Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The only state that matters, oh wait, this is a state election

In the state of Ohio, your vote always counts, if it's a Presidential election.  Routinely, press coverage of presidential elections only focus on the polls and the votes that are going to happen in Ohio.  Unfortunately, much like about 30-40% of the electorate that votes in presidential elections, people forget that elections happen in other years beside presidential elections. But anyway.  There have been some polls done by my favorite polling firm, Public Policy Polling, on the Ohio gubernatorial and Senate races.  I'm focusing on statewide offices in this post.

We have the current governor of Ohio, John Kasich.  His favorability ratings are as follows:

Favorable
Unfavorable
Don't Know/Not Sure
42
47
11

That's not looking so very good, for Kasich.  But in somewhat better news, for Governor Kasich, not very many people know of Ed FitzGerald.

Favorable
Unfavorable
Don't Know/Not Sure
20
18
62

FitzGerald was the first county executive of Cuyahoga County and is the former mayor of Lakewood, Ohio.  Largely because of Kasich's unfavorable numbers, Kasich is not a favorite to win re-election at this point.

John Kasich
35
Ed FitzGerald
38
Undecided
27

But is this just decided based on party lines?

Let's look at the favorability for the candidates based on political party.

John Kasich:



Democrats
Republicans
Independents/Other
Favorable
28
64
34
Unfavorable
64
23
52
Not Sure
8
13
14

Ed FitzGerald:



Democrats
Republicans
Independents/Other
Favorable
31
10
14
Unfavorable
14
16
27
Not Sure
55
74
59

Here's how the election results would be based on political party:



Democrats
Republicans
Independents/Other
John Kasich
10
68
31
Ed FitzGerald
61
9
40
Undecided
29
23
29

So, it's somewhat based along party lines.  But wait, there's more. 

Governor John Kasich signed some controversial abortion laws into law on July 1, 2013.  Planned Parenthood lost $1.4 million in funding for family planning services.  Rape crisis clinics that are caught counseling sexual assault victims about abortion would lose their funding, as well.  But never fear! Crisis pregnancy centers that do not offer abortion referral services and are often run by religious organizations, maintain their funding.  Abortion providers are required to tell women of all the characteristics of the fetus at the time of the abortion and must also offer "alternative family planning options" and adoption information.  What do you think, dear reader, are alternative family planning options?  I don't know. I hope they include music.  Maybe a musical family.  ANYWAY.  If a woman develops a complication while going through the abortion procedure, the clinic would have to transfer them to a private hospital.  Public hospitals would not be allowed to care for them.  How does Ohio feel about that?

Support
Oppose
Not Sure
34
40
25

It breaks down the following way for political parties:



Democrats
Republicans
Independents/Other
Support
16
57
36
Oppose
56
20
39
Not sure
28
22
24

Maybe to help explain some of this, we should look at how gender plays a role into supporting or opposing the overall abortion laws package.



Males
Females
Support
42
28
Oppose
43
38
Not Sure
16
33

That's not quite what I expected.  I expected more females to be opposed to the law.  What's amazing is that 33% of females are not sure how they feel about the law.  My guess is that women have a more nuanced view on abortion than males.  I think that most males are either pro-life or pro-choice without much nuance in their decision making.  Females might have more of a nuanced view. Or it's also possible that women might not be sure about what the abortion bills entail.  That is also very possible.

But just for fun, let's take a look at how the election works out when broken down by gender.



Male
Female
John Kasich
44
28
Ed FitzGerald
39
37
Undecided
18
35

Here's the interesting thing about this, as I see it.  Females voting on governor is basically the exact same thing as them supporting or opposing the abortion laws package.  That is very interesting.  Meanwhile, males still match up, but not quite as much.  2% of male Ohioans who oppose the abortion law package still would vote for Kasich over FitzGerald.  2% of male Ohioans who oppose the abortion laws are undecided in the upcoming election.  That's very interesting.  If I was on the FitzGerald campaign, part of my overall strategy would be to highlight the abortion law package.  If the FitzGerald campaign can highlight that, we're assuming that the 10 point women gap in support/opposition will hold largely steady, then the election will tilt even heavier to FitzGerald, overall.

The good news, already, for the FitzGerald campaign is despite his low name recognition, Kasich's overall unfavorability makes him a 3 point underdog right now to FitzGerald.




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