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Friday, March 21, 2008

OH-02 GOP Jean Schmidt: New Poll Numbers Seem To Show She's A Weak Incumbent

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- An internal poll taken for U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt's reelection effort shows the OH-02 Republican is under 50% in her district's rural counties, at 51% in her suburban base, and at 52% in urban Hamilton County. The poll was taken a week after the March 4 nominating primary. Across OH-02, Schmidt's polling shows she leads Democrat Vic Wulsin by anywhere from 10 to 20 points. But nowhere does Schmidt get anywhere but a sliver beyond 50% support. The numbers indicate there's a huge amount of room for Wulsin between now and November; the numbers also show Schmidt isn't a popular incumbent.

But there is more than Schmidt's poll that gives the GOP pause. What should be most troubling for Republicans about OH-02 -- and most encouraging for Democrats -- is that Schmidt ran worse and turned out to be the weakest of the three GOP House incumbents who faced opposition for renomination in Ohio's March 4 primary. In OH-05, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-NW Ohio) carried 74% of the ballots; 53,401 Republicans picked Latta in that contested primary. In OH-12, U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Central Ohio) carried 91% of the GOP voters with 60,924 ballots in his contested primary. Schmidt received only 57% of the vote and 40,891 ballots. Compared to the two other Ohio congressional GOP incumbents who defeated primary opponents, Schmidt's performance was lackluster. Bottomline: Republicans who took part in the OH-02 primary showed they aren't enthralled with their congresswoman.

Matt Hurley at Weapons of Mass Discussion writes from the Republican side and sees Schmidt's latest internal polling as not entirely encouraging news:

"I'd still like to see Schmidt do better. Where might she pick up some of that support?"

Jeff Coryell, at Ohio Daily Blog writes from the Democratic side and also sees Schmidt's poll as not entirely good news for the conservative congresswoman from Clermont County:

". . . Schmidt barely cracks the 50% line even without a serious primary challenge. Wulsin received 14,074 more votes than Schmidt in the March 4th primary, a troubling sign for the incumbent."


  1. On the other hand, Schmidt still wins by double digits even if she loses all of the undecideds...

  2. Hi Matt --

    This is the start, not the end. If the election turns on the economy -- and it seems that is where things are heading -- it might be a tough year for Schmidt. If it's the war, as in we need to keep fighting in Iraq, I think that cuts Schmidt's way. I think OH-02 is in play, and that the Republicans don't have a particularly strong or popular incumbent in that district. But Schmidt has won the seat twice so . . . there you go.

  3. Schmidt's 57% showing in the primary, which would be quite weak anyways for a 3-year incumbent, wasn't even that good. Phil Heimlich's name remained on the ballot and apparently received double-digit votes in all or most counties. If his votes get counted in, Schmidt didn't even receive half the votes from members of her own party.

    That's an extraordinarily weak showing for an incumbent member of Congress. OH-2 is in play. Republicans are going to regret once again not getting their act together. It seems like most people understand how weak Schmidt is, but won't do anything about it.

  4. The district is not in play. I'm sorry, but Schmidt is out working her district, and she is getting more and more popular all the time. You need to keep in mind, that she has ran in three primary elections and two generals in three years. When that happens, the incumbent looses some support. But, Virus Vic has lost a considerable margin of support. Come on Bill, pick on someone else. Let's talk about "Victoria's Secrets".