As any student of Ohio politics knows, The Columbus Dispatch poll is one of the most accurate in discerning voter sentiment because it is a mail-in survey. It demonstrates a commitment on the part of expected voters that is not reflected in telephone polls. That's why politicos in the state give so much credence to what the Dispatch reveals.
And over the weekend, the revelation was explosive, to say the least. In the hotly contested race for governor, Democrat Ted Strickland had a commanding 20 percent lead over Republican Ken Blackwell in the poll of 1,654 registered voters conducted between July 11 and last Thursday.
Yes, it is early in the campaign and most people don't begin to focus on politics until after Labor Day, but by any measure 20 points is huge. Which raises the question: Will other statewide Democratic candidates, such as state Sen. Marc Dann of Liberty, who is running for attorney general, benefit?
Just let's say that it doesn't hurt the ticket when the standard bearer is showing such strength.
One of the interesting aspects of the Dispatch poll is that Strickland, the 6th District congressman, had stronger support among Democrats than Blackwell, Ohio's secretary of state, had among Republicans. The Democrat also had a 3:1 advantage among independent voters.
What's going on? Let the discussion begin.