Ike Ditzenberger is a 17-year-old high school student with Down syndrome and a player on Snohomish Panthers football team in Seattle.
Ditzenberger made the news recently with what his teammates call "The Ike Special," an touchdown run designed especially for him.
The Vikings were up 35–0 with seconds to go, when the Panthers quarterback made the hand-off to Ditzenberger. The Vikings sluggishly allowed the Panthers' offensive line to shove them aside, as Ditzenberger sprinted 51 yards to the end zone.
The score now 35-6 as time expired, Ditzenberger performed a touchdown dance with his adoring teammates.
One last bit from this story, in case you aren't already bawling (in a manly way, of course). Ike's mother, Kay Ditzenberger, told the media that she couldn't have been prouder of the other players: "They redefined worth. Players often are defined by their scores on the board, but they showed he was worth their effort and time."
Thursday, September 30, 2010
The Plain Dealer article about the internal Fisher for Ohio strategy memo has spread like wildfire this afternoon.
And on the heels of yet more reports of DSCC funds being transferred everywhere but Ohio, things could not be much worse in Fisher Land.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Lee Fisher is considering dumping 10 staff members, including his deputy campaign manager and political director, to free up money for additional television advertising, according to a campaign document obtained by The Plain Dealer.10 staffers? I can't imagine what this article is doing to office morale at Fisher for Ohio. Those poor kids have to be miserable.
Through Sept. 7, Fisher raised $490,444, according to a "finance daily report sheet" obtained by The Plain Dealer. This total didn't include a number of fundraisers scheduled for September that the campaign estimated would generate around $180,000.For those not in the know, raising 490k after over two months of fundraising is downright terrible for a statewide Senate race. It's beyond terrible. It's terribly horrible. The campaign says they have fundraisers scheduled with Ed Feighan and Barney Frank in October. Not exactly the guys you call in when you need several million dollars.
As we've been saying for months, Lee Fisher will not beat Rob Portman. At this point, the only person that can beat Rob Portman is Rob Portman. But as long as he continues the incredibly well disciplined campaign that he's run so far, that won't happen.
R.I.P. FISHER FOR OHIO.
I can't keep up with the malfeasance of the Strickland Administration.
I'm sure many of you saw this on the front page of the Dispatch this morning:
The House of Strickland seems filled with scandal, mishaps, boondoggles, and flubs.
Care to take a walk down memory lane?
- The Governor blows it on NCR in Dayton.
- Fisher's Jobs Czar replacement, Mark Barbash, steps down as Development Chief thanks to tax problems.
- Strickland blows through $5 billion in tobacco money.
- The firing of School Facilities Chief Michael Shoemaker and replacing him union goon Richard Murray who promptly abuses the office for big labor gains.
- The Guv begs to spend $400 million to buy a train no one will use and asks the same guys responsible for the Big Dig in Boston to be in charge.
- A man once hired by Strickland to head a state office because of his ties to Ohio's religious community gets busted for being a real-life Pimp.
- More than 60,000 social security numbers were entrusted to an intern....who lost them.
- Strickland fails to provide any plan to pay the $3 billion it owes for federal unemployment funds. This could end up costing Ohioans $120 million a year just in interest.
- Strickland’s Public Safety Director facilitated a cottage industry that charged immigrants hundreds of dollars each for registrations.
- After firing several prison guards for selling drugs to inmates, lying to supervisors and outright incompetence, the Strickland administration re-hired state prison guards who had been fired for lying, incompetence and dealing drugs.
- The Ohio Department of Transportation awarded millions of dollars in state contracts to vendors in exchange for bribes, free services, and free trips.
- "One of Gov. Ted Strickland's top cabinet officials lied under oath about a decision to scrub a criminal investigation at the governor's mansion to save Strickland from political embarrassment."
- Strickland forgot to submit the necessary paperwork for Senate approval of cabinet officials.
- He shut down the worker inmate program after one prisoner was found with a BAC of .257 after chugging some of the Gov's stash.
- Speaking of booze, we have to include the Governor's lobbyist at the Department of Public Safety resigning after getting busted for DUI.
- And how could we ever forget the Governor's requirement to fly the state airplane to CMH from OSU's airport in order to save him 14 minutes of time. Just don't forget the warm cookies.
But reading this list, and digesting the total abuse of power from Josh Engel as detailed in today's Dispatch article, makes you question the judgment of the Strickland Administration to enable such abhorrent behavior.
This list is Ted Strickland's government. It's his record. Want more?
Wow. With a turnout like this, is it any surprise that the enthusiasm gap is already rearing its head?
Too bad it was a waste of $3 billion of your tax dollars.
From the Chicago Tribune:
On the surface, it did work, spurring motorists to rush to their local dealers to take advantage of the generous credits, which went from $3,500 to $4,500 per vehicle. New car sales, which had plunged during the recession, suddenly rebounded, to the delight of dealers and carmakers.No doubt about it. Betty Sutton wasted your money.
But the flurry of action last year was not the whole story. When the exhaust settled, it became apparent that Cash for Clunkers didn't accomplish much — and much of what it accomplished wasn't beneficial.
To start with, it didn't raise auto sales so much as briefly accelerate them. A study by Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and Atif Mian of the University of California, Berkeley, found that "almost all of the additional purchases under the program were pulled forward from the very near future." Instead of buying cars in November, consumers bought them in August. So dealers gained early while losing out later.
The $3 billion cost was also higher than it needed to be. George Mason University economist Russ Roberts says any member of Congress watching the showroom stampede should have concluded that "$4,500 per clunker was too big a subsidy and that you can achieve the same effects with a much smaller amount."
That doesn't even count the hidden cost of the program: higher used car prices, caused by the removal of 680,000 functional vehicles from the market. Between July 2009 and July 2010, a period of near-zero inflation, the average price for a used car rose by $1,800, or more than 10 percent, in part because of Cash for Clunkers. It's a perverse form of redistribution: People who can't afford new cars pay more so that people who can afford new cars pay less.
In 2010, things are looking a bit different.
With early voting under way this week, Republican voters in Franklin and Hamilton counties have requested more absentee ballots than their Democratic counterparts -- hard evidence of a much different environment than 2008 when an avalanche of Democratic absentee ballot requests dwarfed Republican requests in both counties.
There has been so much talk of the massive enthusiasm gap as it relates to polling, it's nice to see it's actually coming to fruition.
Considering the massive registration advantages in Cuyahoga and Franklin, these numbers are frankly astounding.
Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University, said the absentee ballot request numbers so far seem to reflect what some call an "enthusiasm gap" between Democrats and Republicans this year.
"There is Republican momentum that would lead one to expect Republicans to be quicker to ask for ballots and much more likely to vote than Democrats," he said.
Midterm elections usually turn out about 20 percent less voters than presidential years. The early absentee request data should concern Democrats because the drop off is coming from their ranks, Beck said.
Ya can't exactly blame them. With massive majorities in both the House and Senate and the GOP poised to take over the House, it's not hard to see why the President so desperately needs an enemy. When you can't give your own base anything to fight for, you better find them someone to fight against.
So, bring on Minority Leader Boehner.
The President spent much of September repeatedly in attack mode. The Los Angeles Times even said, "John Boehner is hardly a household name, but President Obama seems set on making him one."
So how well did it work?
Well, if the new Ohio CBS/NYT poll is any indication, not very well.
Breaking it down even further, the President couldn't even get his own base to pay enough attention to have an opinion. 71% of Democrats in Ohio are undecided or don't have an opinion about Boehner.
But how about the President's ally, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. How does she poll in the Buckeye State?
Ouch. What stands out? Among Independents she is at 9% favorability to 48%(!) unfavorable.
Perhaps the President should have worried a bit more about himself before he attacked Mr. Boehner.
Those are the two most important issues in this election - economy and job creation - and the President is in the dumps. Nearly 1/3 of his own base disapprove of how he's handling job creation. And look at those numbers among Independents! 31-57 on the economy and 26-65 on job creation? Ouch.
The President will be returning to Ohio at least one more time, on October 17th, before the November election. I happily invite him to every targeted congressional district in Ohio and hope each Democrat proudly campaigns with him.
This result is actually consistent with other polls taken in recent days that show a much closer race. Strickland's numbers in the September polling are remarkably stable: 42, 42, 43, 46, 45, 41, 43, 44, 37, 40, and 43. Kasich's numbers, on the other hand are all over the place: 50, 43, 45, 47, 49, 47, 50, 51, 54, 52 and 48.But Sean's final point is something you've been seeing here on 3BP for quite some time.
To put it in statistical terms, the standard deviation of Kasich's numbers is quite a bit higher than that of Strickland's (especially if you exclude Quinnipiac's 54-37 result as an outlier).
...we actually see quite a bit of stability in the apples-to-apples poll comparison -- in other words, looking at what pollsters find compared to their earlier iterations. This is important, because different pollsters use different likely voter screens and push undecided voters in different ways. If individual pollsters aren't finding movement, the changes in the RCP Average are likely attributable to changes in the mixture of pollsters in the Average, rather than actual movement.
Here, we see that Rasmussen moved to 50/42 Kasich from 50/43 Kasich. FoxNews/Rasmussen moved to 45/43 Kasich from 47/41 Kasich, with an earlier entry of 48/43 Kasich. The University of Cincinnati poll showing Kasich up four is actually an improvement from their earlier poll showing Strickland up 5 back in May. The only pollster showing real movement was Reuters/Ipsos, which moved from 48/39 Kasich in August to 47/46 Kasich in September.
...most importantly, the numbers you need to pay the most attention to here are Strickland's. Incumbents under 50 percent at this point in the game usually do not win; incumbents under 45 percent almost never win. Until Strickland consistently posts numbers in the 47/48 point range, he will be the underdog.But my readers knew that already.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The crazy part? The party ID breakdown.
The sample included 41% Dems, 30% GOP, and 29% Independent.
Does anyone in Ohio really think the Democrats will have anywhere near that large an advantage on November 2nd? For comparison, the one seemingly legit exit poll in 2008, the CNN Exit Poll, had Ohio's breakdown sitting at 39% Dem, 31% GOP, and 30% Independent. I don't know about you, but with our massive enthusiasm advantage I don't see those numbers being anywhere close to the same this time around.
But I digress. Let's look at the poll.
The one outlier in this poll from the others released yesterday is the level of support for John Kasich. Per Rasmussen, Kasich has the base far more in his camp than the other polls. We'll see if any subsequent polls can confirm what we see here from Rasmussen.
But Rasmussen is yet another poll that shows the low level of support for Ted Strickland. Continuing the trend we've been seeing all year, he's still in the low 40s. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but that is very bad news for Strickland's team. This late in the game, you can't be performing that far below 50% as an incumbent - especially in a wave election like this one.
One other interesting result from the poll revolved around the Tea Party. While the Republicans and Democrats were expectedly split, by a margin of 59-16 Independents said the Tea Party movement was good for the country. And that's despite only 18% of Independents considering themselves members of the movement.
So much for being a fringe group that deserves being attacked by the Governor and Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, eh?
53,200 views? And it was just posted yesterday?
Compare that to the number of total views ALL of Governor Strickland's youtube videos have received since its inception on September 2nd, 2009.
Does it really say much about anything?
Is it interesting? Yes.
Totally going against Strickland's excuse that Ohio is suffering just as other states are suffering, the series discovered that just in the past two years "northwest Ohio lost at least 15 factories with 2,200 employees to other states — including four factories to Indiana."
Speaking of Indiana, while Ohio is getting shallacked, they seem to be doing pretty darn well.
Indiana's unemployment rate in August was a hair higher than Ohio's (10.2 percent in Indiana compared to Ohio's 10.1 percent), but Indiana gained about 40,000 jobs since August, 2009. Ohio gained about 7,300 jobs since August, 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.More from the Blade:
The average salary for manufacturing employees in Ohio was less than in Indiana in 2009 ($43,011 in Ohio, $45,643 in Indiana), but electricity costs (6.19 cents per kilowatt hour for industrial users in Ohio versus 5.71 cents in Indiana) and average worker compensation rates ($3.37 per $100 of payroll in Ohio and $2.22 in Indiana) favor Indiana.
In three recent cases of plants closing or massively downsizing in northwest Ohio and shifting work to Indiana, those companies were offered about $4 million in incentives to relocate. Ohio did not make a counteroffer in any of those cases.Interesting fact: This is how Indiana's Department of Development is organized:
Ohio was criticized by mayors whose cities lost those factories for having a complicated, drawn-out process for approving incentives in which outside boards and commissions must study incentive applications before giving the go-ahead.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is the State of Indiana's lead economic development agency. The IEDC was officially established in February 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce. In order to respond quickly to the needs of businesses, the IEDC operates like a business.Sound familiar?
Led by Indiana Secretary of Commerce and IEDC Chief Executive Officer E. Mitchell Roob, Jr., the IEDC is organized as a public private partnership governed by a 12-member board. The IEDC Board of Directors is chaired by Governor Mitch Daniels and reflects the geographic and economic diversity of Indiana. The IEDC focuses its efforts on growing and retaining businesses in Indiana and attracting new business to the State.
Yep. It seems to very much reflect John Kasich's idea to privatize Ohio's Department of Development.
Works pretty well, eh? Looks that way according to the people that matter - business owners and developers.
But what was most shocking?
Strickland and Fisher both recognized that they weren't "faster or more efficient" than Ohio's competition.
And what have they promised to do about it?
He was given a perfect opportunity by the Blade to highlight new efforts to fix the process and what did he respond with?
“I don't pretend to have solved all the problems,” Governor Strickland said. “But I do think that even in the most difficult economic circumstances, challenges unlike anything we've experienced in many, many decades, my administration has worked to lay a solid foundation for future growth going forward.”
Once again he blames the recession. The same recession Indiana and every other state that is taking Ohio jobs has suffered from.
Indiana and many other states found a way. Why can't Ted and Lee? And even more frustrating, why do they seem so damned ok with it?
The status quo is good enough for Strickland and Fisher.
Is that good enough for the 600,000 out of work Ohioans?
All included Likely Voter models, as is common practice this close to election day.
Reuters used a smaller sample than even Rasmussen uses, only 440, and had Kasich up by 1. Unfortunately, they didn't reveal any crosstabs which makes the results particularly difficult to analyze.
Fox News had Kasich up 45-43. We discussed the details behind that poll yesterday morning. You can read it here.
And CBS News unveiled their first poll of the race showing Kasich up by 1, 43-42.
Once again, Strickland is stuck below 45 in a poll with a particularly large sample - 941 likely voters.
But it was the partisan breakdown that had me breathing a little easier after seeing the race so tight.
Kasich gets 79% of Republicans. Strickland gets 79% of Democrats. And Kasich wins Independents 44-33. If that margin among Independents sticks, I have no doubt that we win.
Then you can take into account voter enthusiasm.
Once these people are asked who they are going to vote for, we get to consider how likely they are to actually go out and pull the lever for their candidate.
A 31 point gap? Um. Yeah. I'll take that. That's better than the Dems were doing against Blackwell and we know how well that turned out.
The challenge for Strickland will be in finding a way to quickly increase that enthusiasm.
With these numbers, that will be a daunting challenge:
Nearly 40% of Democrats don't believe their own Governor has made any progress fixing the economy? That's not good.
But ultimately, if you want to focus on one thing about these polls, it shouldn't be the margin. In this environment and with the massive GOP enthusiasm advantage, it's a safe bet that Kasich will secure an adequate portion of the base vote.
The story is, as it has been for months, Strickland's inability to come even close to 50% support.
In the four most recent polls that all show the race at an aggregate margin of 2 points, Strickland averages just 44% support.
Once again, I'll leave it to Eric Rademacher from the Ohio Poll to tell you why that's significant:
"The fact is, for an incumbent governor, it's a little bit late in the year to be under 50 percent support."Indeed.
Yes, the Strickland team has reason to cheer. Their intellectually dishonest campaign to attack John Kasich and deflect from the Governor's own record has finally made some inroads. It did inflict some damage and ultimately made this a tight race.
But still, after four years, only 44% of Ohioans support the Governor. Despite months on the campaign trail that number is just as bad as it was in January. It's been a flatline.
The question? In just less than five weeks can Strickland find a way to improve a level of support that has seen no significant movement for 10 months?
I think the Kasich team and the RGA will have something to say about that.
So, with all this effort you may have expected the all-important Democratic stronghold of Columbus to enjoy quite a turnout on the first day of early voting.
Yeah, not so much.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Unfortunately, the only ones that seemed to show up were SEIU "volunteers" and Ohio legislature staffers that want to be able to keep their job after November.
I was wondering why we weren't seeing any pictures of the rally at the Statehouse on twitter from the ODP twitter account or other assorted parties.
Now I know why.
Keep fooling yourselves into thinking there isn't an enthusiasm gap, kiddos, because this is laughable.
And today we found out once again how bad it's become.
From Fortune 500 magazine/CNN Money:
Meredith Whitney, the superstar analyst who famously forecast disaster for America's big banks before the credit crisis struck, is now warning about another looming threat: The wreckage from over-stretched state budgets.And guess where Ohio'sranked?
Today, Whitney is releasing a 600-page report, colorfully entitled "The Tragedy of the Commons," that rates the financial condition of America's 15 largest states, measured by their GDP. Whitney claims that the study is the most comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the states' murky patterns of spending, revenues and benefits programs ever assembled by the government, foundations, or another research firm.
In the report, Whitney rates the fifteen states on four criteria, their economy, fiscal health, housing, and taxes. For each category, she assigns a rating of one, two or three for best, neutral or negative.
The report hasn't been released quite yet, but we'll be sure to link back at it so we can just how sorry a state Strickland has left Ohio.
Turns out he didn't show up for his meeting with them this afternoon at 1:30.
But I do know where he was around 12:15pm. And where he'll be tonight.
Here's the scene at their event in Akron at approximately 2:03pm today.
The event was supposed to start 1:30pm.
UPDATE: It didn't get much better once our illustreous Governor arrived. Check out this twitpic from CNN Political producer Peter Hamby:
No, Pete. It's not the biggest crowd.
Anyone want to bet the Strickland team is out there right now begging for people to show up for this afternoon's rally at the Statehouse?
We have Chris Redfern, the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, calling conservatives "f***ers".
We have the Governor himself going unhinged and ranting about the evils of Republicans.
Is it no wonder it's come to this?
UPDATE: So this is what this campaign has boiled down to, eh? This shameful behavior is unacceptable. Let's hope the guy is identified and appropriately punished:
On a sidenote, sorta amazing how smug Lee Fisher looks despite the buttkicking he is currently receiving, eh?
Since July they've ran four positive ads, one ad defending his time at Lehman, and one soft comparative ad with Mary Taylor.
The RGA has been running their ads discussing Strickland's record in their folksy, laid back manner.
What have we seen from Strickland and his allies? Harshly negative attacks on Kasich followed up by generally positive advertising.
Is Ted's strategy working? Perhaps.
A new poll out today from Fox News shows the race down to 45-43. That's down from 47-41 in the 9/18 Fox News poll and 48-43 in the same poll on 9/11.
In other words, in the past two and a half weeks of the Fox News poll, Ted has remained relatively static at 43 while Kasich has seen his support slightly decrease.
In news that will probably freak out the lefties, the Fox News poll seems to most closely resemble the recently released Ohio Poll. Partisan support is relatively the same and Independents are tight with Kasich up 40-36.
This poll may freak out some Kasich supporters. Don't let it.
Remember, Strickland still sits at below 45%. On Real Clear Politics, his average level of support is now up to 41.8%. As Eric Rademacher from the Ohio Poll said when their poll was released, "the fact is, for an incumbent governor, it's a little bit late in the year to be under 50 percent support."
Even if you take just the Fox News and the Ohio Poll into consideration, Ted's support stands at a lowly 44%. Exactly where polls have shown him for over a year. That's far below the vital 50%+1 barrier.
But that doesn't mean the Kasich team should necessarily keep doing what they are doing. It could be argued that support for Kasich is eroding. Why?
I'd argue that Ted's attacks are having an effect. While they aren't bringing Ted any new support, they are making it difficult for swing voters to embrace Kasich.
So what should Team Kasich do?
The Kasich team has already played the positive ad card, so perhaps it's time to draw a more stark contrast. The Kasich guys have already set their candidate up with months of positive ads, so going more negative won't be nearly as damaging as it is when you do it right out of the box. So let's very clearly show Ohio voters their choices.
Ted Strickland promised to Turnaround Ohio. That means he believed the Governor can greatly effect economic change within his state. Now Ohio has lost nearly 400,000 jobs and Ohioans are giving up looking for work at an increasing rate. Do the voters want more of the same? Do they like the status quo?
Let's ask them. But with less rosy music.
UPDATE: Just thought about something. Rob Portman is currently blowing away Lee Fisher. In the same Fox News poll as was released today showing the Governor's race tightening, it also showed Portman up 13.
In their 9/11 poll, Fox News showed Portman up 7. And what have we seen since then? Two new ads from Portman that have driven home Fisher's record as Lt. Governor and "Jobs Czar". And now he's up 13. Fisher hasn't had any substantive TV buys during that entire stretch, so what changed? The advertising angle. Talking about their opponent's record.
It worked so well for Portman that Larry Sabato was up on TV this morning telling a national audience that Democrats in DC have given up on Lee. Time to try it with Ted.
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.
Monday, September 27, 2010
As we all know by now, Paula Brooks is so lacking in confidence that she'll win against Pat Tiberi in November that she hasn't bothered to move into the district which she wants to represent in Congress.
But she still has one more week to move and fill in that registration form.
And the Franklin County GOP is helping her countdown...
You can become a fan of the Franklin County GOP by clicking here.
Today they seem ready to call Ohio for Kasich - and, just as we mentioned here on 3BP after the indictment, it seems Strickland has the corrupt Democratic Party in Cuyahoga County to thank for it.
Though Gov. Strickland carried all of Northeast Ohio's counties in 2006, Mr. Kasich has been campaigning hard in this traditional Democratic stronghold, which has been whacked by the recession and now the scandal. Thousands of local Democrats have switched party affiliation to the GOP. When President Obama gave his Labor Day speech at Cuyahoga Community College, about 75 students had to be collared to fill vacant seats. After the Dimora indictment, one prominent Democrat noted: "Dimora and these guys were responsible for turning out the vote. There isn't going to be anybody turning out."As the WSJ notes, we can't overstate the importance of these scandals in Cuyahoga County. Not only has their GOTV machine been heavily damaged on their home turf, but residents of Cuyahoga County have become even more turned off by politics and the corruption of the left. Sure, some may not vote for Kasich, but they'll be hard pressed to pull the lever for Strickland.
Should Mr. Kasich become Ohio's governor this November with support from those heavily populated, blue-velvet northeastern counties, watch next year for a trail of GOP presidential hopefuls making pilgrimages to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland. In the words of 1987 inductee Roy Orbison, "It's over."
Just take a look at this freak out memo from Emily's List to see just how much trouble she's in:
Emily's List says polls are tied?
Keep it up, Tom. They're feeling the pressure.
UPDATE: I love this.
Chris Christie will appear with John Kasich for a webcast tomorrow morning.
You can sign up for a reminder or submit a question by clicking below...
Considering her record against Christie as Corzine's press secretary, let's hope Strickland's communications director Lis Smith doesn't have any flashbacks.
After his pathetic use of the 'F Bomb' to characterize Tea Party conservatives last week, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman refused to apologize and did whatever he could to keep the story in the news - even going so far as to try to raise money off it.
Some data from the Ohio Poll shows that may have been a dumb mistake.
About a third of the poll respondents said they are tea party supporters, while 19 percent called themselves opponents. Nearly half - 48 percent - said they're neither supporters nor opponents.In other words, only 1/5 of Ohioans were susceptible to Redfern's emotional and vile outburst.
Far more support the Tea Party than oppose it. The others don't care either way. But you can bet they don't believe using the F Bomb to identify political opponents is acceptable behavior for someone who is supposed to be the leader of the Party.
Dumb move, Chairman.
It seems the loads of volunteers helping out the Kasich team are going above and beyond what it takes to win. Check it out:
Yesterday, the Ohio Victory effort led the nation for the September Super Saturday.For those of you that have never helped out by doing GOTV calls for a candidate, these numbers are downright amazing.
Hundreds of volunteers in Victory Centers and neighborhoods made 142,647 calls and knocked on 41,075 doors for a total of 183,722 voter contacts.
In fact, the Lucas County Victory Center set a national record for calls made in one center in a day with 18,685 calls. A big thanks to Chairman Jon Stainbrook and Meghan Gallagher for leading the charge on such an amazing effort.
If you want to get a taste of the action, you can volunteer for the Kasich team by clicking here.
Nearly half of the youngest Ohioans - those between the ages of 18 and 29 - told the poll they would move elsewhere.Half of the state's young people want to leave a state? And the biggest reason is the economy?
Three of 10 polled said they would leave Ohio for "better weather,'' something that is out of any governor's control. But a combined 36 percent cited economic reasons - lower taxes, "better economic conditions," and the ability to find a job.
Ohioans are Ohio's best natural resource. The more that leave, the less the state's ability to provide skilled and dedicated workers to businesses that want to come to the Buckeye State.
While a top higher education system is highly important to Ohio's future, a focus must be made to increase the demand for Ohio graduates. How do we do that? We make Ohio more attractive to businesses than not just neighboring states, but the rest of the nation as a whole.
Governor Strickland has failed to create a business environment that makes it attractive to businesses. How do we know? Well, you ask the guys that decide where businesses are built - the CEOs.
And CEO Magazine did just that a few months ago. What did they find?
Ohio is the 44th best state in the nation for business.
That kind of ranking doesn't bring jobs to Ohio. And the 600,000 out of work Ohioans can testify to that. As can Ohio's labor force which is at its 2nd lowest point of the year.
Until Ohio does enough to drastically improve that ranking among CEOs, there won't be a demand for Ohio college graduates. And without a higher demand for college graduates, they'll continue to look elsewhere for opportunities.
Governor Strickland believes he nothing else can be done to improve Ohio's standing. How else do you explain his absolute failure to introduce any new ideas to fix what ails the state? To him, the status quo is enough. Now with just 36 days until election day, Strickland has lost his chance to make any new proposals. Anything would be seen as far too opportunistic and desperate. He lives and dies on his record. The status quo.
The Cincinnati Enquirer actually phrased the choice facing Ohioans better than I ever could:
But we clearly prefer Kasich for his ability to offer fresh, innovative approaches to growth, government reform and job creation, while Strickland represents a cautious status quo that lacks the aggressive, business-oriented approach the state needs. Ohio needs the real change Kasich offers.Amen.
Yesterday, the Columbus Dispatch endorsed Rob Portman for Senate.
Also, the Cincinnati Enquirer made their recommendations (not endorsements - those come later) for early voters.
They recommended John Kasich for Governor, Rob Portman for Senate, Steve Chabot for Congress, and Jon Husted for Secretary of State. Not surprisingly, they chose hometown boy David Pepper over Dave Yost.
The strange choice of the day? Kevin Boyce for Treasurer. Really?
Unfortunately for her, the ad distorts the reality of the vote. She wasn't in Congress when TARP was approved and the vote she speaks of was a meaningless vote that has been discredited far and wide.
In fact, both Factcheck and the Columbus Dispatch both scolded her for misleading voters.
But that hasn't stopped her.
Now she has thumbed her nose at the Dispatch and sent out a mailer making the exact same misleading statement.
Mary Jo Kilroy is going to lose. That is a fact.
It's just too bad she is abandoning the last shred of dignity she had left while doing it.
h/t: That Hero
Sunday, September 26, 2010
But for the fun of it, let's ignore that advice and focus solely on the Ohio Poll that was released last night.
As we mentioned yesterday, of all polls taken of the Ohio Governor's race in the past year and a half, the Ohio Poll has shown the largest amount of support for Ted Strickland. During that time, The Ohio Poll also joined Quinnipiac as the only poll to show Ted Strickland leading the race. The difference? Quinnipiac never had support for Strickland above 44%. The Ohio Poll was the outlier with two of their three polls in the past year and a half showing Strickland with 48 and 49% support.
But outliers aside, The Ohio Poll has earned its reputation as a top tier poll and must be respected.
So let's get to it.
Their most recent poll from the end of May had Ted Strickland ahead 49-44 on John Kasich.
Back then, Kasich wasn't well known and between the two campaigns we had only seen attack ads from Strickland.
Well, with the results from last night you can consider those results flipped.
John Kasich is now ahead 49-45 - A net turnaround of 9 points.
The 45% support for Strickland is particularly significant. Being below 50% for an incumbent is bad news. At 45%, even moreso.
Or as the brains behind The Ohio Poll puts it:
"Gov. Strickland would probably be pleased to be behind by only four percent after some of the polls that showed him much farther behind,'' Rademacher said. "But, the fact is, for an incumbent governor, it's a little bit late in the year to be under 50 percent support."The fact is this - no poll since the May Ohio Poll has shown Strickland over 45%. He's flatlined. Or, in the case of The Ohio Poll, gotten worse.
To make matters worse for the Governor, we learn that Strickland's supporters are softer than Kasich's.
Rademacher pointed to another line in the poll that is not particularly good for Strickland - 55 percent of those who said they support him now say they could change their minds, while only 45 percent of Kasich's supporters said they might switches horses midstream.That's very bad news for someone who desperately needs to change people's minds in a very short amount of time.
"Kasich's support seems solid; Strickland's, a little more soft,'' Rademacher said.
But it gets even worse for Ted Strickland. And it surrounds something that's been the story of the year so far in elections nationwide - enthusiasm.
Among Republicans, 86 percent said they are "extremely" or "very" interested in the campaign, while, along Democrats, the number drops to 65 percent.
"The interest seems to be on the Republican side,'' Rademacher said. "There's no question that the numbers show the potential for a big Republican year in Ohio."
A 21% enthusiasm gap among Likely Voters? Are you kidding me?
That's even larger than what we're seeing in the national Gallup polls.
Being down four in a poll may seem nice if you're a Democrat, but it means jacksquat if you can't get Democrats to actually go and vote. And there's the rub. Strickland hasn't given Democrats, or anyone for that matter, a reason to motivate. He's relied on the status quo to get him re-elected. And in times as bad as they are now, that just doesn't fly.
What else does that enthusiasm gap show? That the obsessive Wall Street and Free Trade attacks haven't worked against Kasich. Despite all their efforts to depress Republicans about their candidate and tick off Democrats about their opponent, Republicans are shockingly enthusiastic to go vote while Democrats are down.
What else could be effecting the enthusiasm gap? The failure of Lee Fisher's candidacy. Without being able to spend anything on commercials and getting zero help from the DSCC, Democrats have resigned to losing Ohio's Senate seat to Rob Portman. And throwing up a white flag already on what should be a high profile Senate race hasn't, and won't invigorate the average Democratic voter.
Ultimately, this poll will show Kasich's lead in aggregate polling to have decreased. Do I wish the lead was larger? Of course!
But so what?
He's still leading. His support is far more solid than Strickland's. And voter enthusiasm greatly outweighs the opposition.
The funny part? This poll will actually give Democrats some hope. They'll cling to it until the next Ohio Poll comes out. All others will mean nothing. The bad news? They'll be clinging to a poll whose very administrator seems quite pessimistic that Strickland can improve his numbers. They'll be clinging to a poll that once again reinforces Strickland's inability to poll higher than 45%.
The Governor's support has flatlined. And so has his campaign.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
And with the help of Organizing for America, they've been working their little butts off to spread the word. E-mails to their volunteer lists. Tweets from the Governor himself. Websites. You name it.
And what do they have to show for it? Well, as of late last night....
12.6 people per rally.
[DJ sidenote: God, I love the feature on the Organizing for America website that allows me to see how many have RSVP'd to an event.]
Of course we can expect the labor unions to send in some reinforcements, but that won't stave off the embarrassment they should feel for this unconscionably bad effort.
The question is where this one will place the race.
With a swarm of polls last week that showed the race all over the place - from Kasich +6 to Kasich +17 - it's hard to guess how this one will look.
In polls going back to June of last year, the Ohio Poll has conducted two tests of the electorate. In both of those polls, the two that showed the highest level of support for Governor Strickland of all polls taken both came from the Ohio Poll. In October of 2009 they had him at 48%. In May of this year they had him at 49% with a 5 point lead on Kasich - the only poll besides Quinnipiac to show a Strickland lead all year.
With that in mind, it's safe to say this one will likely be fairly friendly towards the Governor.
I wouldn't expect a lead or even a level of support equaling previous Ohio Polls, but considering the Ohio Poll's history, something closer to what we've seen from the recent Rasmussen and CNN/Time polls seems to be a fair assumption.
That would place Strickland at anywhere from 41-43 percent support and a 5-8 point deficit.
While that would shrink Kasich's aggregate lead, it shouldn't give the Strickland campaign room to cheer.
First off, you're still losing. Second, if you are well under the 50% threshold it means you've got a lot of work to do - especially if you're an incumbent Democrat in this environment.
And don't forget, there are only 38 days left in this race. History shows that undecideds near the end of an election tend to break towards the challenger - and in a political environment like this one it's very unlikely that will change.
As we said before the debate last Tuesday, the Governor's polling has already hit its basement. Without a major scandal, it's unlikely that his level of support could shrink anymore than the 40% average we were seeing. That means the Governor has nowhere to go but up, and with his decision to finally embrace some moderately positive advertising, it's expected.
The problem for the Governor is that the combination of the environment, the poor strategic decisions at the campaign level, and his own conduct means it's going to be especially difficult for him to reach the all-important 50%+1 mark that he hasn't seen since April of 2009.
If the poll does come out this weekend, it should be on Sunday. Keep an eye out.
Friday, September 24, 2010
The generic ballot shows Republicans leading 44%-39%. Besides all of the usual regional crosstabs, we also broke it out by the type of district. We looked at the sample in the 66 Democratic INCUMBENT districts that Charlie Cook lists as either toss-up or leaning Democratic at the time of the survey. In that key crosstab of Swing Democratic Incumbent Seats, the Republican lead grows to 49%-31% on the generic ballot. That is a very powerful crosstab that says the wave is coming.It should be noted that Charlie Cook currently lists SIX congressional seats in Ohio as toss-up or lean Dem - Kilroy, Driehaus, Boccieri, Space, Sutton, Wilson.
Among the remaining Democratic districts (Likely/Safe Dem, and open seats), the generic ballot is an unsurprisingly 33% GOP/51% Dem — a sign that the historically safe Dem seat will remain so, while the swing seats will be a bloodbath. By the way, all of in the GOP held seats, the generic is the reverse of the base Dem seats — 52% GOP/32% Dem. Very few, if any, Republican incumbents will be defeated.This comes on the heels of NBC's First Read listing Tom Ganley's race against Betty Sutton as a "majority maker" - ranking it 43rd in their field of 64 vulnerable House seats.
Regionally, the Republican wins 47%-39% in the South, 47%-35% in the Midwest, and 46%-36% in the West, while trailing 36%-47% in the Northeast. The Midwest is going to be a killing field for Democrats this year — from western PA through to the Plains, Republicans are going to sweep a LOT of Democrats right out of office.
In addition, Bob Gibbs' race against Zack Space was qualified by POLITICO as a "make or break" race if the GOP wants to win the majority.
Without question, both of these races will be a prime focus from each side over the next 5 weeks. If we want to win the net gain of 39 seats necessary to make John Boehner Speaker of the House, Republicans in Ohio need to be working their tails off to make sure these two have all the help they can get.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Strickland acted especially bothered by Kasich on Thursday as the two former congressmen appeared together before Plain Dealer editors and reporters seeking the paper's endorsement. He mixed in contempt for Kasich with his responses to questions about tax, education and economic policies.Now, to be fair, the article does mention some irritation and dismissiveness from Kasich, but as the Plain Dealer states, it was Strickland who seemed "especially bothered".
During the nearly two-hour meeting, the governor rubbed his fist on his thigh, moved frequently in his chair and even pointed at his opponent. Kasich repeatedly clicked a retractable pen, frequently looked at the ceiling and shifted in his chair.
Strickland became agitated during an exchange about Kasich's proposal to give business executives more say over the Third Frontier, Ohio's investment program for cutting-edge technologies largely run by universities. Tapping the table with his finger, Strickland tried to interrupt Kasich, which allowed Kasich to accuse the governor of losing his cool.
"Governor, you need to stay calm," Kasich said.
Strickland, his voice quickening and raising, continued, saying the problem was the result of "the shenanigans on Wall Street and you were there and you were a part of that."
In light of his Party Chairman's remarks earlier this week and the awful publicity the Governor received for his labor day rant, you'd think he'd play the part of the relaxed preacher. Apparently the pressure cooker and the intense scrutiny that comes with losing what Joe Biden called the "most important Governor's race in the nation" has left Strickland irritated to the point of losing control.
That isn't the image that will assuage worried Party leaders in Washington.
They're universally known as the leading business advocate in the Buckeye State and maintain a clear focus on improving Ohio's business climate to grow jobs.
And in their 117 year history they've never endorsed a statewide candidate.
Oftentimes endorsements don't mean all that much. But the coverage this endorsement has already received proves this one means something. Why? Because the leading advocate for business development, the single issue of utmost importance to Ohio voters, broke tradition to make a very clear statement about who they feel would best move the state forward.
And it wasn't Ted Strickland.
Why? Because they feel John Kasich is the best candidate to work to improve Ohio's business climate.
But Ted Strickland didn't do himself any favors:
Doehrel said that Strickland also interviewed with the chamber and asked for its endorsement. The chamber has stood with the governor on some issues in recent years. But Doehrel said one issue that worked against Strickland in the endorsement process was the perceived anti-business campaign commercials the governor has released attacking Kasich and his ties to Wall Street.
The governor was also most recently criticized by the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland's chamber of commerce, for an ad regarding Kasich's role on the board for Invacare, a Cleveland company.
"That upset us," Doehrel said.
Whoever ultimately made that decision should be lucky they still have a job with the campaign.
Though after today, maybe they won't.
And what kind of response did Strickland campaign have to the Chamber's decision?
If you guessed "immature, petty, and illogical," you're the big winner.
The weird part about this? Strickland interviewed and tried to get the Chamber's endorsement.
The Strickland campaign issued a statement that did not directly address the chamber's decision. Instead the campaign noted that the chamber supported free trade with China just as it says Kasich does. Strickland has said such agreements have cost Ohio jobs."Congressman Kasich can fight for Wall Streeters and outsourcers, Ted will fight for Ohio," said Strickland communications director Lis Smith.
Does it make any sense to insult the organization with whom you tried to obtain an endorsement? Imagine what Strickland would have said had he won it:
"I'd like to thank the Chamber for their endorsement. It's great to have the backing of an organization that supports free trade with China that have cost Ohio jobs."The Strickland campaign attacking the Chamber after losing the endorsement they coveted is exactly what happened after the Ohio CPAs chose Kasich over Strickland. This trend of petty and downright strange behavior won't endear Strickland to any swing voters and will surely only invigorate the CPAs and Chamber to work harder to get out the vote for Kasich.
Keep it up, Strickland disciples. You're not doing yourselves any favors.
The Pledge isn't, and shouldn't be, a line by line breakdown of specific policy proposals to be enacted over the next two years. Instead, it's a starting point, and a substantive one at that.
The editors at the National Review said it best:
Read the rest from the NRO editors here...
All year long, conservatives have been pressuring Republicans to release a Contract with America for 2010 — an updated version of the campaign platform that the party unveiled before its 1994 sweep of Congress. Thursday morning, Republican congressmen are responding to that pressure by making a “Pledge to America.” The inevitable question will be: Is the pledge as bold as the Contract?
The answer is: The pledge is bolder. The Contract with America merely promised to hold votes on popular bills that had been bottled up during decades of Democratic control of the House. The pledge commits Republicans to working toward a broad conservative agenda that, if implemented, would make the federal government significantly smaller, Congress more accountable, and America more prosperous.
Check out the full Pledge to America here.
And see the video of the Preamble here...
UPDATE: Byron York asks a very important question.
It's certainly legitimate to discuss and criticize the Republican agenda. But that leaves a question: What is the Democratic agenda? What are Democrats promising to do if the voters decide to return them to control of the House?
The answer is: There isn't a Democratic agenda.
Shortly before the Republicans rolled out their plan in Sterling, Virginia, I called the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. I asked spokesman Ryan Rudominer whether, since we now have the GOP agenda, there is a similar document laying out what Democrats will do if voters return them to power in the House. There was a moment of silence on the other end of the call.
"I'm sorry, you mean, like, a current one?" Rudominer asked.
Yes, I said.
"I don't think we have, like, you know, a 21-page sort of infommercial-type package like this," Rudominer said.
Well, any sort of agenda would be fine, I said.
"Look, you know, each race is going to have their own individualized message," Rudominer answered. "So look, we're not putting together a gimmicky package like this six weeks before the election. We're talking about making each of these elections a choice."
Then earlier this week from Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post:
Or this glorious headline in Politico from just a few moments ago:
Democrats are increasingly concerned about the weakness of their statewide tickets across the heartland — and its potential effect on House candidates.
The worries are focused on a slate of underperforming gubernatorial and Senate candidates across the Midwest who, when combined with a depressed party base, could cause serious problems for House incumbents and challengers in states from Ohio to the Dakotas.
One vulnerable Midwestern House Democrat, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that weak Democratic top-of-the-ticket performance could spell trouble for his own reelection bid.
“I’d be lying if I [said I] wasn’t concerned about it,” the Democrat said. “I am.”
An of course we have that scary looking pollster.com aggregate data chart:
Then there's the New York Times elections analyst telling us that there is a 92% chance that John Kasich will win the Governor's race and a 93% chance RobPortman will win the Senate seat.
Or maybe it's because there is now public confirmation that the DGA and DSCC are seriously considering pulling out of Ohio.
Wow. What a bad week for the Ohio Dems. And it's not even over yet.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We told him to apologize.
"It is what it is," Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern told Fox News regarding his Monday appearance at an endorsement event by the United Steelworkers for several Ohio Democrats, including Gov. Ted Strickland.Comparing calling a movement of people "f***ers" to Biden swearing while not realizing the mic was on? Seriously, Chris?
"Vice President Biden and I have a way with words," Redfern said, conjuring up the vice president's description this spring of the signing of the health care law as a "big f---ing deal."
Redfern's failure to apologize makes one thing perfectly clear - he really thinks Tea Partiers are "f***ers".
Now you may or may not agree with the Tea Party and what they stand for. That's fine.
But what's important here, from a political perspective, is swing and Independent voters are seeing that Chris Redfern believes it's ok to name call members of a political movement in such an overbearingly insulting way.
That is exactly something that will horribly turn off voters. And it should.
This story has already gone national. Redfern better pray it dies in Ohio. But his refusal to apologize will likely only intensify the scrutiny of his remark.
Chris Redfern is a fool.
UPDATE: Chris Redfern is tripling down on stupid.
Amazingly, now he's embracing the lowest form of political opportunism by trying to use his shameful misbehavior to recruit new volunteers for the Ohio Democrats.
Someone needs to send a few 100 bars of soap to the ODP. Redfern doesn't just need his mouth washed out - he needs it taped shut.
But most interesting was yet another confirmation that the DGA and DSCC are seriously considering throwing up the white flag of surrender in Ohio:
Yet they're both leading by eye-popping margins, and Democrats are already privately discussing the possibility of moving money out of Ohio into other, more winnable, states. In a sign that the populist attacks focused on Kasich's past haven't had much of an impact, Strickland abandoned his own Wall Street attacks on Kasich in favor of a more positive message touting his economic record in Ohio -- a tough sell in a state with a 10.1 percent unemployment rate, ninth-highest in the country.I guess my prediction a couple weeks ago was on target, eh?
Kraushaar also hits on Obama's major popularity problem in Ohio:
There's plenty of time until 2012, but Obama's standing in the Buckeye State has to be troubling for the president's strategists looking ahead to his re-election. There's a reason Ohio is a perennial bellwether state -- it features most of the core demographic groups that a Democrat needs to win over in order to take the White House.Kraushaar misses a very important point here.
With Obama getting pounded from Akron to Zanesville to Columbus to Cincinnati, it's a clear warning sign for the future. Things can change dramatically in two years. But if the White House believe that it's just style -- that it's the administration's messaging, and not the underlying policies -- causing the Democrats' sinking numbers, it should take a look at the fate of Obama's allies in Ohio who stood by him and are now bearing the brunt of those ties.
All the troubles Obama is facing in Ohio come despite visiting the state ten times - the most to any state, sans New York.
If the President himself truly was the best tool in the toolshed, then shouldn't increased appearances benefit him?
Instead, what do we see?
I don't know about you, but that trajectory seems to be going the wrong way for a President who could soon consider applying for Ohio residency.
Obama is in trouble in Ohio. And so is Strickland. So is Fisher. And on and on.
The tsunami cometh.
It's gotten so bad that a trend has begun among a number of their congressional candidates.
Within the millions of dollars they are spending on TV ads, they can't seem to tell the truth.
First, there's Betty Sutton getting the Politifact treatment...
Then there's Marcy Kaptur getting nailed by the left-leaning Factcheck...
Factcheck also gave their treatment to Mary Jo Kilroy for the inaccurate statement in her first TV ad...
And, of course, Zack Space was found guilty by the Ohio Elections Commission for lying in his TV ad...
Is this really what Ohio's congressional Democrats have been reduced to?
What's so scary about your voting record that you can't discuss what you've accomplished?
Other than Obamacare, the Stimulus, Cap & Trade, and on and on and on, of course.
The harshly negative TV ads right out of the box by so many Ohio Democrats is a an odd choice. Whether directed by Chris Redfern or not, the decision by so many Ohio Dem candidates to go negative first rather than work to improve their own standing seems to be a downright odd strategical decision. Strickland did it, and look where it got him. Fisher did it. Then we saw it among a number of targeted congressional candidates.
When will candidates learn that you can't go negative right way, especially when your approval ratings are in the toilet? You have to nurture your image until the electorate is ready to trust any comparative or negative ads.
That's a strange Party you're running there, Mr. Chairman.