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Blackwell ahead in Ohio

Sometimes it’s not the facts that makes a story interesting. We have known the facts in this story for a while. It’s the publication of it that is interesting. Timing is everything. An Ohio GOP Poll "in the race for governor shows that Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has opened a 10-point lead over Attorney General Jim Petro among likely GOP primary-election voters," according to the Columbus Dispatch. Read the article and tell me that you don’t get the feeling that the Petro camp is in a bad way (in a free fall, panic, slow moving train, as you please). Look, they spent about a million and half bucks running TV ads trying to show the conservative side of Petro. Did these ads work, do Petro’s numbers go up? Then Montgomery pulls out. Do Petro’s numbers go up now? What do you do if the answer is "no" to each question. Now, if you look at the article with a bit more care than you normally might, tell me if Petro is not beginning to attack Blackwell for being a (social) conservative, and even calls himself a moderate? Now that’s a sign of desperation, is it not? And then Bob Bennett, the chairman of the Ohio GOP, says that he did not ask either man at this meeting of the GOP Central Committee to quit the campaign? Would he ask someone who is leading in the polls? On the other hand, Bennett says that he wants to avoid "costly and rancorous battle between two of his party’s stars," as the article puts it.

Add all that up, and I will say you conclude that Petro’s train has a hard time leaving the station, or, if it’s left, is already stopping at every station along the way. Huckleberry trains are too slow. I think Petro’s finished, and at their next meeting the CEO of the Ohio GOP, Bob Bennett, will ask him to pull out.

Discussions - 23 Comments

I do not expect the general election to be much closer than these primary numbers are shaping up to be. Remember, Blackwell has not announced a running mate; Petro’s has already bailed! Blackwell has barely begun spending money - Petro has dropped big bucks. This race is Blackwell’s to lose.

I agree with your assessment. If Petro did not get a bump when Montgomery left the race then its all over but the announcement. wm is correct when he says, "this race is Blackwell’s to lose".

As perhaps the lone Petro supporter who reads this blog, I suppose I should respond. Blackwell is certainly ahead, but given a little odds, I would still bet on Petro.

A couple of things to remember: 1. A 40-30 lead is hardly a sure thing especially in a primary. Primaries have a history of violent swings and can make and break candidates almost overnight. And don’t forget electability in the General Election. 2. This ORP poll was taken within a couple days after Betty dropped out. A couple of weeks would be more appropriate to let the flustered birds come back home to roost. 3. Petro needed a 2 man race and his ads boosted him to a solid 2nd and pushed Betty out. Despite his early spending he still has 33% more money (half a million) more than Blackwell.

Lastly, despite Blackwell’s lead, I don’t think Petro will pull out. Bennett might try to make him, but I think this time he’s going for broke. Unlike Betty, he has no reason to continue public service, and if he doesn’t get what he wants, he can just go home. If he is down a lot in April, we might want him to leave, but even then he probably would not. As close as the race is now, he’s not leaving anytime soon.

Clint, Petro may have more money for his campaign, but the Sunday PD article about the political pressure he brings to gain his campaign funds can not help him. I am not scorning his methods. Using your office to compel or say, encourage, campaign contributions is as old as elected office. However, in Ohio, in the current political atmosphere, any hint of corruption in office will be leapt on by Democrats in a general election.

A couple of things said by Clint are worth taking a look at. There is no reason to think that Petro is more electable than Blackwell in the general election. In fact, a number of polls show the opposite. Right now, Blackwell leads Ted Strickland by 5%, while Petro trails Strickland by 8-10%. As for money, if it really came down to crunch time and Blackwell wasn’t blowing Petro away, he could self-fund his campaign. Blackwell was a very successful businessman, and has something in the ballpark of $40 million. And of course that does not take into account the fact that Petro would have to spend far more than an additional 500k to even pull it close. The last million he spent on those church ads didn’t bridge the gap at all.

Once candidate is talking about "reinventing government" and the other is talking about cutting it. The choice is pretty clear for conservatives

Actually Chris, for the sake of consistency, if we stick to the ORP poll that you all are touting, Petro was running stronger than Blackwell against Strickland.

WM: I’m curious how one might reinvent government. Is selling the Ohio Turnpike what you have in mind??


I have no idea what the heck you are talking about. Petro will get dominated!!!!!!!!! You are the biggest hack known to man.

Clint, 6 recent polls, including one by Zogby and the Wall St. Journal, show Blackwell with a safe lead over Strickland and Petro getting kicked around pretty badly. I don’t have any particular dog in this fight, but your facts are wrong and somebody needed to say so. So are you on the Petro campaign, or what? You deny any and all polls that show your pal is losing (and ALL of them have him losing badly), and on a prior thread you tried pretending that Petro didn’t flip on abortion for political expediency, even though everyone on earth but you seems to know this is the case.

Chris: It’s pretty clear that I have not mislead anyone. We all know Blackwell is ahead in the primary but with well less than 50% and only a 10-12 point lead its hardly a sure thing yet. You selectively cited information from the ORP poll which had Blackwell ahead in the primary, but showed Petro to be running stronger against Strickland in the general. So if you buy into that poll for Blackwell’s lead, maybe you should consider it too for Petro’s superior performance against Strickland. My facts are not wrong, I just choose to report the certain polls and certain parts just like you do with your poll claims.

Frankly all the bs about polls is boring, but you and others keep citing them and I just wanted to let you know that you don’t have a monopoly on’em.

Did you know that Blackwell was a Democrat, and then became a Republican? Oh, my, what political opportunism. Actually, I don’t think so because given his track record since, it is clear that Blackwell is a conservative Republican. And looking at his track record since becoming Pro-Life, there is no reason to believe that Petro’s switch was political opportunism either.

You might try keeping up with your own candidates’ pronouncements. Petro’s new candidate for Lt Governor talked on the radio two nights ago about how they were going to "reinvent government." I have no idea what that means. I did not know what it meant when Al Gore said it in the nineties. I do know what cutting government is - and that is what Blackwell’s plan is. As I said, Clint, the choice for conservatives is clear.

Okay Clint, show me where I "selectively cited information from the ORP poll." I certainly don’t see where I did that. Nor do I see where I "keep citing" polls at all, except to rebut your claims about them.

The simple fact is Petro is losing and losing badly. He is losing because his career is marked by political opportunism. He is losing because people respect Ken Blackwell because Blackwell has bucked the party time and again at great risk to his own career. The contrast is pretty stark.


Seriously, what are you talking about!!!!!! Your make believe poll numbers don’t count. Send us some links or something. BACK UP YOUR DATA. BTW, when you do a "quantum leap" back into this reality could you please let the rest of us know.

but showed Petro to be running stronger against Strickland in the general. made in comment 10 by Clint.

Seriously, you are worse than the hacks at the state house. This isn’t even worth arguing about. It is just blatantly false.

BTW, how long have you been a hack for the Petro Campaign? 5 maybe 6 years?

has snoop dogg endorsed blackwell?

RE Comment 14: Maybe if you looked at the Stupid ORP poll you are all about you would know something. It showed Petro stronger in the general and Blackwell leading the primary. That’s just as much a fact as any other poll that shows such and such.

Chris: I’ve already showed you that you ignored the ORP poll’s findings in the general election.

I really don’t care what you all believe or what poll you adhere too. I’m just trying to help you all be honest with yourself about the election.

Clint, here is where some logic skills would be nice. You accused me of selectively citing information from the ORP poll. You were wrong, of course, because I never cited the ORP poll for any reason whatsoever.


you got a link to this mysterious poll. Secondly, I was never bsing about an ORP poll. There is NO SUCH POLL that shows Petro beating anything.


No poll besides Petro’s own poll.

Do you fools read anything??? The data about Petro running better against Strickland than Blackwell does is right in the ORP poll that is linked in the original post that takes you to the Columbus Dispatch. I didn’t think I would have to show it to you.

Clint, you’re right about comments 18 and 19, but you’re still ducking the issue with me, just like you ducked other uncomfortable issues with other people on prior strings. So please show me where I ever cited the ORP poll. While you’re at it, please explain why you worry about Blackwell’s religion but not Petro’s Bible ads. And why we should not be concerned with the complaints filed against Petro last week stating that he traded government business for campaign donations. And why you think that 6 non-partisan polls showing Blackwell beating Strickland (but Petro losing badly) are less persuasive than one poll done by the same organization that promised Petro the governorship as part of a backroom deal in 1998.


You did not cite the ORP poll. I assumed that you were using it to put Blackwell in the general election. Everyone/thing talked about here has been an offshoot of the poll and story. Without the ORP poll, there is no recent poll that I know taken since Betty dropped out to show anything about who is leading the primary.

Since you read my previous comments you should know that I was not a fan of Petro’s ads. It stooped to the type of politics that has been storming the GOP. Still I haven’t heard of him speaking in church and from the pulpit, and it isn’t his campaign that is dividing churches against themselves in lawsuits.

Why do the Petro complaints bother you, and the complaints that were filed against Blackwell by the voting machine companies locked out of Ohio by his ruling that only Diebold machines could be used don’t? Remember Diebold was a big Blackwell donor. I don’t really think that the complaints by either are important. Its perfectly natural for politicians to have good relations with firms that they do business with and for them to get donations from them. Its also common for firms who don’t get gov. contracts to get mad and take action against the official who denied them the job. It always looks bad, but its politics and they all do it. Blackwell is no holier.

I did not claim that the ORP poll was more persuasive. While it should carry slightly more weight because it is the most recent (I think), I brought up its findings just to complete the article that everyone was selecting one part of the poll from and ignoring the rest. If the 10 point Blackwell lead is the gospel that most claim it is from this poll, then maybe the general election findings should be too.

Thanks for responding. I do not support Petro over Blackwell (although obviously I would prefer him to Strickland), but I think your reply was reasonable.

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