Monday, May 15, 2017

Flawed Ohio Poll Raises Red Flags

A new poll focused on Ohio, performed by Gravis Marketing, shows red flags flying for some of Ohio's biggest political personalities. The nonpartisan research firm, whose polling performance in the past has been criticized for inaccuracy, surveyed 1,352 registered voters across Ohio, with respondents leaning Republican versus Democrat 686 to 558, respectively.

Even though Gravis has come under fire by some as "the worst poll in America," what it showed about Gov. John Kasich, Senator Sherrod Brown and others may be dismissed by some, given the level of trust many invested last year in two of the nation's best pollsters, Nate Silver and Charles Wang, who despite their earned reputations of excellence, were wildly off when it came to their predictions that Hillary Clinton would be elected president.

Kasich Crumbles

When the question was asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of Governor John Kasich’s job performance?" Ohio's traveling national chaplain and book salesman didn't fare well. Kasich's numbers were very bad in light of the poll leaning Republicans. Only 42 percent said they approve of his the great reformer's job performance, compared to 35 who disapproved and another 23 percent who are uncertain. Mr. Kasich has long enjoyed media repeating the narrative that he's a popular, moderate governor, when in reality he's underwater with his own party, and based on the bills he's signed into law that hurt women, turn a blind eye to billions wasted on poor performing for-profit charter schools and the theft of billions in local government and school funds, he's not even moderate.

Even hometown Republicans rained on Kasich's parade. Third Base Politics reported on Kasich's fall from grace this way: "It appears that his approval rating has taken a huge hit as a result of his weeks-long
2020 presidential campaign book tour out of state, combined with his insufferable preaching about how he was the only reasonable alternative to Trump."

Brown Down

When a similar question was asked about Senator Sherrod Brown, who is running for a third term next year, his job performance approval came in at 32 percent, with 36 percent disapproving and 32 percent uncertain. Sen. Brown is expected to face Josh Mandel, Ohio's term-limited state treasurer who many believe will eventually become the Republican nominee. Brown beat Mandel in 2012 to win a second term in Washington. In that match up, Mandel edges past Brown 45 percent to 42 percent with 13 percent uncertain. When the match up is Brown versus Congressman Pat Tiberi, Brown edges out the nine-term congressman 43 percent to 41 percent.

A figure the Ohio Democratic Party might want to digest with some Maalox is the 39 percent who plan to vote in the primary next year. Republicans can smile as 53 percent of their base said they will vote in the 2018 primary.

Based on Democrats who have declared their candidacy for the open governor's seat in 2018, 67 percent of respondents are uncertain if their choices are Betty Sutton [13%], Joe Schiavoni [12%] or Connie Pillich [8%].

On the Republican ledger, 40 percent are uncertain in a four-person field of Mike DeWine [31%], Jon Husted [14%], Jim Renacci [6%] and Mary Taylor [10%].

This poll by Gravis Marketing may have oversampled Republicans versus Democrats, a legitimate criticism some have pointed out, but it shows that races for senator and governor next year won't be a runaway for any candidate in the primaries or in the general election that follows. Digest it with a grain of salt as flawed as it is, but make no mistake, red flags are flying high for some if circumstances don't dramatically change between now and then.

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