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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.