Today, Battle ‘10 participated in a conference call with John Kasich’s pollster Ed Goeas and his communications director Scott Milburn. According to both men, at tonight’s debate, Ted Strickland will need something very close to a knockout punch in order to reverse the narrative of this election — something he’s unlikely to get, Milburn said, because his arguments against Kasich have reflected poorly on him, not Kasich.
“Their only argument in response to John’s policy proposals is ‘We tried that,’” Milburn said:
“Their argument on numerous fronts has been, ‘Give us an A for good intentions’ and while they may have rightly identified some of the problems that Ohio’s facing — regulatory reform, job training, they have been unable to really move the needle on fixing those things. While they can point to realizing regulatory reform is a problem, and starting a process to analyze it, two years after they did all that, the legislature did its own review and came to the conclusion that the problem is still a mess. That report was signed by two Democrats, by the way. They’ve tried to say ‘Look, we tried,’ and it seems to officially be a leadership issue. When you start a new initiative or you want to go in a new direction, it takes muscle to move the ship of state. You’re not turning the USS Ronald Reagan on a dime. It takes some follow-through and push and pull to get it done. Are we going to have to recalibrate a couple of times to get what we want? You bet. But you don’t take your foot of the peddle if you know what you’re doing, and I don’t think anyone can look at John Kasich’s record and say this is a man without the courage of his convictions.”
Goeas, meanwhile, said that the Kasich campaign — and Republicans generally — were headed for a very good election in November due to the enthusiasm gap, which Goeas said is twice what it was in 1994. “Strickland has failed for months to crack 45 percent in the polls,” Goeas said. “Add any modeling based on intensity and things only get worse for Strickland.”