Sunday, August 27, 2006

Blackwell bleeding Republican support

The breakdown of the latest August Rasmussen Reports polling on the Strickland-Blackwell race shows that Blackwell is getting more and more hampered in his ability to turn this race around. In short, with each passing month, Blackwell fundamental numbers are getting worse, making it far more difficult for him to be able to overcome the sizeable lead Ted Strickland has been building.

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.

1 comment:

dirtgirl said...

thanks ME, I hadn't seen the Rasmussen internals and this is great stuff!

I figure the race officially starts the day after labor day with the first debate, but it appears Ted's got a nice cozy cushion going into it.