OH-02: New Poll Shows "Mean Jean" Schmidt on Shaky Ground
by Ohio Daily Blog, Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 05:35:18 AM EDT
A new poll commissioned by the campaign of challenger Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D) shows widespread dissatisfaction with incumbent Rep. "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R), with only 33% approving her job performance and 48% saying they would vote to replace her or would consider doing so. Although the incumbent leads in the head-to-head matchup, her lead is in the single digits:
41% Schmidt (R)The head-to-head includes leaners; among strong supporters Schmidt's lead is only 26% to 24%. The poll, taken by Momentum Analysis, LLC by telephone on June 24-26, included 500 likely voters and has a margin of error 0f +/- 4.4 points.
33% Wulsin (D)
6% Krikorian (I)
More after the break.
Confirming other state and local polling, the survey found that a big majority of voters are unhappy with the direction of the country: 71% said it is on the wrong track, only 16% said it is on the right track. Schmidt's favorability rating is 45%/45%, which is dangerous territory for an incumbent, and within those numbers the there are more who have a "very unfavorable" opinion of her (26%) than a "very favorable" opinion (16%). Her job performance scores are even worse, with 33% rating it positively and 53% negatively. Even among Republicans, her job approval is only 47%/40%.
Wulsin spokesperson Kevin Franck attributes Schmidt's weak numbers to high gas prices and her pattern of false statements:
Jean Schmidt voted to raise the gas tax while she was in Columbus and in Washington she has consistently voted against measures that would lower the price of gas, all the while cashing in on tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for oil and gas companies. ...The Columbus vote was in 2003 while Schmidt was in the General Assembly and resulted in a 27% increase in the state tax on gasoline. The latest incident of making false statements was in a floor speech in the House on June 5, 2008, when she claimed that "The Chinese are drilling off the coast of Florida with their new energy partner, Cuba." Vice President Dick Cheney and conservative columnist George Will have since apologized for making similar statements, but Schmidt has refused to retract her false statement.
This poll shows that people in the second district just don't trust Jean Schmidt to tell the truth and who can blame them. Jean Schmidt lied about her resume, lied about writing an editorial that was published in a newspaper, lied about being endorsed by fellow Republicans and just recently lied about China drilling for oil off the coast of Florida.
An earlier independent poll showed Wulsin with a 5.6 point lead over Schmidt, but that poll was greeted with a lot of skepticism because the pollster (American Political Polling) is relatively unknown and some of the internal numbers seemed really out of whack (such as 13.4% support for the independent candidate and Obama leading McCain in a very red district).
I wish the DCCC would hurry up and kick this up to the Red-to-Blue program, but for now it is on the "Emerging Races" list. Although Wulsin clearly has work to do after the bruising primary, with its ugly and false smear campaign against her medical ethics, this new poll confirms that this a competitive race and Wulsin, who came within 2,500 votes of defeating Schmidt in 2006, is within striking distance again this cycle.
Cross-posted at Ohio Daily Blog.