear that the Ohio Liberty Council is onto something.

One thing in particular makes this Ohio State Tea Party suspicious. They filed on the same day as the anonymously funded Our Future Ohio PAC registered. As you'll recall, OFO has poured millions of dollars from unknown sources into the gubernatorial and statehouse races. See the two documents below:

Both created on October 15th. Convenient, eh?

So, will this strategy work? Possibly. But not if we inform our friends and neighbors and make them aware to not pay attention to such blatant abuse of the political process.

Yes, it's legal.

Yes, it's dirty.

Yes, it's desperate.

And we're gonna beat them anyway.

If you see anymore mailers like this, please contact me at

UPDATE: Apparently similar items are sprouting up all over the state, including mailers about congressional races like Bob Gibbs race versus Zack Space. Is this all Space and his allies have left? Rather than damaging the chances of Republicans statewide, they may have awoken a beast that will work its tail off to get out the vote these last four days.

Rasmussen - This is getting old.

In what is likely the 2nd to last poll released before Tuesday's election, Rasmussen came out with their final poll in the Ohio Governor's race today.

The results weren't anything new.

Kasich scored 48% support and, you guessed it, Strickland is under 45%.

Just like Survey USA earlier today, the sample included a larger number of Democrats than Republicans and support for Kasich was through the roof among Independents, coming in at 54-36.

The last poll of the cycle should be the Dispatch Poll on Sunday.

Keep up the hard work, everyone. We're going to win this.

Fisher's Surrender.

News spread yesterday that Lee Fisher sent the change he had left in his pocket, a half eaten Big Mac, and a used toothbrush over to the Ohio Democratic Party yesterday in a clear signal that he has given up on winning a seat in the United States Senate.

With articles discussing Fisher's surrender in all the big papers in Ohio, what kind of message does that send Democrats throughout Ohio?

Why bother?
That's it?
We're doomed?

Sure, the insiders have known about Fisher's troubles for months.

But to the layperson Democrat who is just now getting engaged a few days out, learning about total surrender is clearly a negative.

Thanks again, Lee.

Governor Envy, Part 899

Ya gotta love Chris Christie.

As some of you probably know, the Governor of New Jersey is coming to Lebanon tomorrow afternoon in support of John Kasich along with impending 2012 presidential primary opponents Haley Barbour and Tim Pawenty.

In case you forgot why Chris Christie is already such a huge star in the Republican Party, this may help you remember and get your butt out to the event tomorrow. Click here for details.

From the Americans for Tax Reform:
Time is running out for the New Jersey Legislature to act on Gov. Christie's tool kit reforms, as well as his public employee pension and benefit reforms. But rather than taking these challenges on in a bipartisan way, Assembly Speaker Oliver and Senate President Sweeney have put forth watered-down bills that give lipservice to New Jersey's problems without solving any of them.

Oh, and they've been giving hearings to bills dealing with the real hot-button issues facing the state, like dog sterilization, foreign dental work and lock-picking:

Sabato says +55. Kasich wins.

When Larry Sabato makes his final predictions, you listen.

He's been named the most accurate prognosticator by Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

In 2008 he missed Obama's electoral vote count by 1 and nailed the percentage of victory.

In 2006, Sabato was the only national analyst to correctly predict the exact Democratic gains in both the Senate and House contests.

And this morning he said Republicans will win a net gain of 55 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. He shows Kilroy, Boccieri, Driehaus, and Space losing in Ohio. And Charlie Wilson has an outside shot of losing his seat in OH-6.

As for Governor, he sides with DJ Tablesauce in predicting a Kasich victory.

Sorry, Dems.

Survey USA - Yes, Ted is still losing.

As I mentioned last night when 3BP was the first to highlight the results of the new poll sponsored by WCMH in Columbus, Survey USA is one of the most respected pollsters out there, having been ranked 3rd among 62 pollsters by Nate Silver of the New York Times/FiveThirtyEight.

That said, it's the policy of 3BP to take Survey USA's findings as equal to all the other pollsters out there.

Survey USA's topline shows Kasich leading 49-44.

While RCP hasn't yet included the Survey USA poll number into its average as of the writing of this post, the numbers should change to 48.2 for Kasich and 45.0 for Strickland.

Yes, Strickland is still below where an incumbent needs to be. Especially with just five days to go.

But let's get to the juicy stuff. What do the numbers really say?

The Toplines
Kasich is doing a solid job with partisans, winning Republicans with 86% of the vote. Strickland is slightly weaker, coming in with just 81% of Democrats. Once again, Kasich is winning Independents - this time by a 51-34 margin.

REALLY Likely Voters
This is where it gets good.

Among voters who say they "always" vote in midterms, Kasich is winning 55-38. Among those who say they are more enthusiastic about this election than prior elections, Kasich wins 66-30. 

Early Voting
This is the lone bright spot for Strickland. Survey USA shows Strickland up 52-43 among those that have already voted. But there are two problems for Team Strickland. Even Lee Fisher is winning early voters by three points. And we all know how that's going to end up. Additionally, early voters comprise only 21% of entire sample. What about the other 79%? Well, they support Kasich 51-41. As long as voters do what they say they're gonna do, Kasich walks away with this one. This truly shows just how important it is to Get Out the Vote these last five days.

Regional Support
These are about what you'd expect. Kasich is winning Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Strickland is winning Toledo and Cleveland. The surprising number out of all these? Strickland is only winning 49-47 in the Cleveland region.

The Obama Factor
The President is still horribly unpopular, coming in with a 40-56 approval rating. Among Independents that sinks to 33-59.

Right or Wrong Track?
A number that should scare the heck out of Team Strickland is the one asking whether Ohio is on the right or wrong track. Only 38% of Democrats and 15% of Independents said right track. 38% and 15%.

On top of that, by 55-24 among Democrats and 63-22 among Independents, which track the state is on has a major effect on how they vote.

It's fun and all to scare the crap out of your own partisans and swing voters about John Kasich, but if you want your base and swing voters inspired to come to the polls and pull the lever for you, these numbers aren't what you're looking for.

Ted's Approval
This is what happens when you run a horribly negative campaign.

Ted Strickand's approval number sits at 34-60. Among Independents that number sinks to 31-63.

But the scariest number is where Ted's approval stands among members of his own Party. By just 48-47 Democrats approve of Ted Strickland.

I don't care how good you say your ground operation is, Mr. Redfern. With numbers like that, you aren't going to have an enthusiastic base ready and willing to get to the polls.

In Summary...
Once again, this is just one poll. To truly gauge where the race stands we look at the RCP average and see Kasich with a 3.2% lead. Obviously we'd like that margin to be greater, but with Strickland stuck at 45%, I'm not going to complain.

Survey USA actually went against the grain a bit with this poll. Unlike other polls we've been seeing, they actually had a larger sampling of Democrats, 39%, than Republicans, 37%.

Finally, and I said this after the most recent Quinnipiac poll, but this is not the position Ted Strickland wants to be in. This is the third straight poll that has had the Governor at 44% or under. And with harshly negative numbers among Independents, it's hard to see how Strickland can compensate.

As long as Republicans get out the vote, we'll be enjoying a Kasich victory across Ohio on Tuesday night.

Five days.

Five days left.

Don't stop. Don't let up.

Today's inspiration comes from one of my favorites. It serves as one of the true gems of American cinema and an inspiration to all who view its perfection.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Fozzie Bear in The Great Muppet Caper.

If you like, jump ahead to the 55 second mark. That's where it really hits home.

And my sincere apologies to any Democrats who may believe I'm equivocating them to the bad guy robbers that took Miss Piggy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BREAKING: Survey USA poll has Kasich up 5 on Strickland...

Anyone else hearing the bell you hear on 3rd down at the Horseshoe?

A new Survey USA poll, the 3rd best pollster out of 62 as ranked by Nate Silver, shows John Kasich up five points on Ted Strickland, 49-44.

Poll analysis coming tomorrow morning by 10am.

And so it begins...

We knew we'd have to deal with it. We just didn't realize it would start a full six days before election day.

From the campaign of State Rep. Terry Boose:


Our campaign has received reports from many voters in our district that they have received unidentified phone calls from people who have told them that an absentee ballot has been sent to them and that they haven't mailed it in. The problem is that none of these people requested an absentee ballot and were planning on voting at the polls on election day. In Ohio voters must request an absentee ballot to be sent to them. These phone calls have been targeted to Registered Republicans who are senior citizens. We believe that whoever is responsible for these phone calls is doing this to intentionally confuse people to think that they may be receiving an absentee ballot and that they shouldn't go to the polls.

Please notify your friends and family about this scam, and if you or another person happen to receive one of these calls please do the following things:

1. Ask the caller what organization that they are with. If they say that they are with the Board of Elections they are not telling the truth because Election Boards do not make these calls.
2. If you have caller ID try to write down the phone number that they called from.
3. Call your local Board of Elections and ask if anyone has requested an absentee ballot in your name.
Board of Elections Phone Numbers
Lorain County: Jim Kramer 440-326-5902
Huron County: Tom Gerrity 419-668-8238
Seneca County: 419-447-4424
4. Call me on my cell phone 614-205-9141 and report any information that you gather from the call to me and our campaign along with the Ohio Republican Party will report it to the proper authorities.

We don't know who is doing this, but we would like to know so that they are held responsible. It is important that we stop anyone who is trying to use dirty tricks to influence the results of this election. Please pass this on to your Republican friends and neighbors, especially ones who are senior citizens, and be prepared for to write down information that you may receive in one of these calls.

Thanks for your help and dedication.

Nick Brusky
Campaign Manager
Boose for State Representative
419-465-8158 HQ
614-205-9141 Cell
Note, no one is accusing any specific campaign or organization of anything.


Keep on the lookout, and e-mail 3BP at if you hear of any possible voter fraud going on. If it's something visible, take pictures of it. If it's something you're hearing, record it.

Bill Clinton is coming to Ohio. [UPDATE: Location found! And it's HYSTERICAL!]

Where specifically, we don't know.

It seems the Strickland campaign staff has royally screwed this one up.

The original plan was for the former President to tailgate outside the huge Massilon/Canton McKinley game, but after some consulting among school staff, that idea was scrapped.

Then the plan was to move to a nearby middle school, but that too was scrapped.

And now? Well, as of early this afternoon, no one really has figured that out yet.

The problem? Tickets and e-mails announcing the original location have already gone out.


Of course, it doesn't sound like they are missing anything.

Word is the other Clinton rallies around the country have been a real snoozer.

This was supposed to be one of the Governor's major opportunities to really get out the vote this weekend. Instead, it's turned into a disaster.

UPDATE: It seems the organizers have found a location for their massive rally with President Clinton. The event, designed to rally the Democratic faithful by the thousands will be held at....

Wait. No. That can't be right.

A restaurant?
Organizers of an Ohio political rally featuring former President Bill Clinton have moved the event to a restaurant after officials in two communities snubbed plans to hold it at or near schools.
Wow. Just. Wow.

The Money Party

They say money dominates politics.

And the common meme is it's Republicans that are buying elections.

Not so much.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Democrats have been outspent by conservative outside groups, Politico reports that figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics "tell a different story."

"The money race totals come to $856 million for the Democratic committees and their aligned outside groups, compared to $677 for their Republican adversaries."

And to go hand in hand with that, we have this fantastic column from Rich Lowry at NRO:

Just when we’d been told the Chamber of Commerce had bought the election, along comes the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to pour nearly $90 million into the campaign.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this makes the public-sector union the biggest spender of all the outside groups. The National Education Association and the Service Employees International Union rank among the top five. Collectively, these three unions representing millions of public workers — only the SEIU is majority private — are devoting an estimated $170 million to an election Democrats insist that they are losing because of the nefarious influence of outside money.

And here's the breakdown as provided by the Wall Street Journal:

For the mathematically challenged, that's $171.5 million spent by Democratic allies versus $140 million for Republican allies.

Just sayin'.

Poor Charlie Obama


A hope and a prayer.

Here's where the Democrats are praying to win.

This is a listing of the final ad buys for their congressional candidates in Ohio:

Boccieri was expected. His race against Republican Jim Renacci was always thought to be a tight one.

But Charlie Wilson and Zack Space? It seems not too long ago these guys were as safe as could be.

And now, they are part of a significant last ditch effort to save the House of Representatives for Nancy Pelosi.

Who is missing?

Mary Jo Kilroy and Steve Driehaus.

Here come the Steves.

Ted Strickland is right.

But not about Kasich's record.

A couple days ago, Team Kasich decided to call him out on it. And it all stemmed from this...
The Strickland advisory about several campaign events over the weekend said: "At each stop, Strickland will contrast his record of creating jobs and protecting the rights of sportsmen and gun owners with Congressman John Kasich's record of supporting outsourcing and his 'F' rating from the National Rifle Association."
Why is that wrong? Because Kasich has received a B from the NRA. Sure, not ideal for 2nd amendment supporters, but definitely acceptable in light of Strickland's record of recruiting fiercely anti-gun Democrats like Lee Fisher and Yvette McGee Brown, actively working for Ohio House Democrats that have failed to make any headway on pro-2nd amendment legislation, and doing whatever he can to get Obama re-elected in 2012.
Strickland campaign officials "either knew that John Kasich has a 'B' rating from the NRA or have recklessly refused to check his true rating. Nonetheless respondents have chosen to falsely represent that John Kasich has an 'F' rating," says the complaint, filed by state Rep. Danny Bubp, a Republican from West Union, a life NRA member with an A+ rating.

"As a proud NRA member, I am outraged that Ted Strickland is lying about John Kasich's NRA rating," Bubp said in the complaint.

What was Strickland's response to all this? Well, first they didn't deny that Strickland's statement was a lie. But second, they said the following: "Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior."

Boy, did the Governor get that right.

And that's why Strickland is going to lose.

I hand it off to the American Spectator:
That's what has gotten Strickland in trouble in the first place: voters fear that another four years of his administration would mean more jobs leaving Ohio, a sluggish business climate, a decaying manufacturing sector, and an unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent.
You can read the rest of the article in the Spectator here. It's a great piece.

But I digress.

Back to this NRA stuff.

As we all know by now, the NRA hasn't totally sat on their hands this cycle in Ohio. They've sent direct mail to their members that endorses Strickland and highlights his grade.

In other words, 2nd amendment voters already know where Strickland stands by now. Where are they confused? Where Kasich stands. That's why Strickland's screw-up of lying about Kasich's record was a significant mistake. It enabled Team Kasich to get some earned media out there that has the potential to ease the minds of 2nd amendment supporters that have been fooled into thinking a Governor Kasich would be dangerous to their goals.

In fact, Kasich is a gun owner. He recruited a running mate who has an A rating with the NRA. He's going to be a partner with the new Republican majority in the statehouse. And he's going to do whatever he can to make sure President Obama doesn't get another four years.

Does Kasich's effort inform voters of Strickland's A rating? Sure. But people that care about NRA ratings already know about Strickland's grade by now. Now many of those same people know the NRA gave Kasich a B, not an F. Thanks to Ted Strickland, that's going to be news to them. And that doesn't help Strickland in his effort to damage Kasich's support on the right.

Ultimately, State Representative Seth Morgan nailed it in a tweet yesterday:

So true.

6 days.

Six days left.

Leave no stone unturned.

Today's inspiration comes from one of the greatest film classics of all time - Cool Runnings.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"A political bloodbath the size of which we haven't seen since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt"...

I love this headline.

Right now things are looking great for the Ohio Steves - Stivers & Chabot.

Renacci, Gibbs, and Johnson are the question marks. All are in extremely tight races that are rated by most prognosticators as toss-ups or Lean R.

Ganley and Iott stand a chance, but they'll need some heavy help from the Wave.

Corrigan up in Cleveland against Kucinich? Stranger things have happened.

Anyways, here's some more from Rothenberg:
In wave elections, incumbents of the party at risk tend not to receive the votes of people who are undecided late, so most Democrats need to hold comfortable leads and be near the 50 percent mark if they are going to survive on Election Day.


While Republican and Democratic polls are often at odds in individual districts, national poll data appear to confirm the GOP poll numbers.

If Republicans do hold a 5-point to 7-point advantage in the generic vote among likely voters, independents strongly favor GOP voters and President Barack Obama ’s numbers are as low as they appear (particularly in swing districts), it’s difficult to believe Democratic candidates are running as well as some Democrats argue.


Many freshmen and sophomore House Democrats, who haven’t seen anything close to this kind of political environment and who won primarily because of the 2006 Democratic wave or the electorate of 2008 in swing and Republican-leaning districts, will be defeated.

Among the likely House Democratic fatalities in that category are Ohio’s Mary Jo Kilroy and Steve Driehaus , Florida’s Suzanne M. Kosmas and Alan Grayson , Debbie Halvorson (Ill.), Frank Kratovil Jr. (Md.), Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.) and Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.).

Also in the same category, but with a slightly better chance of surviving, are Virginia’s Tom Perriello and Glenn Nye , Ohio’s Zack Space and John Boccieri , Arizona’s Harry E. Mitchell and Ann Kirkpatrick , Bobby Bright (Ala.), John Hall (N.Y.), Mark Schauer (Mich.), Patrick J. Murphy (Pa.) and Harry Teague (N.M.).
Speaker Boehner.

Get used to saying that.

Be the Wave.

The Enthusiasm Gap is real.

When it comes to Early Voting, everything is relative.

Early voting began in Ohio in 2006, but neither Party really knew how to utilize it.

2008 was the first year each Party organization had an operation designed to turn out the early vote.

And it's the one cycle where we can truly gauge how each Party is doing in getting out the vote. This isn't done by vote totals, but by percentages. If Republicans are turning out at a higher rate relative to 2008, it's good news. If Democrats are turning out at a lower rate relative to 2008, that's good news too.

Now remember, the President didn't win Ohio by any massive amount. The margin was only 4%. So this year it's essential for Democrats that their portion of the early voting turnout be relatively equal or just slightly worse, as a percentage, as 2008.

But it's not.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
In Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties -- home to 30 percent of Ohio's voting populace -- Republicans account for a larger share of the early voters than they did in 2008.

With a week until Election Day, the numbers of Republican absentee ballots cast in Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties are close to surpassing the numbers from 2008, a presidential year with generally a higher turnout.

And in Franklin County, absentee ballots cast are running pretty close to even between voters of the major parties --29,419 for Democrats to 28,506 for Republicans -- after running more than 2-to-1 for Democrats in 2008.

In the state's largest three counties combined, Republicans have cast about 40 percent of the partisan absentee ballots compared to only 26 percent in 2008.
Remember what I said, Democrats need to do the same or just slightly worse?

Well, this is a lot worse.

And lest we forget, all three of these counties are Democratic bastions with no less than a 24 point registration advantage in each that Strickland is relying on for massive levels of support. Well, it's not happening.
Democrats have explanations, but local Republicans have grins on their faces as they see GOP absentee ballots close to surging past 2008 levels in Cuyahoga County while Democrats have barely hit the halfway mark.

And our Cuyahoga GOP Chairman finishes the good news off with a punch.
"My view is that (Democratic Party) Chairman (Chris) Redfern is whistling past the graveyard," said Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Rob Frost. "He's trying to keep his base motivated by telling them other Democrats are turning out. He's saying they are voting in numbers that they really are not voting in."
Victory is seven days away.

Be the Wave.

Fox News poll - Kiddos, we have reached consistency

Three polls in three days. I love when we have options.

The new Fox News poll doesn't really do much else but tell us that the most recent polls in the Ohio Governor's race are all starting to reach the same conclusion. While the race is close, Kasich is consistently up and Strickland is stuck around 45%.

Ohio Poll has Kasich up 49-47.
Quinnipiac has Kasich up 49-43.
Fox News poll has Kasich up 47-43.

An average of 48.3% to 44.3%.

Ohio Poll has Kasich up among Indies 46-40.
Quinnipiac has Kasich up among Indies 47-42.
Fox News has Kasich up among Indies 40-34.

An average lead of 5.7%.

There are seven days to go.

And Strickland is stuck at 44.3%.

There are just seven days to go.

And Kasich has nearly a 6 point lead among Independents.

Overall, RCP now has the race tight, as you'll see below...

45% in the last four polls taken in the race.

There is no incumbent in the country that would like being in that position seven days out.

As early voting has shown, the enthusiasm gap is real and on our side, and I don't know many people that can stop a wave when it's just 7 feet from the shore.

As long as we keep working hard and getting out the vote, I don't see any way that Ted Strickland wins on November 2nd.

Quinnipiac: Guess what - Ted is still in the low 40s.

I know. Shocker, right?

The good news for Ted? The lead shrank.

Rather than 51-41, we're at 49-43.

This Quinnipiac poll simply asks the straight up questions about support and favorables, so we don't get to see how anyone's mind has changed on the issues, but what's the point? We're a week out.

So what were we able to learn? They confirm what we saw in the Ohio Poll - partisans have largely decided and are leaning strongly to their respective candidates.

Strickland has surprisingly shrunk his deficit among Independents from the last poll, but considering the saturation of the airwaves thanks to Our Future Ohio, I guess I shouldn't be that shocked. His lead among Indies mirrors what we saw in the Ohio Poll, which is a good thing - up between 5 or 6.

If you look at the CNN exit poll in 2008, where Obama won Ohio 52-47 under a Democratic wave, percentage-wise we saw partisan results much like what we see today, but with Obama winning Independents by 8. If Kasich can keep even half of his lead among Independents, we should be in good shape. Considering Strickland's favorables among Independents are still absolutely awful - only 38% have a favorable opinion - it's hard to see how he can pull enough away from Kasich in the last week.

Overall, if we combine Quinnipiac with the most recent Ohio Poll we get a Kasich lead of about 4 points and the incumbent sitting at 45%. With a week to go, and what the Ohio Poll said is a 12 point enthusiasm gap in favor of Republicans, that isn't good news for the Governor. Nor is early voting that shows Democrats not getting near the support they need to hold onto the Governor's mansion.

Or think about it this way.

Would you want to be in the Governor's position? He's an incumbent Governor with underwater approval numbers who is stuck at 45 in the RCP average with 7 days to go and the enthusiasm gap massively against him.

Make no mistake. Any optimism you see from the left is simply a fabrication or sheer ignorance of the reality of their situation.

But we'll see in seven days, won't we?

7 days.

Seven days out.

It's time to Be the Wave.

And for those working on getting out the vote, I offer you this little clip from The Professional...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Who the heck is funding Our Future Ohio?

Over the weekend, Speaker Pelosi said the following:
Everything was going great and all of a sudden secret money from God knows where — because they won't disclose it — is pouring in.
I'll give you a second to stop laughing at the first four words of that statement.

But let's get to the meat of the quote. Speaker Pelosi is upset at "secret money" influencing the election.

Boy is it. Just look at Ohio.

Our Future Ohio is a brand spanking new PAC that is spending at least $2.5 million to attack John Kasich and three Ohio House candidates, including Matt Carle of central Ohio.

The kicker?

No one has any clue who the heck is funding them. And we're not going to know before the election.

In other words, this PAC, run by Speaker Budish's chief political strategist, is doing exactly what Speaker Pelosi is complaining about.

Additionally, the Ohio House Republicans have made complaints regarding collusion.
House Republicans say a new independent group that plans to spend $2.5 million on television ads attacking several GOP candidates has coordinated illegally with Democratic campaigns.

State Rep. William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said concerns about Our Future Ohio stem from how quickly the group began airing television commercials after it was organized.

At a press conference today, the House minority leader said it’s hard to imagine how Our Future Ohio mapped out a strategy, wrote scripts, hired actors, filmed and was airing commercials within days of organizing.
In other words, Our Future Ohio is pretty much everything we despise about the state of American politics.

Unlimited cash. Anonymous donors. Obvious collusion. Blatant hypocrisy.

3C proponents say train will be faster, but didn't consult the railroads

Guest posted by Bytor

Last month, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced that the proposed 3C railway connecting Ohio's 3 largest cities suddenly would be faster than their previous estimates. If you remember, the previous schedule would have taken about 6 hours to get from Cleveland to Cincinnati, with an average speed of 39 mph. Yet, all of a sudden, now they say that the trip can be made in 5 hours 12 minutes.

Funny how the trip gets shorter as we get closer to the election, eh Governor? Last year, the ODT said that the trip couldn't be covered in less the 5 hours 20 minutes, even if the train didn't stop. Since trying to board a moving train, even at a blazing fast 39 mph, is quite dangerous, the required stops brought the trip to the 6 hour mark.

Now, all of a sudden, the train will average 50 mph. So, what changed? A consultant in California ran a new computer model. He must have had lots of information and cooperation from the railroad companies who actually, you know, own the track, right?

Not so much.

Not only weren't the 3 railroads even consulted on the new schedule, they still haven't even seen it.

Any changes to the schedule require approval from the three freight railroads that own the 258 miles of track that the 3C passenger trains would use.

State transportation planners acknowledge that CSX, Norfolk Southern and Rail America not only have not agreed to the proposed passenger train schedule, but they haven't even seen it.

The freight railroads operate trains as fast as 60 mph along the corridor.

"We really need to talk to the railroads," said Don Damron, chief planner for the Ohio Rail Development Commission, which is part of the state Transportation Department. "Chances are, we will continue to decrease this schedule over long-term investments in the corridor."

Cooperation from the freight railroads is crucial for the state to hit its speed target, said C. Kenneth Orski, a Maryland-based transit consultant not involved in the Ohio project.

"Only they can tell you authoritatively whether (the state's) estimates are accurate or not," he said.

Also suspicious is this:

Woodside Consulting Group ran its computer analysis showing the 50-mph speed Sept. 30. The state, however, had released the higher speed estimates six days earlier.

So, Ted's ODT announced the faster speed of the train days before the magical new simulation was even run?

You don't think Ted Strickland's administration would fudge the numbers to make this proposal look less stupid before the election, do you?

Gov. Ted Strickland's transportation advisers insist that they didn't develop the new speed profile to deflect political criticism of the $400 million project.

Of course they didn't. What was I thinking?

Gimme more Obama.

The President is coming to Cleveland on Halloween.

If the results are anywhere close to the blowback that happened in Columbus at Ohio State, I can only wish he makes a statewide tour out of his visit.

From today's Lantern:
That crowd mostly was a result of people falling in love with a man. It was not based on affection toward a cause. Otherwise, people wouldn't have groaned when Gov. Ted Strickland was introduced. The attendees were there because they enjoy hearing tired, worn-out, car-in-ditch metaphors.

In fact, the candidates accompanying Obama would have done themselves a favor had they limited their speeches to a couple short sentences. They should have said: "Vote Democrat. If not for me, then for Obama."

If that crowd was any reflection of 2008, those words would have caused a whole slew of young, impressionable leftists to tighten their bright blue capes and teleport to the nearest voting booth. Instead, Mary Jo Kilroy, Lee Fisher and Strickland brought angst and annoyance to the otherwise excitable crowd.
When Strickland's handlers were on the conference call with the political shop at the White House, I imagine there wasn't a discussion about how to encourage annoyance at the Democratic candidate for Ohio Governor.

But that's what happened.

And are we seeing any increased enthusiasm on Ohio State's campus after the rally?
In 2008, there was more blue on Ohio State's campus than I thought was legally permitted. The Oval was packed every day with individuals carrying clipboards begging students to register to vote. Sidewalks were covered in 3 inches of chalk, and bulletin boards for miles were littered with "Hope-Change-Yes We Can" jargon.

Things are a little different now. Someone can stroll across the Oval without being inundated with anything related to the election. Campus is almost completely free of political nuisances.
Last year in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the President campaigned at the last minute for all three Democratic candidates who were all caught in fierce battles with their Republican opponents. Back then, the President's approval rating wasn't in the depths where it now resides in Ohio.

Two days before the election, with Strickland caught in a tight battle with Kasich, the President comes to Cleveland.

Albert Einstein once said, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

'Nuff said.

About that enthusiasm gap...

This morning...

This weekend...

Clinton is coming to town.

Word is that former President Bill Clinton is going to campaign for Strickland at three stops this week.

But if the crowd Clinton pulled in Michigan is any indication, Team Strickland shouldn't be too optimistic about improving their standing in the enthusiasm gap.
While the crowd hoisted signs that stated “Virg Surge,” the turnout at the rally was anemic. More than 500 people came to the rally, but the gym at Renaissance High School was only about one-third full, even though Clinton used to command full houses wherever he went, especially in Detroit.

What I liked and didn't like in this weekend's Ohio Poll...

The latest Ohio Poll had some interesting changes from the last. Namely, Kasich's lead has shrunk to 2, 49-47.

We'll keep this simple.

What I liked about the poll...
  • Kasich is ahead by four among those most likely to vote.
  • The GOP enthusiasm gap is an astounding 12 points.
  • Indepedents, while still a much smaller sample than any other polls, showed a net gain of 7 points towards Kasich. Kasich now leads 46-40.
  • Kasich won the issue questions.
    • He's more likely to bring change by 10 points.
    • Will improve the economy by 4 points.
    • Lower the unemployment rate by 5 points.
    • And Strickland is more likely to raise taxes by 28 points(!).
What I didn't like about the poll...
  • Strickland is creeping up closer to 50. He's still below 45 in the RCP average, but any movement up is obviously not welcomed.
  • He's getting slightly more partisan support than Kasich. 
  • Obviously, this sample included more Democrats than the last, meaning more Democrats are getting engaged. 
  • Questions about honesty and empathy sided with slightly with Strickland, which isn't much of a surprise considering the tone of his campaign.
Eight days to go and this race is tight. We have enthusiasm on our side. Let's keep things rolling!

8 Days.

8 days to go.

As Team Kasich begins their Leading Ohio tour, I figured we all could use a little GOTV inspiration from Smokey & the Bandit.

Get all the details on the events here.

My apologies to any Democrats who may believe they are being compared to Sheriff Buford T. Justice. Ha.

Friday, October 22, 2010

So bring your good times, and your laughter too!

Guest post by Jed Eckert

Sound the trumpets, roll out the red carpet and pop open the champagne!

Ohio’s long nightmare of unemployment is over!

Put on your Sunday’s best, shine your shoes because for the 6th straight month Ohio’s unemployment rate has dropped to a totally awesome 10.0% and Ohio actually shed 17,000 jobs in one month!

Wait, what?

Yup. As the overall unemployment rate dropped , the report indicated a harsher reality than the sticker price on the press release: Behind the numbers, there are 17,000 fewer employed Ohioans and 6,000 less in the workforce.

There is zero good news in the latest jobs report.

While the Strickland campaign is busy preparing a hastily written press release touting the “6TH STRAIGHT MONTH OF DROPPING UNEMPLOYMENT ” their praise of this report not only makes them look out of touch with the reality of the state, but also ignorant of the numbers behind the headlines.

Surely embedded in their press release will be the obligatory quote from Lis Smith that goes a little something like this, “Governor Strickland sees hope in the new jobs report as unemployment has dropped for the 6th straight month. But the Governor will not be happy until each and every Ohioan has meaningful work.”

Unfortunately, cookie cutter lines won’t cut it with this electorate anymore. As they praise the report, they’ll look even more out of touch, even more insensitive to the situation on the ground.

But please, send that press release for the fun of it.

In a flash, private industry makes the 3-C Rail Project obsolete

It's amazing what capitalism can do, eh?

In a release from United and Continental Airlines, it turns out a Cleveland to Cincinnati route is just around the corner.
United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced plans to launch service on several new nonstop routes in 2011 as it begins to optimize the combined route networks of United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Even with these new route additions, operated by a mix of mainline and regional aircraft, United and Continental will remain within the previously announced capacity guidance.


Continental will add new flights between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport and Bakersfield and Palm Springs, Calif.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Grand Junction, Colo.; Hobbs, N.M.; Montreal; and Reno, Nev. From Cleveland Hopkins International, Continental will begin flights to Cincinnati, Ohio, and from New York/Newark Liberty, the carrier will begin service to Des Moines, Iowa.
So it sounds like Cleveland residents can either use this hub in a few months to get to Cincinnati in about an hour at a marginal rate, or you can wait five years, hop on a train that goes 37 mph, and watch your taxes go up as we subsidize a train that no one uses.

Ah, capitalism. I love you.

Christie tells it to your face.

An extreme close-up of the GOP star of 2010 tells you to get off your tail and vote on November 2nd.

You can see the same guy live and in the flesh at a rally a week from today in Lebanon at 1:30pm. Check out the details here.

11 days.

11 days left.

Ohio has been taking its lumps the past four years of the Strickland Administration and back through the Taft Administration.

But this clip from Rocky tells Ohioans exactly what they need to hear as we prepare to begin A New Day.
"Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Numbers are hard.

Just ask Strickland spokeswoman Lis Smith.

Earlier tonight she tweeted....

But then you go to the linked article and you get...
Ohio's two gubernatorial candidates have almost $6 million combined for the final two weeks of their closely watched race.

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has $3.1 million, and Republican challenger John Kasich about $4 million on hand for the stretch run, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday at the Ohio Secretary of State's office.

The figures are for cash the candidates had through Oct. 20. But actual figures may vary because some expenditures have not been recorded yet by each of the campaigns. The campaigns each spent nearly $3 million through the first three weeks of this month buying television air time.
Apparently somewhere "about $4 million on hand" turned into "$2.7M" in Lis' brain.

Don't worry. Come November 3rd Lis will have plenty of time to figure this kinda stuff out.

In key county, the GOP is turning out better than they did in the 2008 presidential year

This is pretty impressive.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections has done a good job of providing detailed early voting numbers for this election and referencing back to previous elections so we can properly compare where we're at.

So far this year, 16,309 Republicans have returned their absentee ballots. 13,019 Democrats have returned theirs.

In 2008 with the same number of days to go before the election, 15,772 Republicans had submitted their ballots and 20,432 Democrats had submitted theirs.

In other words, at this point in time, more Republicans are turning out in Hamilton County this year than turned out for the presidential election at the same point of time.

And Democrats? Their turnout has reduced by 36%, or about what would be expected in a midterm election.

But Republicans? They are doing the unexpected. They are outperforming what they did in 2008. Pretty amazing.

What makes the Republican advantage so much more impressive? Per the Plain Dealer, Democrats enjoy a 62/38 registration advantage in Hamilton County.

Misunderstanding Momentum

Nate Silver of the NYT/fivethirtyeight wants to make sure you have a better comprehension of momentum in a campaign. He uses yet another of his ridiculously thorough studies to prove his point.
Turn on the news or read through much of the analysis put out by some of our friends, and you’re likely to hear a lot of talk about “momentum”: the term is used about 60 times per day by major media outlets in conjunction with articles about polling.

When people say a particular candidate has momentum, what they are implying is that present trends are likely to perpetuate themselves into the future. Say, for instance, that a candidate trailed by 10 points in a poll three weeks ago — and now a new poll comes out showing the candidate down by just 5 points. It will frequently be said that this candidate “has the momentum”, “is gaining ground,” “is closing his deficit,” or something similar.

Each of these phrases are in the present tense. They create the impression that — if the candidate has gone from being 10 points down to 5 points down, then by next week, he’ll have closed his deficit further: perhaps he’ll even be ahead!
Sounds a lot like the Strickland campaign, eh?

Silver continues...
There’s just one problem with this. It has no particular tendency toward being true.
Read the whole analysis here. If you're into polling analysis, it's fascinating.

With 12 days left, Ted goes to Wall Street.

Oh, sweet, sweet irony.

Word is Governor Strickland went on a fundraising venture to Wall Street in New York City for "party building" this morning. That should read "raise money for the Ohio Democratic Party and Democratic Governors Association". ODP money can then be directly transferred to the Governor. The DGA can spend cash on his behalf.

Does anyone find the hypocrisy from the Strickland campaign troubling?

Strickland, who has railed upon business and Wall Street all campaign, forgoes whatever principles he had left and lets Wall Street line his pockets one last time before November 2nd.

Pick a side, Governor.

I wonder if he'll pick up anymore cash from the Lehman family.

CNN REPORT: Health care costs to skyrocket

This is what White House website on health care reform shows you on its front page:

It makes health care more affordable, eh?

Ok, if that's the case, explain this headline from today:

What a colossel screw-up Obamacare has been.

And let's not forget, it was supported by Ted Strickland, Lee Fisher, Mary Jo Kilroy, John Boccieri, Steve Driehaus, Zack Space(once), Charlie Wilson, Betty Sutton, and Marcy Kaptur.

This is their mess. Let's make sure they remember it on November 2nd.

And let's start cleaning it up in January.

Sketchiness in Ted's backyard.

Well, this sure sounds like cheating is alive and well in southern Ohio. Funny how you see this kinds of stories with Democrats far more than you ever do with Republicans, eh?
The issue started when employees at the board noticed a number of applications for absentee ballots were going to one of two post office box numbers. When voters apply for an absentee ballot, they are allowed to have the ballot sent to an address other than their home location.

After elections board workers noticed the same post office boxes appeared repeatedly, they started to make random calls to confirm whether the voters wanted their ballots sent to their home or the second address, according to Cathy Overbeck, elections board director.

On most calls the workers found that the phones were disconnected. Those they did get in touch with said they wanted the ballot sent to their home address.

But all of the applications had listed that the absentee ballots were to be sent either in care of Russ Bennett, P.O. Box 829 Proctorville or Charles Maynard P.O. Box 4616, Ironton.


Since 2008 Maynard has voted as a Democrat. Before that he voted as a Republican. Bennett had voted Democrat since 1986 until he ran for Lawrence County Sheriff in 2008, which he did as an Independent. In 2010 he voted Democrat.

12 days.

12 days left.

You want to know courage?

Talk to our founders. Talk to John Adams.

This scene from HBO's mini-series on Adams was a fantastic display of Adams' speech to the Continental Congress. And it speaks true to our nation's principles.

"I see hope."

My apologies to any liberals who think they are being compared to John Dickinson or the Redcoats. Ha.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CNN says the race is tied.

Well, we finally have a poll saying what the Democrats wanted it to say.

Which, of course, means it's a bit of an outlier from the other polls we've seen.

The new CNN/Time poll has Strickland up 48/47.

Looking at the crosstabs, Strickland and Kasich are comparable with their partisans. Strickland wins Dems 93-5. Kasich wins GOPers 90-6.

It's the Independent number that proves interesting.

Kasich is winning Independents by a full 9 points, 51-42.

Obviously, if Kasich is winning Independents by this margin then it's clear that Democrats were sampled at a far higher rate than Republicans.

Reacl Clear Politics have updated their average to include the CNN poll. Here ya go...

Not surprisingly, Obama is still very unpopular, with his approval rating coming in at 42-53 overall and 33-58 among Independents.

Meanwhile, Lee Fisher is still losing. Bad. In this poll he's 15 points back.

I've been notified that the Kasich campaign will soon be attacking Ted Turner in response to this poll.*

* - this is a lie.

Silver ups Kasich's chances.

Nate Silver of the NYT/FiveThirtyEight has revised his latest trusted statistical model and has upped Kasich's chances of winning the Governor's race to heights not seen since the middle of September.

I like those odds.

Silver's "adjusted polling average", which averages all polls then accounts for pollster bias and other variables has Strickland stuck at 41.7% with Kasich at 48.0%.

13 days out.

Sometimes the dirt trickles up...

Big news today from the Dispatch:
Joshua Engel, the former top lawyer for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, was charged today with three counts of intercepting and disclosing confidential information as part of his his long-running scheme to monitor e-mail messages between his office and the state inspector general.

Engel has agreed to plead guilty to the three charges filed today in a bill of information by the Franklin County prosecutor's office and cooperate in any investigation.
So one of Strickland's top appointees has plead guilty and has clearly abused his office.

But that's not the juicy stuff. Here's the money shot:
Engel reported both to the Public Safety director for administrative purposes and to Kent Markus, Gov. Ted Strickland's legal counsel, on legal issues related to the agency.

Engel told authorities that he did not seek authority for the e-mail filter from Markus but "may have informed him at some point" that the e-mails were being captured, according to the search warrant. Markus has denied having any advance knowledge about the filter.
If Engel ends up cooperating and testifying that Markus lied and did have knowledge of the nefarious plot, that means the Governor's top legal advisor and one of the biggest fish in Strickland's sea has been lying and is implicated in a criminal matter.

Will any of this come out fast enough to really have an effect on the race? No, probably not. But it's a huge headache to the Strickland Administration and, if true, speaks volumes to the choice voters have in front of them if they so choose to educate themselves.

Strickland's biggest critic - Part 2

The RGA brings in the big guns with this new ad that utilizes the traditionally effective tactic of using a candidate's own words against him.

Fantastic ad.

Confirmed: Kilroy and Driehaus cut loose

From National Journal's Hotline:
In total, the DCCC spent $13.1 million on independent expenditure advertisements in 59 districts, according to FEC filings made late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Democrats are largely playing defense, while targeting only three Republican-held seats.


The DCCC did not spend money on behalf of Reps. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and Steve Kagen (D-Wis.), the filings show. Republicans believe those seven seats are all but guaranteed to fall their way.

Even in some races where Democrats did spend money, their advertising indicates little more than a token effort at salvaging seats that are also likely to fall to the GOP. The DCCC is spending just $30,000 for Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio), who polls show trailing ex-Rep. Steve Chabot (R) by wide margins. That follows reports that the DCCC was pulling out of Driehaus' district.
Welcome to Congress, Mr. Stivers. Welcome back, Mr. Chabot.

The infamous Nancy Pelosi

Been wondering why you've been seeing so much of Nancy Pelosi in television commercials for Republicans in your area? This may explain it.

From Gallup:

Absentees show the enthusiasm gap is for real in Ohio

In 2008, President Obama won Ohio 51%-47%. A key ingredient of the win was early and absentee voting. With that in mind, there has been a lot of chest thumping from Ted Strickland recently about absentee voting showing no enthusiasm gap in the Governor's race.

If only that were true.

A look at the three big counties should have Strickland worried.

Using numbers from Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton counties from Monday, it's clear that things aren't shaping up the way Strickland would like them to.

First, let's start with Cuyahoga.

In 2010, there have been 85,492 absentee ballots returned to be counted so far. At this same point in 2008, the year of Obama, 266,053 had already been returned. Even absentee requests are way down in Cuyahoga with their BOE receiving just 72% of the number of requests they had in 2008. Their partisan numbers aren't looking good either. In 2008, the number of registered Democrats in Cuyahoga stood at 395,712 and 38.62% of them requested absentee ballots. In the same election there were 91,500 registered Republicans and 39.78% of them requested ballots. Those numbers have seen a sharp change this year with over 24,000 fewer registered Democrats in Cuyahoga and just 31.95% of them requesting ballots. Meanwhile, registered Republicans have increased by over 16,000 and 45.31% of them have requested ballots. But the stat most amazing to me is that Republicans requesting absentees jumped from 36k to nearly 49k compared to the same time in 2008. What have Democrats done in the same time? They've gone from 152k requests at this time in 2008 down to 118k this year. Republicans have spiked. Democrats have plummeted.

Yes, Cuyahoga will still most definitely go to Ted Strickland, but the absentee numbers clearly indicate enthusiasm levels are nowhere near the levels seen in 2008, and that's bad news for the crown jewel of the liberal base in Ohio.

Onto Franklin County...

Franklin has seen 155,651 absentee requests for this general election. Despite a 65/35 partisan advantage for Democrats, absentee requests are statistically tied. Of all absentee requests, 38,561 are Democrats and 37,690 are Republicans. While I don't have numbers for 2008, you can look at how badly Obama won Franklin County for why a statistical tie in absentees is significant. Why? Obama won Franklin County in 2008 305,144 to 205,338 for McCain, or 59% to 40%. If Franklin ends up going 50/50 in 2010, just how absentees currently are looking, this could be devastating for Ted Strickland.

Finally, Hamilton County...

The Democratic registration advantage in Hamilton sits at 62/38 in favor of Democrats and Obama won Hamilton by nearly 21,000 votes. Despite that, GOPers have requested 11% more ballots than Democrats. Republican voters have requested 23,263 absentee ballots. Democrats have requested just 20,839.

In summary, all three of these counties should be flocking to Ted Strickland at partisan ratios similar to Obama's win in 2008 if Strickland wants to win. Very clearly, they are not. If Strickland can't overwhelmingly win these supposed bread and butter larger counties, he's in for a world of hurt on the evening of November 2nd.

The enthusiasm gap is real. And it spells bad news for Team Strickland.