Tags: John Kasich

Remember When John Kasich Looked Vulnerable?


The Campaign Spot decision desk isn’t quite ready to call the Ohio Governor’s race for incumbent Republican John Kasich, but the outlook seems to get better each day:

A potential mass exodus from Ed FitzGerald’s gubernatorial campaign is afoot, with several of the Democratic nominee’s top aides and experienced Ohio political consultants transitioning away from a campaign seemingly under a siege of negativity.

FitzGerald’s campaign manager Nicholas Buis and communication director Daniel McElhatton have left their posts. Press secretary Lauren Hitt may also leave, and consultants Aaron Pickrell and Louis Capobianco also are leaving, numerous sources said.

FitzGerald won’t really be in trouble until he loses his driver; one part of the “siege of negativity” is the revelation that the candidate drove without a license for ten years.

Tags: John Kasich , Ed Fitzgerald , Ohio

Ed Fitzgerald, Driving Himself Out of a Competitive Governor’s Race


By golly, Ohio Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed Fitzgerald, if you’re going to get caught in parked car with a woman that isn’t your wife at 4:30 a.m. by a cop, make sure you have a valid driver’s license!

Who does he think he is, Jose Antonio Vargas? 


Tags: Ed Fitzgerald , John Kasich

Psst: Ohio Governor John Kasich’s Reelection Bid Isn’t So Vulnerable Anymore


Hey, remember when everyone talked about how vulnerable Ohio governor John Kasich was in his reelection bid? Yeah, not so much, it turns out.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic challenger in the race for Ohio governor, remains largely unknown and is gaining little ground against Republican Gov. John Kasich who leads 48 – 36 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 50 – 35 percent Kasich lead in a May 14 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

The traditional gender gap exists as men back the Republican 53 – 31 percent, while women are divided, with 43 percent for Gov. Kasich and 41 percent for FitzGerald. Kasich leads 92 – 2 percent among Republicans and 47 – 28 percent among independent voters, while Democrats go to FitzGerald 78 – 9 percent.

There are some on the right who are quite irked with Kasich for agreeing to expand Medicare as part of Obamacare’s implementation. Note that it’s not costing him much Republican support in his reelection bid.

The survey found 52 percent are “somewhat satisfied” with the way things are going in Ohio today, with 8 percent “very satisfied.” (Those 8 percent are probably Cleveland Cavaliers fans.) This is in fact the highest score Quinnipiac has found on this question in recent years.

Tags: John Kasich , Ohio , Ed Fitzgerald

We’ll See if Other Polls Show John Kasich Sliding


The Ohio Democratic party is touting a PPP poll showing their gubernatorial candidate, Ed Fitzgerald, down by only a point to incumbent Republican John Kasich.

The only head-to-head polling in Ohio showing Fitzgerald up in the past two years is PPP’s. As the Cleveland Plain-Dealer notes:

Other independent polling, though, has found a wider gap in the gubernatorial race.

A survey in May by Quinnipiac University found Kasich had a 15 point lead; 50 percent said they would pick him, while 35 percent favored FitzGerald. In June, a poll done for Opportunity Ohio found Kasich eight points ahead at 47-39 percent.

There hasn’t been a ton of independent polling recently, so it’s possible Kasich’s numbers have softened; we’ll see this trend either confirmed or contradicted in the coming weeks.

Perhaps Ohioans are glum because LeBron James is coming back.

Tags: John Kasich , Ed Fitzgerald

A Republican Tied Statewide in Connecticut? Ahead in Hawaii?


It’s not that everything’s coming up roses for the Republican Governors Association . . . but they’re getting some encouraging numbers.

Quinnipiac polls Connecticut and finds Republican Tom Foley tied with the incumbent . . . 

Tom Foley dominates the crowded Republican primary field in the Connecticut governor’s race and is locked in a 42 – 42 percent dead heat with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

There is a large gender gap as women back the Democrat 45 – 37 percent while men go Republican 48 – 39 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds. Foley leads 83 – 9 percent among Republicans and 45 – 33 percent among independent voters while Gov. Malloy takes Democrats 79 – 10 percent.

Last month Quinnipiac found Ohio governor John Kasich ahead by 5 over Democrat Ed Fitzgerald, an encouraging start considering where Kasich’s numbers have been in previous years.

In Iowa, Republican Terry Branstad is well ahead in his bid for reelection. In Arizona, where Jan Brewer is retiring, Secretary of State Ken Bennett is the front-runner, at least for now, and has led steadily. In Texas, the first poll of the year put Republican Greg Abbott ahead of Wendy Davis, 47 percent to 36 percent.

Perhaps most surprisingly, out in the Aloha State, the Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser poll found Republican Duke Aiona leading incumbent governor Neil Abercrombie in a head-to-head matchup 48 to 40 percent, a result that even Aiona found “surprising.”

Tags: Tom Foley , Duke Aiona , John Kasich , Terry Branstad , Greg Abbott

Ed FitzGerald: I Won’t Sign Anything Unless My Name Is Capitalized Correctly


In an item below, I didn’t capitalize the “G” in the name of Democratic Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald. But as Third Base Politics notices, his campaign is sending out e-mails spelled, “Ed Fitzgerald.”

Apparently this is an enormously big deal to the candidate:

“Effective immediately, regardless of deadlines or emergencies, Ed will no longer sign letters, contracts, documents, etc. that does not have his name spelled properly (Edward FitzGerald),” FitzGerald’s administrative assistant Tanya Hairston wrote. “Additionally, please remember that his last name does have a capital G and should be used accordingly. I have also be informed to please return any documents that does not conform with his instructions to the sender.”

Even in an emergency? Seriously?

So if elected governor, would he not sign a disaster declaration, 11th-hour pardon of a death-row inmate, or key legislation if his name was misspelled? Really?

Re-elect John Kasik Kasich 2014: Because he’s used to having his name misspelled.

Tags: Ed Fitzgerald , John Kasich

Races for Governor Starting to Take Shape in Ohio, New Mexico


Campaign-related news you may have missed in recent days . . .

OHIO: Democratic Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald will formally announce he’s running for governor of Ohio this week against incumbent Republican John Kasich. Fitzgerald already has a campaign web site up and running, and is at this point the only Democrat running, something of a surprise. Quite a few Democrats have turned down a race, including former governor Ted Strickland, U.S. representative Tim Ryan, and former U.S. representative Betty Sutton, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

MINNESOTA: Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, announced he will not run against Senator Al Franken in 2014; he said he will focus on running for reelection. No Republicans have announced bids against Franken so far.

NEW MEXICO: State senator Howie Morales, a Democrat, said Friday that he is considering running for governor against Republican governor Susana Martinez. State senator Linda Lopez and state attorney general Gary King are also running on the Democratic side, and there’s some buzz around state senator Tim Keller, last seen lamenting the condition of the state’s economy, taking pride in the state’s $900 million surplus, and complaining about a recent cut in the state’s corporate tax rate. In February, a poll found Martinez enjoying a high approval rating of 64 percent.

CALIFORNIA: Thomas Elias, columnist for the Santa Monica Mercury, says that Republicans are still looking for a top-tier contender to put up against incumbent Jerry Brown in 2014.

It’s almost absurd to think Brown, who has vied with the likes of ex-Gov. Pete Wilson, billionaire Whitman and a sitting attorney general in Evelle Younger, worries much about the Republicans now lining up. If Poizner or some other billionaire capable of writing personal checks to finance a major campaign were to enter the lists, Brown might be given some pause. But right now he looks as secure as any 2014 candidate in America, even though he hasn’t said a word about running.

Tags: Suzana Martinez , Linda Lopez , Gary King , Jerry Brown , John Kasich , Ed Fitzgerald , John Kline , Al Franken

Suddenly, the GOP Governors Fail Us


Pardon the depressing portion of today’s Morning Jolt… there’s always John Kerry and laughably inaccurate Obama arguments on the sequester to lighten the load.

Republican Governors, Disappointing Us One After Another

So, my dear righty friends, does this give off a whiff of crony capitalism?

Members of an Iowa board charged with doling out millions to lure business to the state often work for companies that benefit from the incentive programs they oversee, an Iowa Watchdog  review shows.

Additionally, Iowa Economic Development Authority board members donated thousands of dollars to political campaigns, including Gov. Terry Branstad, prior to their nominations to the board. The Republican governor led the charge to create the authority when he took office in 2011 and appointed its entire board, which has to gain final approval from a majority in the Iowa Senate.

The board selected dozens of companies in the past year to receive a combined $189 million in taxpayer money and tax breaks, with the goal of luring more business to Iowa and growing its economy. An Iowa Watchdog review of state campaign donor lists, legislation and records from the authority showed a majority of the money went to fund projects at existing businesses, rather than to land out-of-state or new companies.

“Whenever there is even an appearance of a conflict of interest we abstain,” said Theodore Crosbie, an authority board member and vice president of global plant breeding at Monsanto. “We take the subject seriously. All members have been diligent about this matter.”

But the review found potential conflicts of interest among board members. Specifically, it showed six companies – John Deere, Aviva USA, Monsanto, Cargill, Brownells Inc. and Interstate Companies – received at least $39.6 million in tax incentives and state grants and loans, despite leaders from the respective companies serving on the authority’s board. In exchange, the companies promised to create 983 jobs. State documents did not show a figure for the incentives received by Brownells.

Pretty dispiriting time to be a Republican. Here in Virginia, Bob McDonnell just agreed to a transportation bill that includes way too many different types of tax increases. I think some folks on the Right are understating the fact that the state genuinely needed a steady supply of revenue to pay for transportation projects and repair, but McDonnell began with a plan that would eliminate the gas tax and increase the sales tax. Now the sales tax goes up, the tax on gas is reduced and shifted to wholesale (easier to hide from consumers), AND the  car tax goes up from 3 percent  to 4.3 percent AND there’s a new 0.25 percent sales tax on homes in Northern Virginia AND there’s a new hotel tax. Did you guys forget anything? I mean, for a deal like that, we could have elected Democrats.

We’ve seen Kasich in Ohio and Scott in Florida punt on the Medicare expansion. And now this you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours mess in Iowa. I’m sure everyone involved in Iowa Economic Development Authority will insist the $189 million they’ve spent so far created jobs… but that’s not the point, as it’s hard to spend $189 million and not create any jobs. The point is that any business that has an employee on the Authority board has an enormous advantage in getting economic assistance from the state, an advantage that a small start-up is unlikely to have.

Tags: Bob McDonnell , Iowa , John Kasich , Rick Scott , Terry Branstad

Run for Governor, Risk a Pay Cut


Joe Hallett, senior editor at The Columbus Dispatch, writes an intriguing column about the factors running through the mind of Democratic Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, as he contemplates challenging Republican Ohio governor John Kasich in 2014 — weighing family and the burdens of campaigning vs. what he could do in the job.

Perhaps the most intriguing wrinkle is that the Cuyahoga County executive makes $31,000 a year more than the governor of Ohio does.

Tags: Ed Fitzgerald , John Kasich

The Brightening Outlook for Ohio Governor John Kasich


Since the moment he took office as Ohio’s governor, John Kasich represented a big target for Democrats. And when voters rejected a the Republican-passed law restricting the collective-bargaining rights of public employees in a public referendum in November 2011, Ohio Democrats licked their lips, perceiving a quite vulnerable incumbent.

Today . . . not quite so much. Kasich isn’t quite secure in his bid for a second term, but his outlook is considerably brighter.

But while a recent Quinnipiac Poll showed voters still don’t believe Mr. Kasich has earned a second term, his numbers have slowly improved in recent months. His job approval rating recently moved into positive territory.

“Barring some unpredictable issue, time is on the governor’s side,” said John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron. “Most people believe the economy will continue to improve. It may be a rocky road in a general sense, but most believe we’ll continue to see improvement. That helps the governor.

“One of the reasons polls show criticism of the governor is he had tried a lot of policy innovations to get the economy moving,” he said. “Some were popular. Some were very unpopular. But the more time he has, the more opportunity for those policies to work.”

And in something of a surprise, the man Kasich beat in 2010, Ted Strickland, declined a rematch in 2014, issuing a 395-word statement that never quite mentioned why he was not running again. Whatever the reasoning was, Ohio Republicans want the decision to be interpreted as a response to Kasich’s improving record.

State GOP chairman Bob Bennett said:

Ohio has made giant leaps in progress in two short years under John Kasich, and it will be hard for any Democrat to argue why he shouldn’t continue to create jobs for hardworking Ohio families and put Ohio back on the right track.

Strickland’s decision is likely to set up a contested gubernatorial primary for Democrats:

Most party sources agreed Tuesday that [Cuyahoga County Executive Ed] FitzGerald, 44, has the strongest claim to the nomination given his heavily Democratic base in Cuyahoga County and the preparations he already has made. But others could be drawn into the race now that Strickland is out of the picture. The possibilities include former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of the Youngstown area and Betty Sutton, the recently unseated congresswoman from Copley Township.

Lightning might strike twice for the Ohio GOP; a nasty primary with lingering resentment hurt that state’s Democrats in the 2010 Senate race, as well.

Tags: Ed Fitzgerald , John Kasich , Ted Strickland

Gillespie Heading Up Romney’s Veep Search?


BuzzFeed reports that Ed Gillespie, former RNC chair and chair of the Republican State Leadership Committee, will be heading up Mitt Romney’s veep search effort.

Gillespie, a friend of NRO, has ties to several figures mentioned as possible running mates for Romney. He headed up Ohio governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign in the 2000 cycle. He was chairman of Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign in 2009. He ran the RNC in the 2004 cycle, when Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels were elected.

Tags: Bob McDonnell , John Kasich , Mitt Romney

Has Ohio’s Wave of Union Power Crested?


This morning, new numbers from Quinnipiac suggest that the political muscle of unions in Ohio may be less resilient than last fall’s referendum suggested:

Despite the overwhelming victory by organized labor and its allies in repealing SB 5 in this past election, by 54 – 40 percent Ohio voters favor the idea of passing a “right-to-work” law that would ban workers from being required to join a union as a condition of employment, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today…

Gov. John Kasich’s job approval numbers remain poor, although they are getting better, as 40 percent of registered voters approve of how he is doing his job compared to 46 percent who disapprove of how he is running the Buckeye State.  Those numbers are little changed from the negative 39 – 48 percent job approval rating in a January 19 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University, but are better than the negative 36 – 52 percent approval rating in an October 25, 2011, poll.

“Given the assumption that the SB 5 referendum was a demonstration of union strength in Ohio, the 54 – 40 percent support for making Ohio a ‘right-to-work’ state does make one take notice,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “In the SB 5 referendum independent voters, who are generally the key to Ohio elections, voted with the pro-union folks to repeal the law many viewed as an effort to handicap unions.  The data indicates that many of those same independents who stood up for unions this past November on SB 5 are standing up to unions by backing ‘right-to-work’ legislation.”

Support for “right-to-work” is 77 – 20 percent among Republicans and 55 – 39 percent among independent voters.  Democrats are opposed 61– 31 percent.

Tags: John Kasich , Ohio , Unions

Mitt vs. ‘Rick Rombachcaingrichsman’


In the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt . . .

Oh Wait, You Meant THOSE Ohio Ballot Initiatives?

A reader writes in, “I hope you write something about Mitt Romney’s clarification today on his ‘Bold, Groundbreaking Form of Hesitation.’ It took him 12 hours (was it even that long??) to say that of course he backed John Kasich’s law, as he stated earlier this year. His position is consistent. I tend to believe him when he says it was a misunderstanding of the questions being posed him, but I’m already planning on voting for him.”

The latest from Romney:

“I fully support Gov. Kasich’s Question 2 in Ohio,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Virginia Wednesday. “I’m sorry if I created any confusion there.” Romney said he did not want to weigh in on the other Ohio ballot issues and meant to express his lack of familiarity with those issues on Tuesday.

Before reading Romney’s response, I had Tweeted the imaginary response, “Oh, you mean THOSE reforms enacted by Kasich and Ohio Republicans? Oh, I love those like bonbons.” Turns out, I wasn’t that far off.

Michael Brendan Dougherty offers some interesting inside chatter on infighting in the Ohio Republican Party: “The Ohio feud that led to the incident is between Republican Governor John Kasich and state GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine. . . . Two sources with ties to Governor Kasich suggested that the Romney appearance was designed to humiliate Ohio’s governor. Specifically, they suggested, Romney was advised not to take a side on this unpopular issue. ’I can tell you that those [DeWine's] sentiments [about Issue 2] have been made clear to governor Romney. The opinion of those close to the [Ohio] chairman is that Romney should stay as far away from this thing as possible. That it is unpopular,’ said the experienced operative.”

But in the end, the new details aren’t as exculpatory as one would hope. Even if Romney’s being told, moments before his public appearance, that the referenda are likely to pass and Kasich’s reforms rescinded, the man ultimately responsible for what comes out of Mitt Romney’s mouth is Mitt Romney. What did he think the phone bank in front of him was calling voters about? Why couldn’t he just have reverted to a default, “I stand with John Kasich” or “I think that tough reforms are needed, even if they’re controversial or unpopular, to prevent harder times down the road” or some other generic and vague statement of support?

For what it’s worth, Bytor at Third Base Politics isn’t quite sure this story adds up: “It’s not the best kept secret that Kevin DeWine and Kasich aren’t close, to put it kindly. It’s also known that current Secretary of State Jon Husted wants to be governor, and that DeWine is fully behind him. But if there is animosity towards Kasich, what does it gain DeWine by embarrassing him now? If he damages Kasich, he also damages the Republican party in Ohio and hurts Husted’s chances in the future. Would DeWine really do that to satisfy a personal grudge of some kind?”

Ann Althouse: “It’s good for Romney to stand aloof from Ohio’s overheated collective bargaining mess, especially if the side he’d have to take is about to acquire the stink of losing. But do that standing somewhere where aloofness looks prettier.”

Tina Korbe: “As it turns out, he probably had good reason to ignore the ‘other ballot questions’ in Ohio — because one of them happened to be an initiative to prevent the government from requiring individuals to purchase health insurance. Why raise the specter of Romneycare himself? Still, even with this clarification, folks still say Romney’s resistance yesterday reinforces his spineless image. Certainly, it didn’t do anything to dispel the popular notion of him as a flipper — but, given that Kasich’s law looks likely to be repealed, I’d say Romney’s support for it today suggests that, on this, at least, he has actual conviction.”

A couple of readers aren’t happy with my Serpentor-like plan to genetically engineer a Republican candidate with all of the field’s strengths and none of the candidates’ flaws. This candidate, Rick Rombachcaingrichsman, would enter the race as a heavy favorite to win Pennsylvania, Texas, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Georgia, Georgia again, Utah, and Beijing, just for starters.

Would you prefer I lied to you? Should we all close our eyes and pretend that Romneycare isn’t a problem for Mitt? That Perry’s debate performances have been strong and reassuring? That Herman Cain seems to have a deep and well-rounded expertise about a wide variety of issues?

Look, the vast majority of us will fall in line by the convention, I suspect. We don’t need to fall in love with a candidate — that’s what the other side did last time. None of these guys (or the gal) is running for Messiah or Munificent Sun-God. We’re looking for a guy who can undo a lot of bad decisions, cut government, reassure America’s businesses and entrepreneurial class that the federal government won’t be mucking around with regulations that increase energy and health-care costs, or increasing taxes, and that we are on the verge of enjoying a Harding-esque “return to normalcy” — an era before both Obamacare and bailouts, before government-run General Motors and random government employees commenting on what they find in your luggage.

It’s worth remembering that for all of his troubles, Romney’s still in a heck of a strong spot: “Mitt Romney is on the top or tied for the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in new surveys in the first four states to vote in next year’s primary and caucus calendar. According to CNN/Time/ORC International polls released Wednesday, the former Massachusetts governor continues to be the overwhelming front-runner in New Hampshire, holds a lead over the other GOP presidential candidates in Florida, and is basically tied for the top spot with businessman Herman Cain in Iowa and South Carolina.”

Tags: John Kasich , Mitt Romney , Ohio

In Ohio, Mediocre Numbers for Obama, Tough Numbers for Kasich


This morning, Quinnipiac’s survey suggests that the OBL-kill impact on President Obama’s poll numbers in Ohio were small or nonexistent:

A new poll shows President Barack Obama’s approval rating in Ohio is little changed following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday shows 49 percent of Ohio voters like the job the president is doing, while 45 percent disapprove. Obama’s approval was 47 percent in a similar poll two months ago.

Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown says in a statement that Ohio has answered the question of whether there’s a “bin Laden bounce” for the president. He says the White House can’t be happy with the answer.

The state’s voters split 47 percent to 47 percent on whether Obama deserves a second term.

But there’s also some ominous news for Gov. John Kasich, who is encountering staunch opposition to his major labor-reform bill:

Ohio voters disapprove 49 – 38 percent of the job Gov. John Kasich is doing, compared to 46 – 30 disapproval in March, while by 54 – 36 percent they say that SB 5 should be repealed,according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today . . .

“Gov. John Kasich’s job approval has ticked up slightly, but he still has a long way to goto get back even to parity among voters,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of theQuinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Most of his increase has come among independents and women voters who have turned slightly less negative on him . . . Although it is a long way until November when opponents of SB 5 hope to ask voters tooverturn it, at this point there is strong support for repealing Gov. Kasich’s signature plan.”

The text of SB5 can be found here; among other provisions, the bill eliminates automatic pay increases for longevity and replaces it with a merit-pay system for all public workers, and it also says that layoffs no longer can be based solely on seniority.

Fans of Kasich look at the Quinnipiac numbers and note that Ohio voters actually like some provisions by wide margins: By 59–34, they approve of requiring workers to pay at least 15 percent towards their health care, as the law provides. By 58–34, they approve of requiring workers to pay at least 10 percent towards their pensions, as the law provides. Merit pay for government workers, as the law provides, is supported 57–35.

The bill’s least popular provision? A ban on strikes by state employees. The survey found 58 percent oppose the ban, 35 percent support it.

Tags: Barack Obama , John Kasich

Gov. John Kasich Marks 100 Days in Ohio


Ohio Gov. John Kasich marks 100 days in office:


Eliminating red tape, a budget that closes an $8 billion deficit without raising taxes, increases aid to schools and universities, major employers deciding to stay in Ohio instead of moving across the state border… It is striking what a Republican governor can do when he has large GOP majorities in both houses in the state legislature.

Tags: John Kasich

Columbus Dispatch to Ex-Gov. Ted Strickland:
Stop Embarrassing Yourself


The Columbus Dispatch is unimpressed with the behavior of their former governor:

There is a long tradition in American politics in which an outgoing elected official says his goodbyes and then clears the stage for his successor. Even after bitterly fought campaigns, losing officeholders who take the high road during and after the transition are respected for their graciousness and dignity. At the very least, this conveys respect for the office, and equally important, it shows respect for the will of the voters who decided that someone new should take the helm. . . . Sadly, former Gov. Ted Strickland has not taken that high road, instead choosing almost from the moment the November ballots were counted to try to torpedo his successor, Gov. John Kasich. Of course, this is his prerogative. He is an Ohioan fully entitled to participate in politics and express his views. But most politicians do not choose to end their careers and cap their legacies by engaging in sour-grapes sniping and public efforts to undermine the successor whose administration is barely under way.

Don’t go away mad, Mr. Strickland. Just go away.

Tags: John Kasich , Ted Strickland

Quinnipiac: Ohio Voters Know They’re in a Jam, Don’t Like Options


This morning Quinnipiac tells us . . . well, they more or less tell us it’s too early to start polling Ohioans about their new governor:

Ohio voters oppose 61 – 34 percent raising taxes to balance the state budget, but by a 58 – 28 percent margin, they don’t believe their new governor, John Kasich, will be able to keep his no- tax promise, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Voters say 50 – 42 percent that Gov. Kasich should not have made this no-tax pledge, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds. 

After one week in office, Kasich gets 30 – 22 percent job approval rating, with 48 percent of voters undecided. But voters are generally optimistic, 59 – 29 percent, about the next four years in Ohio with Kasich as governor. 

“Gov. John Kasich starts out with a barely positive job approval from the voters, although in fairness almost half have yet to develop an opinion of his performance given he is only a little more than a week in office,” said Peter A. Brown assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Kasich, however, does have an electorate that is optimistic about his ability to turn the state around. Voters are aware of the problems facing Ohio: 96 percent call the state’s budget problems ‘very serious’ or ‘somewhat serious,’ the highest level of concern we’ve ever measured in the state.” 

It also sounds like the Ohio voters reached by Quinnipiac need a bit of Chris Christie straight talk about the choices before them, as they don’t like many of the options to deal with the state’s budget:

While voters may be aware of the budget problems, they are not happy about some of the ideas being advocated by Kasich and/or Republicans who control both houses of the legislature. By 53 – 32 percent voters say they would rather cut services than raise taxes to balance the budget. Service cuts win 76 – 13 percent support from Republicans and 56 – 29 percent support from independent voters, while Democrats favor tax hikes 50 – 36 percent. But voters say 51 – 36 percent that eliminating the tax on estates of more than $338,000 is a bad idea. Ohio voters oppose a number of proposals to help balance the state budget: 46 – 43 percent against layoffs for state workers; 51 – 30 percent against leasing the Ohio Turnpike to a private company; 51 – 33 percent against hiring a private company to run state prisons. A proposal to limit the ability of state and local government workers to bargain collectively is a bad idea, voters say 51 – 34 percent.

I wonder if pollsters are ever tempted to ask, “All right, what do you want to do?”

Tags: John Kasich , Polling

Fox News Poll Shows Mostly Good News for GOP in Ohio, Nevada, West Virginia, Missouri


If you want to take a Fox News/Pulse Opinion Research poll with a grain of salt, you’re free to make that choice. But they’re not showing monolithically good news for Republicans. But where they do see good news, it’s quite good:

West Virginia

A new Fox News battleground state poll on the race for the seat held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd for 51 years shows Republican businessman John Raese with a 5-point lead over Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin among likely voters — 48 percent to 43 percent.

In what may be the year’s clearest case of Obama’s downward pull on his party’s candidates, Manchin gets high marks from voters – 66 percent approved of his job performance and 65 percent had a positive view of him personally — but they still prefer Raese.


Republican hopes to pick up a Democratic Senate seat in Connecticut face a tough reality on the ground. Democrat Richard Blumenthal holds a 10-point lead over Republican Linda McMahon in a new Fox News battleground poll in the race to replace retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT).

Blumenthal — elected five times as attorney general — took 52 percent support compared to 42 percent for McMahon, who built a professional wrestling empire with her husband, Vince. The survey was taken before the fiery first debate between the two, moderated by “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier, on Monday night.

In the race for governor, Democrat Dan Malloy, the longtime mayor of Stamford, holds a 6-point edge over Republican Tom Foley, a businessman who served as an envoy to Iraq and an ambassador to Ireland under George W. Bush.

Reid on the Ropes in Nevada

Republican Sharron Angle seems to be solidifying her support in her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada.

In the latest Fox News battleground state poll of likely voters, Angle drew 49 percent to Reid’s 46 percent. As voters make up their mind with four weeks to go until Election Day, Angle seems to have the edge.

Democratic strategists hope to prevent an Angle win by driving up her unfavorable ratings and pushing voters to choose a minor party candidate or “none of these.” Angle was viewed unfavorable by 53 percent in the survey. But Reid was viewed unfavorably by 55 percent.

GOP Looks Strong in Missouri Match-up

Missouri voters see a strong connection between President Obama and Democratic Senate nominee Robin Carnahan, and that’s not helping Carnahan.

A new Fox News battleground state poll in Missouri shows Carnahan trailing Republican candidate Roy Blunt by 8 points among likely voters. Blunt, a seven-term congressman from the central part of the state, won the support of 50 percent compared to 42 percent for Carnahan, the second-term secretary of state.

Republicans Still Gaining in Ohio

Republicans are still gaining ground in bellwether Ohio, a bad sign for Democrats trying to assess their party’s chances in the heartland this year.

Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman leads Democrat Lee Fisher by 16 points in the latest Fox News battleground state poll — Portman’s widest lead yet.

Republican gubernatorial challenger John Kasich also saw his numbers rise against Democratic incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland. Kasich was the choice of 49 percent of respondents compared to 43 percent for Strickland. The 6-point lead is the largest in the four weeks of Fox battleground polling on the race.

Tags: John Kasich , John Raese , Linda McMahon , Rob Portman , Roy Blunt , Sharron Angle

Quinnipiac: GOP’s Kasich Leads Strickland in Ohio, 50-41


Quinnipiac ruins the narrative that Ted Strickland is making a dramatic comeback:

Republican John Kasich holds a 50 – 41 percent lead over Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland among likely voters in the race for Ohio governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  This is down from a 54 – 37 percent Kasich lead September 16.

President Barack Obama’s trips to Ohio to campaign for Democrats have not been helpful in attracting voters to Gov. Strickland, as only 14 percent of likely voters overall and just 6 percent of independent voters say the president’s visits make them more likely to vote for the Democrat, the independent Quinnipiac University survey finds.  In all, 33 percent of likely voters and 39 percent of independent likely voters say an Obama visit made it less likely they would vote for Strickland.

The two candidates are holding onto their party faithful, with Kasich getting 88 percent of Republicans and Strickland getting 86 percent of Democrats.  But Kasich’s 62 – 29 percent lead among independent voters is responsible for his overall lead.  

Tags: John Kasich , Ted Strickland

If You Advertise, They Will Come


MSNBC’s Chuck Todd explains why the GOP’s John Kasich is barely ahead in Ohio’s governor’s race, while the GOP’s Rob Portman leads the Senate race easily: “[Ted] Strickland topping Kasich 2-1 in spots aired; while Portman has nearly a 6-1 advantage in spots aired last week over [Lee] Fisher.”

That will do it. Republicans hope Kasich is ready to saturate the airwaves in the final month.

Tags: John Kasich , Lee Fisher , Rob Portman , Ted Strickland


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