Where the polls stand - 22 days to go

With just over 3 weeks remaining until the November 6th election, Presidential polling has gotten a lot tighter, with the Presidents large lead having been eroded since the first debate.

Real Clear Politics now has the President ahead by just 10 Electoral College votes, with 146 up for grabs.

The NYT pollster has the President projected to win in the narrowest of fashions to date, too

Meanwhile, in Ohio, the race has tightened too, but remains a crucial firewall for the President

As you can see from the graph below, Mitt Romney has never led in Ohio

These polling leads in Ohio are confirmed by actual votes currently being cast early

A new poll shows President Obama with a commanding 59-31 percent lead among those who have already voted, with seven percent of those surveyed saying they have already cast their ballot.

A second poll, from PPP, showed similar results

The key finding on this poll may be how the early voters are breaking out. 19% of people say they've already cast their ballots and they report having voted for Obama by a 76-24 margin. Romney has a 51-45 advantage with those who haven't voted yet, but the numbers make it clear that he already has a lot of ground to make up in the final three weeks before the election.

The President is being projected to win Ohio by the NYT polling analyst, but by the smallest probability we have seen to date

Where the polls stand - Post Debate

Almost a week after the first debate, while the race has narrowed marginally, the national and statewide polling continues to show President Obama in a strong position.

In the Electoral College, Real Clear Politics calculates that the President has a lead of 251 (down from 265) votes to Mitt Romney's 181 (down from 191), with 106 in toss-up status.

The NYT polling analyst, 538, shows President Obama projected to win the Electoral College 307.6 - 230.4

In Ohio, the Presidents polling average lead is down from 5.6% to a still healthy 3.0%

This slight softening of polling in Ohio, has President Obama still projected to have a 79.1% chance of prevailing.

With early votiung underway, Boards of Elections are seeing high turnout

COLUMBUS DISPATCH // New Early-Voting Site Has Critics, Fans on First Day

Many people interviewed at Franklin County’s in-person absentee-voting center on opening day yesterday said that uncertainty surrounding the voting hours leading up to Nov. 6 and the change in the early-voting location have disenfranchised voters…

Yesterday, 1,396 people voted. In 2008, the previous presidential election year, 725 showed up on the first day of in-person voting.

TOLEDO BLADE // Turnout For the First Day of Early Voting Nearly Double of that of 2008

The first day of early voting in Lucas County is over, and the turnout was nearly twice that of the first day of early voting in 2008. It was an overwhelmingly Democratic day. Of the 928 voters, 696 were Democrats, 40 were Republicans, and the rest, 192, were members of other parties or were not affiliated with a party. There was a similar balance in favor of Democrats on the first day of early voting in 2008, when President Obama won in Lucas County and Ohio.

DAYTON DAILY NEWS // Voters Turn Up to Cast Ballots Early

Montgomery County had 695 voters while Champaign County had just 88. In Butler County 540 voters cast ballots. Clark County, which has been a battleground for Republicans and Democrats, had a higher first-day voter turnout - 380 - than larger counties like Warren and Greene, which had 282 and 354 respectively.

“I was just surprised; we didn’t have this (turnout) in 2008 that I recall,” said BOE Deputy Director Sally Pickarski. “It’s been fairly steady all day.”

AKRON BEACON JOURNAL // Early Voting Draws Crowd In Summit County

By the end of the day Tuesday, 1,035 people had voted early in Summit County, more than twice the 458 people who cast absentee ballots on the first day of early voting in 2008, the previous presidential election year. About 75 voters had to stand in the rain outside the board Tuesday, waiting their turns.

IndeOnline (Massilon) // Early Voting Doubles in Stark from Four Years Ago

“It’s been busy all morning,” said Mullane, as voters created a buzz outside her office. “In comparison to 2008, in-person early voting has more than doubled.”

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER // Early Voters ‘Making A Statement’

Within the first hour, nearly 100 people voted at the elections board’s Downtown office. By the time the office closed at 5 p.m., the total had risen to 816, about 27 percent higher than 2008’s 644, according to elections board director Amy Searcy.

Education News for 08-01-2012

Statewide Stories of the Day

  • Districts already holding back students in advance of new state law (Dispatch)
  • At Hamilton Elementary, repeating a grade is a matter of playing catch-up. “The old thinking was, ‘Yes, some of these kids weren’t at grade level, but we’re not going to hold them back,’ ” said Susan Witten, Hamilton schools’ director of teaching and learning. “It was seen pretty much as a punishment, as a negative. We’ve reversed the way we thought about it.” This fall, a new state law takes effect, requiring school districts to hold back students who aren’t reading proficiently by third grade. Hamilton schools already are holding back more young students. Read more...

  • Living in district tougher nowadays for superintendents (Dispatch)
  • The desire of some school districts to have their superintendents live within district boundaries is often at odds with the realities of today’s tough housing market. The Worthington school board voted last week to tack an extra year onto Superintendent Thomas Tucker’s grace period for moving into the district because he hasn’t been able to sell his home in Columbus. “The whole issue is the economy right now,” Tucker said. “I actually live only 5 miles from the district office, but it’s outside of the district.” Read more...

Local Issues

  • Police officer stashed school-attendance records (Dispatch)
  • When district auditors began asking questions about student-data changes at Whetstone High School, the police officer stationed there hauled boxes of documents home with her, records show. Officer Nanci A. Ferguson, who inexplicably was responsible for attendance and data at the school, handed over a single notebook belonging to the former principal in response to a request from Columbus’ internal auditor. “I hauled the rest of the boxes out of here (and) stashed them at home in my garage,” Ferguson told the newly appointed Whetstone principal. Read more...

  • Charter school rejected (Blade)
  • Toledo City Council on Tuesday narrowly turned down a national charter-school company's request to open up shop in the heart of downtown. Connections Education had planned to open a site on the fourth floor of One Lake Erie Center, 600 Jefferson Ave. Connections typically runs online charter and private schools; the new site would be a high school called Nexus Academy of Toledo and would provide a blended school, with students using online curriculum at home and spending part of the day at the site. Council voted 6-4 on a special-use permit. Read more...

  • Cleveland school board OKs resolution for 15-mill levy, vows accountability (Plain Dealer)
  • CLEVELAND - Cleveland school board members voted unanimously Tuesday night to put a 15-mill levy on the Nov. 6 ballot. The board voted 9-0 to put the issue to voters, drawing mixed reactions from about 40 people who attended the meeting. The tax is estimated to cost the average Cleveland homeowner with a $64,000 home an additional $294 a year for the next four years. Cleveland voters last passed an operating tax in 1996, and they approved a $335 million bond issue in 2001 for school construction. Resident Donna Brown told the board she will not vote for the levy. Read more...

  • Lakota restructures athletics to save $315K (Journal-News)
  • LIBERTY TWP. — To help quell budget constraints at Lakota Local Schools, the district’s athletic department is being restructured with $315,000 in reductions. A major change is the switch to a district-wide athletic director and the elimination of associate athletic directors at the freshman schools, said Chris Passarge, executive director of business operations. Rich Bryant, 35, is taking on that role of athletic director effective Aug. 1. Bryant, a West Chester Twp. resident, had been serving as athletic director at Lakota East High School since August 2009. Read more...


  • Find the truth (Dispatch)
  • If substantiated, the attendance-rigging by Columbus City Schools officials is staggering in its scope. Not just the sheer size of the numbers involved — 2.8 million student absences allegedly erased over 51/2 years — but in the betrayal of district taxpayers, voters, parents and students. Such a scheme would artificially inflate the district’s academic rating, thus deceiving school-levy voters and parents, and allow the district to collect more in state financial aid than it should have. State Superintendent Stan Heffner has said that if the allegations are proved true. Read more...

  • Cheating is unfair to students (Tribune Chronicle)
  • School administrators have an advantage their students don't: In effect, they grade some of the tests used to determine how well they are performing. Some of them are cheating, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Much of the data used by the state - as well as taxpayers and students' parents - to learn whether schools are doing a good job is prepared by school district administrators. Information on matters such as student attendance is submitted to the state, which posts it online. It is in school district officials' best interests for the numbers to look good, of course. Read more...

SB5 repeal was a clear message

“That showed Kasich. We showed him,” ~ Great Grandmother Marlene Quinn.

What the governor was shown in last night's historic election was Ohio voters rejecting his go it alone extreme agenda. More people voted to repeal his signature piece of legislation, SB5, in an off cycle election year than voted to put him into office just 12 months previous.

Only 5 counties, and those only barely, voted in favor of SB5, every other county voted against it. While results are still being tabulated, the measure appears to be defeated by a massive margin of 61% to 39%.

There never was any mandate to engage in attacks on middle class workers, despite what any out of touch newspaper editorial might have suggested, and last nights results demonstrated bipartisan rejection of that notion.

What should also not be forgotten, for education professionals many of the provisions voters rejected last night were inserted into the budget. If there is to be any negotiation or future compromise those aspects of the budget should be placed firmly in the center of the table too, there is no mandate for them and no agreement.

Furthermore, the Governor's education Czar is about to release plans for teacher evaluations, evaluations drafted without any serious input from education professionals. If a message was delivered last night it was surely "STOP GOING IT ALONE". Dr. Sommers should take last nights rebuke of go it alone policy making to heart, and begin a series of real meetings with education professionals and their associations in the development of real evaluations that will have widespread and sustainable support.

Public education and the people who work in it are not political footballs to be kicked around for partisan political gain. It needs to stop and it needs to stop now.

Issue 2 Early Vote Rally

Early Vote Flyer

In other early voting news, it appears that the effort to collect enough signatures to delay the implementation of HB194 has been succesful. HB194, among other things would have reduced the early voting period from about 5 weeks to 3. This naturally would have impacted the effort to repeal SB5 by voting NO on issue 2.

Ohio officials are preparing for early voting to begin on Tuesday for the Nov. 8 general election because a challenge to a new election-reform law is expected to put the law on hold today.

Even though House Bill 194 is scheduled to become effective on Friday, county boards of election have girded for the possibility that it will be delayed and the election will be conducted under current state law, which permits more time for absentee and in-person voting.
Once the signatures are turned over to the Ohio secretary of state, the new law automatically will be put on hold. The signatures then will be sent to the 88 county election boards to be validated, a process estimated to take 10 to 15 days. If Fair Elections Ohio comes up short after the county boards’ count, it would have 10 days to gather more signatures.
Among other things, the law cuts early voting from 35 days before the election to 21 days by mail and 17 in person. It also limits in-person voting before the election by barring it on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and the three days prior to the election. If House Bill 194 were to take effect on Friday, voting by mail would begin on Oct. 18; in-person voting on Oct. 22.

Why Vote Absentee?

By voting absentee you can

  • Avoid lines on election day, which may discourage others from voting
  • Avoid the cold and rain, or unexpected events that may make it harder
  • Avoid any voting machine mishaps
  • Let the We Are Ohio campaign concentrate on getting less enthused voters to the polls on election day

Once you have voted, it’s time to ask those in your friends, family and neighbors team to vote absentee! Locking in as many No on Issue 2 votes as early as possible is critical to success on election day!

You may request an Absentee Ballot by…
Using the application form prescribed by the Secretary of State (Form 11-A) to apply for your absentee ballot.

You may return your absentee ballot to the Board of Elections by…
U.S. Mail: the return envelope containing your marked ballot must be postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after a special, primary or general election.

In person, either by you or an eligible family member: your marked ballot, which must be sealed in the completed and signed identification envelope provided with the ballot, must be delivered to the board of elections office no later than the close of polls on Election Day.

Note: No voted ballot may be returned to a board of elections by fax or email. If a voted ballot is returned by fax or email, it will not be accepted, processed, or counted.

Your absentee ballot must be received by the Board of Elections for your county before 7:30 PM on Election Day to be counted!

Full instructions for absentee voting can be found on the Ohio Secretary of State's website, here. A list of all the county boards of elections, their addresses, phone numbers and emails can be found here.

SB5 could turn Gov. Kasich into a lame duck

A short while ago we published an analysis piece to determine which of the Senators who voted for SB5 would be up for reelection in 2012. A number of readers asked us to perform the same analysis for those House members who voted for SB5, so here it is.

The Ohio House of Representatives is made up of 99 districts. Currently the Republicans control 59 and the Democrats 40. The House is quite different from the Senate. Representatives are elected every 2 years, not every 4 and every district will be contested in 2012. Representatives become term limited after 4 terms. So with that basic understanding, let’s look at the SB5 roll call.

We can eliminate all of the Democrats from consideration as not a single one of them voted for SB5.

While SB5 was passed on a party line vote, some Republicans did cross the isle to vote no too. They were Randy Gardner (R), Ross W. McGregor (R), John Carey (R), Terry Johnson (R), and Casey Kozlowski (R). That reduces the potential total to 54 Republicans who voted for SB5.

Five of these Representatives will be term limited, they are Louis W. Blessing, Jr. (R), Courtney Combs (R), William P. Coley, II (R), Joseph W. Uecker (R) and Danny R. Bubp (R). So we’re down to 49.

One other Republican who is unlikely to be on the ballot next year is Rep Mecklenborg (R). He was recently arrested for a DUI in Indiana enjoying the company of a young woman purported to be an employee of a nearby adult entertainment establishment. It’s quite possible he won’t serve out his term, as calls for his resignation continue to grow.

That then, gives us 48 potential Republican Representatives who will be on the ballot in 2012 who voted for SB5. They are, sorted by their 2010 votes for percentage:

District Member Percentage vote for Percentage vote against
91 Bill Hayes (R) 47.06 52.94
41 Lynn Slaby (R) 49.9 50.1
21 Mike Duffey (R) 50.48 49.52
96 Al Landis (R) 51.04 48.96
42 Kristina Roegner (R) 51.69 48.31
18 Mike Dovilla (R) 52.41 47.59
1 Craig Newbold (R) 52.58 47.42
19 Anne Gonzales (R) 52.68 47.32
63 Ron Young (R) 53.14 46.86
93 Andy Thompson (R) 53.81 46.19
17 Marlene Anielski (R) 54.75 45.25
43 Todd McKenney (R) 54.99 45.01
81 Rex Damschroder (R) 55.31 44.69
85 Bob Peterson (R) 55.32 44.68
46 Barbara R. Sears (R) 56.34 43.66
86 Cliff Rosenberger (R) 59.46 40.54
16 Nan A. Baker (R) 60.19 39.81
50 Christina Hagan (R) 60.52 39.48
58 Terry Boose (R) 62.29 37.71
36 Michael Henne (R) 63.27 36.73
23 Cheryl L. Grossman (R) 63.41 36.59
34 Peter Stautberg (R) 64.81 35.19
38 Terry Blair (R) 67.49 32.51
98 Richard Hollington (R) 68.44 31.56
97 David Hall (R) 68.8 31.2
74 Bruce W. Goodwin (R) 69.01 30.99
51 Kirk Schuring (R) 69.2 30.8
71 Jay Hottinger (R) 69.31 30.69
84 Bob D. Hackett (R) 69.7 30.3
37 Jim Butler (R) 69.71 30.29
70 Jarrod B. Martin (R) 69.93 30.07
53 Timothy Derickson (R) 70.19 29.81
69 William G. Batchelder (R) 70.34 29.66
2 Andrew Brenner (R) 70.35 29.65
67 Peter Beck (R) 70.74 29.26
76 Robert Sprague (R) 70.78 29.22
75 Lynn R. Wachtmann (R) 72.05 27.95
90 Margaret Ann Ruhl (R) 72.26 27.74
4 Matt Huffman (R) 72.32 27.68
35 Ron Maag (R) 73.02 26.98
78 John Adams (R) 74.27 25.73
79 Richard N. Adams (R) 77.09 22.91
3 Ron Amstutz (R) 100 0
5 Gerald L. Stebelton (R) 100 0
77 Jim Buchy (R) 100 0
82 Jeffrey A. McClain (R) 100 0
83 David E. Burke (R) 100 0
94 Troy Balderson (R) 100 0

14 SB5 supporters could not survive a 5% swing from their margin of victory in 2010 (2 didn’t even reach the 50% threshold due to a third party taking significant support). With only a 10-seat margin to maintain control, it is quite possible that control of the Ohio House will swing away from the Republicans and back to the Democrats.

Such a swing, could put a halt to the Governors radical agenda and turn the remaining 2 years of his first term into a lame duck effort.