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On Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch released a poll showing a surprising and welcome result - Congressman Ted Strickland is beating Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell by twenty points.

Work is already being done in Ohio to ensure that every vote is counted and counted accurately.  But this poll signals another vital step in the right direction: building a large enough lead that the will of the people is undeniable.  

Recent polls show Ted with anywhere between a 13 and 20 point lead.  He's building support at an unprecedented level.  And most importantly, even Blackwell is feeling the heat, according to Salon:

Then Blackwell went on to claim -- even though most private statewide polls are reputedly in line with the Dispatch's lopsided numbers -- that Steeper's latest survey has him only 9 to 11 points behind. It is an iron law of politics that things are really bad when a candidate has to doggedly insist against evidence to the contrary that he is only 11 points behind.

This is our chance.  We can accomplish two things in November: the first is that we can elect a Democrat to be governor of Ohio for the first time since 1986, a good Democrat who's spent his career fighting for the common good.  The second is that we can prevent Ken Blackwell from assuming that seat and helping the GOP in 2008 like he helped them in 2004.

Just how important is this race?  On August 2nd, George W. Bush is coming to Ohio to try to save Ken Blackwell's campaign.  Again via Salon:

But tarring the affable Strickland with the standard Republican epithet of "liberal, liberal, liberal" requires a heavy investment of money. And even well-placed Republicans privately worry that the Dispatch poll may permanently kill Blackwell's fundraising potential, as all the follow-the-winner money gravitates to Strickland. True, an appropriately grateful Bush is coming in on Aug. 2 for a Blackwell fundraiser. Unless his poll numbers improve, however, that presidential swag may be the last major cash infusion Blackwell sees before November.

This is when grassroots power comes into play.  Every big-dollar, high-powered heavy-hitter the GOP can find will be in Ohio on August 2nd - the goal is to raise Ken Blackwell $1.5 million to $2 million.  What we're asking of you and of the entire online community is to help us take a stand today and negate Bush's impact on this race.

Bush wants to help Blackwell go on the attack against Ted.  In fact, the GOP has begun.

Today, we're all asking for your help - for Ohio, which has suffered under incompetent leadership for far too long and desperately needs a change, and for our country, which cannot afford Ken Blackwell again stepping into an election to ensure that we keep headed in the same direction.

Our goal is to raise $250,000 by July 31st as a part of a campaign-wide effort to match and exceed George W. Bush's efforts.  We can marshal our resources and fight for change.  

You can donate here.

Ken Blackwell is going to use that money to distort and deride Ted's record.  He's already writing books with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth co-author Jerome Corsi - can you imagine what he'll do 2 million dollars on the airwaves?

If you're unable to donate, then help us get the word out about Ted and the importance of this race.

We can make Ohio blue in 2006 - with your help.

Originally posted to Strickland For Governor on Mon Jul 24, 2006 at 01:43 PM PDT.

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