Quinnipiac: Ohio rejecting Obama health care, favoring GOP

Posted on November 12, 2009

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Quinnipiac University has released two polls over the last 48 hours that have shown severe warning signs for Democrats in Ohio and across the country. Yesterday’s poll had incumbent Dem Gov. Ted Strickland locked in a dead heat with challenger John Kasich in a race that hasn’t really begun in earnest yet. The poll says more about voters’ dislike for Strickland than it does about Kasich, as nearly 70% say they don’t know enough about Kasich yet. That’s good news for Kasich, by the way, as it gives him an opportunity to “introduce” himself to voters, and attempts to negatively define him by the Strickland camp won’t be as effective since the governor’s quite unpopular himself.

But the real shocker is the poll released today that shows Ohioans oppose the current health care plan by a tremendous margin – 55%-36%, with independents breaking strongly against it 57%-33%. Support for a public option remains, but I wonder how much is that is a belief that the option will in fact be one option among many and not a funnel toward a single-payer as has been argued. Regardless, Ohioans aren’t pleased at all with the current state of health care bills in the House and Senate – both of which contain a public option.

Republican Rob Portman holds slight leads over Democrats Jennifer Brunner and Lee Fisher in yet another race that hasn’t really started. The big story is that Democrats are losing independents in big numbers as they push a highly liberal and partisan agenda while the economy languishes. Voters that brought the Democrats to power in 2006 and 2008 wanted pragmatic, responsible and centrist leadership. Democrats have shown nothing of the sort, taking their electoral wins as proof that the nation instead yearned for its leftwing agenda. That miscalculation is what’s driving independents away, and it’s what will fuel a bad 2010 for Democrats.

Ed Morrissey is right when he says the GOP has a good opportunity here to reassert itself as the party of fiscal discipline and limited government. They need to stick to those principles and not overreach on secondary issues, and if they continue to do that, Republicans have a strong chance at making significant dents in the Democratic ruling majority.

Ohio is a key state in Presidential elections, so in a very real sense it’s a weathervane for the direction of the political winds. You would think that the negative-trending polls would give Democrats pause at enacting more of their radical agenda, but in a sign of how anti-centrist and non-pragmatic they’ve become, it appears they’ll keep pushing for as much as they can ram through until voters can punish them a year from now. That’s governing by ideology, plain and simple, the will of the public be damned.

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Posted in: News, Politics