New Strickland poll shows Ohio Governor down three points

by Nathan L. Gonzales September 16, 2010 · 10:08 PM EDT

After a battery of recent public polls showed Gov. Ted Strickland (D) slipping in his bid for re-election, the Democratic incumbent released his own poll that shows he’s not dead yet.

Former Cong. John Kasich (R) led Strickland 48%-45% in large sample of 1,200 likely voters conducted September 7-9 and 12-14 by the Feldman Group.

The fact that a sitting governor would release a survey showing him down by only three points in order to counter less favorable surveys shows just what kind of cycle it’s shaping up to be for Democrats.

Six public polls released in the last two weeks showed Strickland losing to Kasich by margins of 5, 7 (two of them), 12 (two of those too), and 17, prompting the campaign to bring its own numbers to the table.

“Our polling was not conducted for public consumption,” wrote Strickland campaign manager Aaron Pickrell in a corresponding memo, “These polls were done to provide the campaign with insight and guidance on messaging and targeting.”

“The disparity among [the public] polls is crazy and we felt the need to release our internal polling to give a true snapshot of the state of the race,” Pickrell added.

“Voters’ perceptions of Strickland reflect their upset at economic conditions but his personal imagery remains strong,” wrote pollster Diane Feldman in her own memo to the campaign, “Virtually the only positive trait where Kasich leads is an important one – that he will create jobs. The Strickland campaign must close that gap.”

The Strickland campaign recently went on television with some hard-hitting ads. The Democratic Governors Association was on the air during the summer linking Kasich to Wall Street through his post-congressional work at Lehman Brothers.

Despite the economic turmoil and growing Republican wave, Strickland’s numbers have held relatively strong over the last nine months, but the cycle may be working against too much.