Tuesday, August 29, 2006
According to a poll by the Indianapolis Star, only 30% of Indiana residents thought the lease was a good idea. 60% of Indiana residents thought it was a bad idea. And how popular is the turnpike lease among the communities most directly affected by it? Well, in northern Indiana where the turnpike is actually located, 73% of the residents there believe the turnpike privatization was a bad idea.
How much political capital has the turnpike privatization costs Governor Mitch Daniels, who campaigned with Ken Blackwell in support of Blackwell's similar privatization plan? Well, his approval ratings have plummeted to the lowest level for any Indiana Governor in their first year in the history of Indiana polling, and a majority of residents now believe the state is on the wrong track.
Luckily for the Buckeye State, we have a choice this November which can prevent our State's transportation channels from being sold to the highest foreign bidder under this disastrous and highly unpopular corporate giveaway. Vote for Ted Strickland for Governor.
Then, Ted Strickland issues a rebuttal ad that demonstrates that he has, in fact, supported on numerous occasions the very kind of tax cuts Blackwell's ad alleged Strickland opposed. The ad ends with a claim that Blackwell's mandatory health insurance plan is going to cost families money they don't have under Blackwell's one-size-fits-all mandatory insurance scheme. Because Blackwell's plan doesn't detail how much the mandatory plans will costs Ohio families, Strickland's campaign relies on a third-party source for a market-based equivalent estimate.
The Blackwell campaign publicly cries foul and accuses the Strickland campaign of putting forth a false ad about how much Blackwell's health insurance tax will be under his mandatory insurance scheme. There's no complaints about the ad's accuracy in demonstrating the previous Blackwell ad as being misleading and untrue.
Instead of reporting on how the Blackwell campaign was publicly revealed to be lying about Strickland's record on taxes, the media instead reports on Blackwell's claims (which have yet to been supported with a contrasting estimate of his mandatory insurance tax) that Strickland is misleading voters on how much Blackwell's plan will costs Ohio's families.
Caught red-handed in a lie, and Blackwell escapes by accusing his opponent (again, with no corroborating evidence) of lying. How much will Ken Blackwell's mandatory insurance tax cost Ohio's families? We simply can't afford to wait until January to find out.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
In my last post, I theorized that one or two possibilities as for the fourteen-point swing. Either more Republicans became undecides and some previously undecideds became Strickland supporters, or more Republicans became Strickland supporters. It appears from the latest data publicly released that the latter is the case.
Over at conservative blogs like Right Angle Blog's post, "Is Ken Blackwell Destined to Lose?," what began as a passing along the ORP's rallying cry turned into a rather hostile discussion about whether Blackwell has started to run to the center and betrayed the conservatives or whether the voters, tired of Republican rule, will suddenly become Blackwell Republicans because he's somehow a different type of Republican than the rest of the Republican leadership team he's been apart of for the last 16 years and even though he has the endorsement and fundraising support of highly unpopular Governor Bob Taft.
What becomes of this debate and it's impact on the election is unclear. However, what is clear is that for yet another month, Ken Blackwell's negatives have increased despite no attack ads against him. From June to July, according to Rasmussen, the percentage of Ohioans who view Ken Blackwell very unfavorably increased six percentage points. According to Rasmussen's latest poll, it's increased another 4%, leading to a 10-point increase in the number of people viewing Blackwell very unfavorably over the summer. That kind of increase despite no negative or comparison ads is rather surprising. Currently, 40% of Ohioans have a favorable view of Blackwell, and 55% have an unfavorable view (leaving only 5% as undecided or with no opinion). In contrast, 59% of Ohioans have a favorable view of Congressman Ted Strickland.
Conservatives, like those at RAB, are trying to spin the race that people aren't so much voting FOR Strickland, but AGAINST Blackwell, and that therefore, support for Strickland is soft. Even if this were true, under these numbers even if Strickland's support WERE soft, it's clear that opposition to Blackwell is very strong. Blackwell's net favorability rating is currently -15%. If you compared his entire favorability rating to just his very unfavorable rating, Blackwell's favorability is only +5%, which is technically within 4.5% margin of error.
Furthermore, Blackwell continues to lose support among Republican voters. Less than 60% of Republican voters currently plan on voting for Blackwell according to the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll. This is lowest amount of support Ken Blackwell has received among Republican voters. Strickland's base is largely in tact, with less than 10% of Democratic voters crossing-over to vote for Blackwell and he has large leads among independent voters where he gets 55% of the independent votes. Although the most recent Rasmussen release did not say how much Strickland is capturing an Republican cross-over vote, the Rasmussen poll from late July showed Strickland getting an impressive 24% of the Republican vote.
This Rasmussen poll is by far the worst polling numbers Blackwell has received as well as the best for Strickland. With such high unfavorabilitity ratings, and such a hugh lead among independents, Blackwell has a Herculeian task in front of him.
Nor will all disapproving Republicans will vote for Strickland. Many, and apparently, increasing number, of Republicans may decide in this hostile political election, to stay at home instead of voting for Strickland. If they do, that could make things even more problematic for the lower ticket and local races for the Republican Party this November.
To win, Blackwell is going to have to do something that has eluded him for the past three months since his primary "victory," he needs to reunite the Republican vote behind his candidacy, fundamentally alter the public's view of both him and his opponent, and neutralize Strickland's cross-over appeal and Independent voter advantages.
And he has less than 73 days in which to do this.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
The August edition of the Rasmussen Reports is out, and my nervousness about how Strickland's numbers had stagnated over the summer was replaced by joyous shock.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
As I stated then, later this month, Blackwell would hold a meeting with the President Emeritus of the Ohio 30% Support Republican Club when Blackwell would be the guest of honor for a fundraiser hosted by Governor Bob Taft. Well, the fundraiser was Monday, and you couldn't find even one write up of Bob Taft's fundraiser or public support.
Nope, in a rare moment of campaign genius, the Blackwell campaign realized that Ohioans just wouldn't get Bob Taft's support of Ken Blackwell. So instead, the campaign rolled out the support of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.
And it truly was a shrewd maneuver. After all, why get stuck with the public support of the nation's most unpopular governor when you can instead appear with the public support the nation's fourth most unpopular governor? And what better idea is there than to publicly state that you have the same plans as the guy with a 39% approval rating?
Blackwell B.S. Alert!: Recently, Blackwell's campaign has been signaling that Blackwell might be willing to include caps on toll increases in response to his controversial turnpike privatization plan. This means that Ken Blackwell supports caps on the tolls on roads, but opposes caps on increases in tuition. Does that make any sense? Neither does Blackwell's apparently assertion that placing caps on the toll hikes the private companies can levy will have no effect on his promised $6 billion the privitatization of the Ohio Turnpike would generate.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Matt Naugle, Blackwell's official campaign blogger, has a facebook account that Buckeye State Blog recently captured for prosperity.
After recently claiming that Congressman Ted Strickland's outreach to African-American voters was somehow insincere (despite the fact that Strickland is introducing the only plan in the race for urban renewal), Naugle's membership to the "OSU White People" Club and his mocking comment that the lilly-white Naugle was "born a poor black child" screams of hypocracy.
UPDATE: Apparently, Mr. Naugle also opposes hate crime legislation as well. (Hat tip: Oberlin JJ at Buckeye State Blog.)
Friday, August 11, 2006
Pullins, desperate to rehabilitate himself in the conservative community after lending support to Republican tax increases in Ohio, now is trying to earn the good graces of the grassroots conservative movement by attacking the personal lives of Congressman Ted Strickland and his wife. First, Pullins spread the false rumors about Mr. and Mrs. Strickland's marriage and love life. Now, despite all evidence to the contrary, Mr. Pullins is hell-bent in continuing to push his ridiculous theory that Congressman Strickland and his wife do not actually live in the Lisbon apartment that they are registered in (despite knowing that the building they reside is owned by corporate entity renting out residential apartments in Lisbon and that they own the apartment building at 320 Market Street North in which the Stricklands live and are registered to vote.)
Here's the latest of Pullins' bold, yet completely unproven claims:
So, you've really done a thorough investigation, Pullins? You sure you have fully documented all of your allegations about your residency claims? Well you are asserting that Ted Strickland represented in his candidacy petitions, filed with the Ohio Secretary of State's office, that he certified, under penalty of election falsification, that his voting address is 370 North Market Street and that such an address in undeliverable according to the United States Postal Service.
"The Pullins Report has fully documented any allegations that we have made about his residency using publicly available records. For example:
- He and his wife are registered to vote at 320 North Market Street, in Lisbon, Ohio. But he has refused to document who pays for this location and it was formerly used as a campaign office according to records from the Federal Election Commission.
- His candidacy petitions filed with the Ohio Secretary of State lists the address of 370 North Market Street, Lisbon, Ohio. The United States Postal Service lists this address as undeliverable. Additionally, Project Vote Smart lists this address as a campaign office." (emphasis added)
If you examined the public records at the Secretary of State's office, as you claimed, then you surely would have seen that Strickland's petition shows his voting address as 320 North Market Street in Lisbon, Ohio, the very address that he is registered to vote according to the Columbiana County Board of Elections, and the very address of the residential apartment that the Stricklands reside.
I mean, in your thorough investigation, you did review these documents, correct?:
So much for Pullins' rock solid investigatory skills. I don't know why he's so obsessed with finding out who paid the Stricklands' rent (my guess: the Stricklands, and no, I don't expect the campaign to put out a press release saying, "Ted Strickland pays his own rent," just to satisfy Pullins.) He's obviously reviewed Ted Strickland's congressional campaigns' campaign finance reports with the Federal Elections Commission and found nothing. Where did the 370 North Market Street address come from? Because someone in Ken Blackwell's office screwed up and can't tell the difference from a "2" from a "7."
As I've posted in the past, the Stricklands used to rent part of the building for the congressional campaign and have been renting a separate part of the building (with the same address) for their residential apartment. The campaign paid for the campaign office, and the Stricklands have paying for their residence. I honestly can't even imagine what else Pullins imagines could have been the case. Regardless, he has presented absolutely no evidence of anything to the contrary.
Yet again Pullins is caught in a bold-face lie.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Applying the Ken Blackwell method of spinning polls, this means that Ted Strickland has widened his lead eleven points since the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll from last week.
The SurveyUSA poll of 503 likely voters shows Strickland safely above 50% support and well on his way to the 60% mark. And just as practically every poll has shown, Ken Blackwell continues to be stuck in the mid to upper-30s with only three months left in the election. Despite bringing in a reported $1.5 million from a political fundraiser with President Bush, Blackwell also reported raising only $2 million to Strickland's $2.5 million in June and July.
Just as other polls have shown, Blackwell continues to lag behind based on a divided Republican base and a complete lop-sided loss of independent voters and all other demographics except, predictably, Republicans and conservatives. In the battle of cross-over votes (Strickland grabbing moderate Republicans vs. Blackwell's capturing of the Democratic African-American voter) Strickland continues to win. Strickland is grabbing nearly four times the share of the Republican vote than Blackwell is grabbing a share of the Democratic vote. And as I've repeatedly said, since the Republican vote is larger than the Democratic vote, Strickland's cross-over advantage means he will get more than four times the cross-over votes than Blackwell. Therefore, Strickland is effectively counterbalancing any alleged advantage Blackwell is gaining by getting a larger than ususal share of the African-American vote for a Republican.
Although Blackwell does slightly better with male voters, there is no real gender gap in the race. Across the board, Strickland is dominating. Strickland is getting nearly three times the Independent vote to Blackwell. As all other cross-tabbed polls have shown, Blackwell is losing a quarter of the REPUBLICAN vote to Strickland, and is getting blown out of the water with Independent voters.
Prof. Larry Sabato, who runs his nationally known "Crystal Ball" series of political predictions, has stated in his most recent report on the race that he is tempted to move the race from Leaning Democratic to Likely Democratic. Badly trailing in the polls, unable to exceed the fundraising pace of his opponent who has a 5:3 cash-on-hand fundraising advantage, Blackwell should expect that his political fortunes will get worse as Republican strategists start to turn their attention to more contested races such as U.S. Senator Mike Dewine's race against Congressman Sherrod Brown and Cincinnati Councilman John Cranley's challenge to Congressman Steve Chabot. It also appears the downticket races may also be more competitive as well.
For Blackwell, time is almost up to demonstrate that he can still make this race competitive again as poll after poll demonstrates that Ohioans are rejecting his out-of-touch, extremist agenda.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Obviously, this is before Blackwell learned that Ted Strickland still raised more money than he did in July, despite (or perhaps because) of the President's support.
But fear not Blackwell fans, Blackwell is planning another big fundraiser with the President Emeritus of the Ohio Chapter of the 30% Support Republicans Club: Ohio Governor Bob Taft.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
So, not only is Strickland's double-digit, magic 50% polling numbers causing Blackwell's campaign considerable heartburn, but the rest of the Rasmussen July poll should leave them an inconsolable wreck.
Among the eye-popping details of the poll:
- Strickland is leading the Cross-Over Appeal Award. Strickland captures 23% of GOP voters and continues to do better with unaffiliated and independent voters. On the other hand, Blackwell only attracts only 9% of the Democratic cross-over vote. This means that Strickland is far more attractive to traditionally Republican voters while Blackwell is not managing to do any better with Democratic voters than any other Republican typically does. (This result has been found in several other statewide polls as well, using different methodologies than Rasmussen.)
- Blackwell is up since June in one category (but not a cause of celebration.) The number of people who view Blackwell "very unfavorably" has gone up six points since last month. That's the only reported change in the poll that is statistically significant since June. 31% of Ohioans view "very unfavorably." These voters are unlikely, therefore, to change their minds before election day.
- Ohioans really don't like Ken Blackwell. Overall, Blackwell has a net favorability rating of -5%. 48% of all Ohioans view Ken Blackwell unfavorably.
- Ohioans really like Ted Strickland. In contrast, Congressman Strickland is viewed favorably by over 50% of Ohioans.
- It's the economy, stupid. Ohioans rate the state's economy, by far, as the most important issue. After sixteen years of Republican control, dissatisfaction with the economy is not going to help Blackwell or the Republican Party.
In order to win, the Blackwell campaign is going to have to do something in the next three months it has failed to do in the past nine months. Blackwell's campaign is going to have to substantially rehabilitate the public's view of Blackwell while substantially redefine Ohioans' perception of Ted Strickland negatively.
Because of his near-universal name recognition and net negative favorability ratings, it's not enough for Blackwell to win over the remaining undecided voters or voters who feel that Strickland is an unknown. Blackwell must reverse the mass exodus of his party's base to Strickland, change his negative favorability ratings into the positive column, and drive Strickland's high favorability ratings down. Blackwell cannot catch up to Strickland while he's weighed down by his negative favorability ratings. They are the reason Blackwell has hit a ceiling in his support from which he has not been able to move from since November of last year. While Blackwell will likely have the resources to wage an effective campaign, Blackwell has failed to quiet growing Republican skepticism that he has the strategy and ability to execute a campaign which will continue the Republican Party's political dominance in Ohio.
And regardless of how many polls Republicans try to discredit, the inescapable conclusion is that Blackwell has done nothing to bridge the schism caused by his divisive primary with Attorney General Jim Petro and is too extreme and polarizing for the Ohio electorate. In short, people just don't like Ken Blackwell, and he's not done anything in the last nine months to suggest that he can convince people to change their minds about him.