Ohio, Florida Among 'Dead Heats' in Governor's Races
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
Last-minute polls suggest a neck-and-neck finish could be possible in both states.
In Ohio, Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland, who was elected with broad support four years ago, is trying to keep his job against a challenge from Republican former congressman John Kasich, who has consistently led in the polls and is trying to capitalize on voter frustration with the Ohio economy. But a final Quinnipiac Poll before voters cast their ballots finds that Strickland has staged a strong comeback and that the race now is a "statistical tie."
"Gov. Ted Strickland has come from far back. The question is whether he can get over the hump," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, tells The Columbus Dispatch . "He has momentum on his side. John Kasich has the historical tendency of undecided voters to break against well-known incumbents at the very end of a campaign."
A separate survey, the Ohio Poll, finds that Kasich maintains a 4-point lead, according to The Dispatch , while the paper's own poll earlier this week found Kasich ahead by 2 points - within the margin of error.
Florida, meanwhile, represents a key potential pickup for Democrats, who hope to take over from independent Governor Charlie Crist, who is running for the U.S. Senate. But the Democratic nominee, Chief Finance Officer Alex Sink, is locked in a tough battle with Republican former health care executive Rick Scott, who is hoping to lure Tea Party voters to the polls.
Two polls released Monday (November 1) show Sink with a 1-percentage point lead, according to The Miami Herald , though Scott already could have a significant lead because of early voting, according to the paper. "About 271,000 more Republicans than Democrats cast absentee or early-vote ballots, which probably translates into a sizable lead for Republican Rick Scott before the first person votes on Election Day," The Herald reports.