Who says that voters only blame incumbent Democrats? One week ago, I wrote that of Ohio's eight incumbent GOP US representatives, one, Jean Schmidt of OH-02, is especially vulnerable to losing this year: http://www.dailykos.com/... That was before I had polling verification.
Now, a new poll released by leading Democratic challenger David Krikorian confirms Schmidt's vulnerability. A similar poll conducted by Pulse Research in June of 2009 had Schmidt leading Krikorian by 45 to 39, before primary challengers had entered the race.
Even though four others have since announced their candidacies, Schmidt now leads Krikorian by 44 (43.72) to 41 (41.04), within the margin of error of 3.6%, and cutting Schmidt's statistical lead by half. Since preference for "some other candidate" draws 5.7% in the new poll, and that segment is likely in the anti-Schmidt camp, the race can now be judged as neck-and-neck, with Krikorian perhaps having the edge.
According to a news release today by the Krikorian campaign, the poll was conducted using the Top Line polling service. 738 registered voters were surveyed.
Michael Goldman, chairman of the Charter Committee of Cincinnati and spokesman for the Krikorian campaign said:
"David has come from a deficit of 6% in June of 2009 to less than 3% today and the campaign is right on schedule to win the Democratic Primary and defeat Jean Schmidt this November"
Nathan James, polling consultant for the Krikorian campaign, said:
"We believe that most of the 5.7% of voters polled who expressed a preference for some other candidate will not wind up voting for the incumbent"
The news release goes on:
Among non-affiliated or Independent voters Krikorian has a 17% advantage over Schmidt. Both Krikorian and Schmidt have similar favorable ratings however Schmidt has an almost 2-1 higher unfavorable rating.
Now for some analysis.
Schmidt's absolute and relative declines since June come as other Republicans in Ohio have been gaining over Democratic opponents. Schmidt's congressional predecessor, Rob Portman, now leads both potential Democratic challengers in the Ohio US Senate race. Republican John Kasich now leads incumbent Ted Strickland by between 6 and 10 points, depending on the poll. Republican challenger Steve Chabot now holds a crushing 54-39 lead over incumbent Democratic congressman Steve Driehaus in OH-01, even though OH-01 is considered to be much more friendly territory to Democrats than neighboring OH-02.
Why the OH-02 anomaly?
Well, for one thing, consider Jean Schmidt. Need I say more? A Halloween 2006 editorial cartoon by Jim Borgman depicted Schmidt as a nuclear ghoul appearing on the doorstep of a frightened homeowner to trick-or-treat.
On the other hand, David Krikorian is a different kind of Democrat. He ran in 2008 as an Independent, garnering 18% of the vote, the highest percentage of any Independent congressional candidate in the nation. Returning to his Democratic roots this year, he carries Independents with him.
Yet another factor is that the Republican Party is showing multiple fractures, here at the heart of the old Taft Republican machine. A corruption scandal now pits two groups of Republicans against each other in Anderson Township in Clermont County, at the population center of OH-02, and Schmidt's home county. The new poll has Krikorian trailing Schmidt in Clermont County, the most populous in the district, by just one point.
That Schmidt is being challenged by two or maybe three Republicans in the primary, including a Warren County commissioner and a prominent attorney, is yet another indication that this epicenter of Republicanism is subject to high-magnitude quakes.
And so OH-02 is ripe for a Democratic pick-up in 2010.
Yet the DCCC, suspected of standing for the Dysfunctional Co-Conspirators Commissariat, has DE-LISTED OH-02 from its red-to-blue target list. Over the summer of 2009, OH-02 was ranked the eighth most likely district in the nation to switch from R to D in 2010. But on the new list of the top 26 targets, posted on January 14 here: http://dccc.org/... , OH-02 does not appear at all.
Is somebody playing politics with our politics?
The rather obvious explanation is that DCCC and Governor Strickland had a hand-picked favorite in the OH-02 race, the Governor's hometown boy, state representative Todd Book. But in a series of events unfolding after October, Book was forced to withdraw from the congressional race after being caught in a corruption scandal of his own (click on tag Todd Book).
Book, a machine Democrat from a fringe of the congressional district, stood no chance whatsoever of beating Schmidt in a general election.
So what the DCCC has done is to delist a race, meaning Krikorian will receive less DCCC funding, only because its own less viable candidate was knocked out by his own corruption.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland now chairs the DCCC. If you'd like to give Chris a piece of your mind, you can reach him through his own campaign website: http://vanhollen.org/
This chicanery at the DCCC happens just as the DSCC under Bob Menendez has cold-shouldered the Senate candidacy of the only viable Democratic challenger in Ohio, Jennifer Brunner.
It seems that the national Democrats simply WANT Ohio to have a larger Republican delegation to Congress.
To find out more and donate to David Krikorian, contact: