Blackwell & Petro both see positives in latest GOP polling data

Late last year, a spokesman for Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett announced that the party would conduct a poll before the Feb. 16 candidate filing deadline in hopes of persuading at least one among the three statewide officer-holders seeking the Republican nomination for governor to seek another office.

It became obvious last week that the results of that poll were made known to the candidates, and that Bennett had achieved his goal, when (to the delight of Ohio gun owners) Betty Montgomery quit the race for governor and entered the race for Attorney General against Buckeye Firearms Association-endorsed candidate Tim Grendell.

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Attorney General Jim Petro, now the two GOP front-runners, are now left to put their own spin on the polling data, and judging by press releases from each campaign, both saw things they liked...

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

The Blackwell campaign is focusing on poll results which show Mr. Blackwell having a clear edge in the party primary on May 2:

    Blackwell Holds Commanding Lead Over Petro: GOP Survey Shows

    An independent Ohio Republican Party poll showed Secretary of State Ken Blackwell with a commanding 10 point head to head lead
    over Attorney General Jim Petro, 40%-30%, with 29% undecided, despite Petro’s $1.6 million television blitz in December and January. The McLaughlin & Associates research also said Blackwell is in a position to extend his lead.

    Moreover, the poll’s executive summary concluded:

    …as voters get to know more about both candidates, Ken Blackwell would strengthen his candidacy. Blackwell receives majority support (53%-35%) among voters who have an opinion of both candidates. Among voters who have a favorable opinion of both candidates, Blackwell
    has a commanding lead (59%-29%).

Meanwhile, the Petro camp is focusing on results which show Mr. Petro having a stronger showing against likely-Democratic opponent Ted Strickland in the general election in November:

    ORP Poll Shows Petro Strongest in General Election

    A poll conducted for the Ohio Republican Party shows that Jim Petro is the strongest candidate to face Ted Strickland in the General Election.

    In a head to head contest Jim Petro is within the poll's margin of error with Petro 36%, Strickland 39% and 25% undecided. The same survey shows
    that Ted Strickland has a comfortable 6 point lead over Ken Blackwell with Blackwell at 33%, Strickland 39% and 27% undecided.

McLaughlin & Associates of Washington was retained by the Ohio Republican Party to survey Ohioans’ attitudes regarding the current GOP gubernatorial primary. The survey of likely Republican voters was taken by telephone January 23-25, 2006. The margin of error was +/- 4.9% at a 95% confidence interval, according to

The next major event in the run-up to the February filing deadline will be both candidates' announcement of their running mates. The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the Petro campaign will announce his running mate for lieutenant governor at 11 a.m. today. Stay tuned to this website for the latest updates.

To learn more about these two candidates, visit:

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