Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Looking Ahead To 2014: Kasich Leads Weak Field Of Democrats

Election Day 2012 was just two weeks ago, and it seems like all everyone is talking about is Election Day 2014.  The voting machines have yet to cool down, but speculation on who Democrats will run against Governor John Kasich is all over the news.

From the bumbling failure that is Ted Strickland and that laughable Congressman Moonbeam Tim Ryan, to the angry man continuing the corrupt politics of Cuyahoga County, Ed Fitzgerald, Democrats have an array of dreadful prospects to challenge Governor Kasich.

But that hasn't stopped Democrat Chairman Chris "I Don't Live In My House District" Redfern from touting a liberal polling firm's assessment that Democrats are just one point behind Kasich in a hypothetical 2014 matchup.

It was just great to see PolitiFact Ohio, the intellectually dishonest "fact checker," report on the poll, with their hack-job analysis proving their either incompetent or actually advancing Democrat talking points.

Maybe both.

Though the poll in question does have Kasich one point ahead of an unnamed Democrat, the "analysis" dismisses not only the growing number of polls that show Kasich's approval increasing, but also the statistics of the actual poll itself.  We get it--it's easy when you just look at the top line of the poll--but that's not journalism.

Just looking at the election we had two weeks ago sheds light on the potential challenges Democrats face come 2014.  Obama's aggregate approval in Ohio was roughly +2.5% when voters cast their ballots, reelecting him by a 2% margin.  Kasich's approval rating currently sits at nearly +13%.  Using voter logic from 2012, that translates into a 10% reelection victory.

That's certainly not a one-point gap.

And of course the analysis forgets to mention why a nameless Democrat does so well--it's nameless.  Democrats have a very, very weak field of candidates interested in the job.  Probably the one populist candidate who stood the best chance was shunned from the party by Pirate-in-Chief Chris Redfern.

And as the Dispatch reported, Democrats themselves really aren't all too enthusiastic about any of their options:
If you want a real question mark with voters, ask which Democrat interested in opposing Kasich in two years would make the best governor. The man Kasich beat in 2010, Ted Strickland, is a weak favorite, with support from 22 percent.

Next is former Ohio attorney general — and now federal consumer czar — Richard Cordray, with 11 percent. Lagging badly are Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, with 4 percent, and Youngstown-area Congressman Tim Ryan, with 3 percent.

And 61 percent say they don’t know which Democrat would make the best governor [Emphasis mine].
The walking-talking recession Governor, Ted Strickland, can only pull 22%, while no one other than the rejected Cordray can muster even 5% support.  Against Governor Kasich's average approval of 51.6%, it seems like Democrats have a pretty large difference to make up.

That's certainly not a one-point gap.

Of course, that doesn't even take into consideration the immense funding advantage Kasich already enjoys--and without having committed seriously to the effort as of yet.  Strickland has a few dollars, but unless Ryan can squeeze dollars from raisins, or Fitzgerald takes some criminal advice from his fellow Cuyahoga political pals, how do any of them mount a serious challenge in 2014?

And then there's the numbers, which we've highlighted before:
According to the new Ohio Newspaper Poll, Governor Kasich is getting the job done, earning the approval of 56% of Ohioans.  And that number comes not only from Republican allies, but from almost every demographic:

  • 60% approval among Independents.
  • 54% approval in liberal Northeast Ohio.
  • 34% approval among, wait for it... Democrats.
That's right, over a third of the Democrat party approves of the job Governor Kasich is doing.  And that's not even the end of it, as Kasich has made substantial headway with traditional Democrat voting blocs:
  • 53% approval among women.
  • 28% approval among African-Americans.
  • 64% approval among those ages 18 to 29.
So does Kasich deserve another term?  A whopping 52% of likely voters think so, compared to just 37% who say no.  And if you remove the party-line Democrats from the mix, that number falls to a measly 10% who think Kasich shouldn't be reelected.  Heck even a quarter of the Democrat party--27% to be exact--thinks Kasich deserves a second term.
What's really bizarre is the fact that those numbers came from a poll done by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and yet their PolitiFact team ignored them.  Maybe the staff at the PD might want to work on their inter-office communication skills.

But even the liberal PPP poll shows Kasich's strength, despite the 43% Democrat sample:
  • Against a nameless Democrat, Kasich's even with women.
  • Against a nameless Democrat, Kasich takes 14% of the vote from Democrats
  • Against a nameless Democrat, Kasich wins every age demographic, except the youth vote.
And I'm willing to bet once young Ohioans start finding jobs, they'll be much more willing to thank Governor Kasich for his efforts in helping to attract businesses who create jobs in this state.

But probably the most telling statistic is Kasich's support among Independent voters.  He's +8% in that category, even by PPP's liberal standards.  They had Romney at +2%.

The fun part?  Romney won Ohio's Independent voters by 10%.  PPP undershot Romney by 8% among Independents in a year where Democrats demagogued every fiber of his being with hundreds of millions of dollars.  It's impossible to tell what Kasich's actual advantage with Independents is, but +15% or more isn't a far stretch, given what we know from PPP's projections versus the actual results last Election Day.

That's certainly not a one-point gap.

All of this adds up to Kasich being one elected official Democrats are none-too-keen to face come 2014.  Unless Ohio's economy tanks--like it did under Strickland--Governor Kasich's prospects for reelection are looking pretty darn good.

That being said, nothing is a guarantee.  We never have and never will be arrogant enough to etch any victory in stone, or say that our candidate will win by +20%, especially this far out.  But with the way he's polling in key demographics, and with an approval rating on the rise, Governor Kasich is in a great spot for reelection come 2014, and in a better position than any potential Democrat challenger.

And not by just one-point.


  1. It's simple. Unless Ohio's economy suffers the same kind of crash felt in 2008/2009, Kasich will easily win re-election.

    Any Democrat who opposes him will be doing so only in an effort to boost name recognition. But he'll only come away with a reputation as a foolish loser.

  2. Actually Election 2014 is NOT what "everyone is talking about".

    Just the Right Wing.

    1. Maybe you missed the Left Wing looking toward 2014... on Election Day 2012.

      Thanks for playing!

  3. Yeah, John Kasich hasn't been seriously focused on raising money. That's why his campaign never stopped holding fundraiser or sending out fundraising solicitation emails.

    Seriously, be sure to tell everyone at the Romney Inaugural how the polls are skewed in Ohio. It'll make you the hit of the Ball. You've clearly learned nothing from the election.

    You know who had even higher job approval rating at this point in his term? Ted Strickland.

    Things changed. Kasich's still thinking about pushing the Turnpike privatization. He's had yet another high-level official in his Administration have to resign for self dealing. And he's bragging about unemployment being at a four-year low when it was already essentially at a two-year low when he took office.... two years ago.

    But congratulations on your brilliant insight that incumbents have a political advantage.

  4. This conservative will be sitting on his hands during the next gubernatorial election unless a conservative republican is running.


No profanity, keep it clean.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.