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Weekend Shock Poll

July 24, 2006 09:44 AM

Tongues are wagging over this weekend's shock poll in the Ohio governor's race.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Ted Strickland is up by 20% points over Ken Blackwell.  You can find plenty of discussion of the poll's internals elsewhere.  Our thoughts are these:

Some poll results are simply too out of whack to be plausible--and this poll falls squarely into that category.  In a state that is roughly 50/50 Republican/Democrat (as evidenced by the last two presidential elections), there is simply no way one candidate from either party can be trailing the opposition by 20% in a statewide election.  No way.  The Dispatch editors should have taken one look at the poll results, and realized that something was seriously wrong with the methodology. 

That said, it is also clear that Blackwell is trailing Strickland by a significant margin.  There are undoubtely several reasons for this, and the person most responsible for this situation is Jim Petro--whose self-delusion kept him in the primary race to the bitter end, despite ample evidence that he could not win.  This forced Blackwell to spend huge amounts of money on the primary race.  And of course, there was all the negative campaigning, at a time Ted Strickland could just sit still and look good. 

It is unfortunate that it falls upon Ken Blackwell to clean up this mess.  But he is the candidate, and he is responsible for his own electoral success.  He is trailing in the race, and the only question is by how much.  If he wants to win, he's going to have to start doing something differently.  We have complete faith in his ability to garner attention.  We just hope he is thinking seriously about how and what kind of attention he needs.  And when he needs it, because it should be sooner, rather than later.