Let's start with the numbers:
43% of Ohio voters approve of how Strickland is doing his job as Governor, while 42% disapprove. A January PPP survey found the numbers at 48/35.Strickland is bleeding off Democrats, Republicans, and Independents...and there is still plenty of time on the clock!
Strickland’s approval among Democrats has dropped from 70% to 62%, an unusually low level of support for a Governor within his own party. He’s also seen an increasing level of dissatisfaction with him from Republican voters, 72% of whom now say they disapprove of what he’s doing after just 59% did earlier this year.
Matched up against likely GOP candidate John Kasich, Strickland leads 44-42. He had a slightly wider 45-39 advantage in January. Strickland is mostly hurt by a 54-33 deficit to Kasich among independent voters, even though those same voters prefer a Democrat for the Senate in numbers that PPP will release on Tuesday.
Here is an interesting piece of analysis:
“Midwestern states have been hit harder by the downtown in the economy than most places and their Governors are paying a price for it,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “We are seeing pretty low approval ratings for chief executives across most of the region as voters wait to see what they will do to turn things around.”I have always said that the whole "Turnaround Ohio" thing was going to bite the governor back pretty hard and it appears to be happening right now. When you campaign on the idea that you have a secret plan to solve the economic woes of a state, you had better deliver on those promises and not put up any excuses. Strickland has failed on many fronts, but this issue is the one that will do him the most harm.
Earlier, I mentioned that there was still plenty of time on the clock and that is good because as Strickland loses support, John Kasich still has to raise his profile statewide:
A plurality of voters in the state don’t know enough about Kasich to have formed an opinion of him. Among those who have 31% view him favorably and 30% see him unfavorably.The race to define John Kasich is going to be an important one and here is where I fear that the Democrats online advantage may do us some damage. It is totally bogus, but the Ohio Democrats push to tie Kasich to the recession through his employment at Lehman Brothers is everywhere. I've seen ads on Facebook, Google, Yahoo and even National Review.
All in all, at this point in the campaign, John Kasich has to be feeling pretty good about his chances. I know I do...
UPDATE: Kevin Holtsberry has more here.
UPDATE 2: Third Base Politics takes a closer look at the numbers here.
UPDATE 3: I was just reminded that now is a good time to send in a donation to John Kasich...
Pitch in if you can!