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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

OH-18: A Tale of Two Polls

Posted by James L.

So yesterday, we got an internal poll done by Cooper & Secrest (D) for the Zack Space campaign, that seemed just too good to be true. Space, as you may know, is taking on Jack Abramoff's snuggle buddy, Rep. Bob Ney. Here's the poll, just in case you missed it (likely voters):

Zack Space (D): 46
Bob Ney (R-Inc.): 35
Undecided: 19
MoE: ±4.4

When I saw a poll that showed Space, a guy with minimal name recognition, already taking nearly half the vote in a district that voted for Bush by 14 points, I was skeptical, to say the least. And while the poll may be off, it's turns out that it's probably not way off. Ney's commissioned an internal poll of his own by GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies. The result? A slim Ney lead over Space by 45 to 41 percentage points. As the Hotline notes, that's a 15 point difference between the two polls (+11 to -4 for Space). The truth probably lies somewhere between the two, but even if it's a worst case scenario, a four point lead for Ney, a six-term incumbent in a ripe red district, isn't exactly good news, either.

Of course, if Ney is indicted and the state Republicans manage to replace him on the ballot with someone a lot ethically cleaner, this discussion is irrelevant...

Update: As Cillizza notes, Ney's poll has a trendline: the poll "marks a considerable improvement from January when Ney trailed Space 49 percent to 37 percent 'shortly after Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty and the story was all over the news,' according to a memo penned by Bolger and released this morning."

Posted at 08:21 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Ohio | Technorati

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given the MoE of these 2 polls it likely is somewhere in between. Though the Space poll was very similar to an earlier Ney poll.

If Ney is indicted (or rather when) he has said he wont bail - but that is bluster. A replacement would have an equally low name ID, and most likely a state senator - the 18th is a MASSIVE geographic district so who ever replaced Ney would be unknown in vast swaths of the district and also have a fundraising problem having to get up to speed in only a few months.

Posted by: Pounder [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 10:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Do you expect it's any more likely for Ohio to legally swap candidates for an indicted Bob Ney than it is an indicted Tom DeLay?

And, on the other hand, if Ney does not get indicted between now and November, will GOP-leaning voters in this district be sufficiently motivated to elect a fourth-rate candidate like Zack Space?

The more I read about this race, the more I think Space's only chance is if Ney gets indicted but remains on the ballot. Space appears to be basing his entire campaign on Ney being a crook, meaning if Ney evades actual criminal charges, voters have exactly zero reasons to turn him out. I continue to lament that Joe Sulzer didn't win this primary because I had more confidence in him running a three-dimensional (or at least two-dimensional) campaign.

The polling you report, however, is encouraging. If Ney's internal poll can only produce a four-point lead, he's in serious trouble.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 10:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wow, I really mucked up that first sentence. What I meant to say was "Do you expect the Republicans will have any more luck in legally swapping candidates in OH-18 than they did in TX-22?"

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 10:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

So, did the socially conservative mayor with the improbably ugly toupee
ever get around to endorsing Space, or is he still sulking
with his anti-choice, anti-gay friends over coming in THIRD in a contested primary?

He should be used to it.
He tried for Congress once before, and lost.
How the talk ever got started that he was a 'much stronger' candidate I cannot guess,
but the voters put a stop to that for good, in the primary.

Posted by: Christopher Walker [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 12, 2006 10:29 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm no election lawyer, and the law is complex - but if he withdraws before august 18th there can be a special election and he can be replaced, but after that it is headed to court i think ala DeLay and who knows what will happen.

I too thought Sulzer was the better candidate for the district, more seasoned and a little more conservative - but that's why he had a hard time in the primary.

Observing Space has has some good moments, and some not so very good moments - what he is really missing is an experienced campaign staff. The DCCC I feel have really fallen down in this race. They were behind Sulzer and then stepped away when others including Space got in the primary - and realy haven't done much of anything since.

Posted by: Pounder [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 12, 2006 10:34 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

NY-24: Sherwood Boehlert is retiring.

Both main candidates, "Republican state Sen. Raymond Meier and Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri, a Democrat, each raised nearly $500,000 through the end of June, according to campaign finance reports being filed this week.

Meier's report, filed with the Federal Election Commission Monday, shows that $202,843, about 41 percent of the $496,913 he raised, came from special interests and Republican lawmakers across the country.

Arcuri has not yet filed his second-quarter report due Saturday. But aides said Monday he expects to show about $470,000 raised and about $350,000 cash on hand. Meier has spent far less and has $434,182 left in the bank."

Full Story Here:

Posted by: Ian in DC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 12, 2006 04:13 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment