Columbus Dispatch Poll Shows Grim News For Ohio Democrats With 50 Days Left Until Election

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Just two years after the Columbus Dispatch poll correctly predicted a slim victory for president Obama over rival Mitt Romney in Ohio, a new poll in the statewide races show the potential for a Republican blowout similar to the 2010 election.

In the race for governor, the Dispatch poll shows incumbent governor John Kasich with an astronomical 30 point lead – 59 percent to Ed FitzGerald's 29 percent.  If that margin holds it would be one of the biggest landslides in the race for Ohio governor in history.

Kasich also is benefiting from an improved economy, with nearly half of Ohioans who say it's getting better.  Less than two in ten Ohioans say it's getting worse.

The Dispatch Poll included 1,185 likely voters with a plus or minus of 2.7 percent.

The only bright news for Democrats is the race for state Treasurer which shows incumbent Josh Mandel just six points ahead of his challenger Connie Pillich  - 47 percent to 41 percent.

The ambitious Mandel wasted no time after his election in 2010 declaring his candidacy for the US senate.  After a bruising and expensive battle, he lost to incumbent Sherrod Brown.

This year he was tightly associated with the trial of influential political donor Ben Suarez who was eventually convicted on one count of witness-tampering.

Another race Democrats have had their eye on is for state Auditor, although the Dispatch poll has incumbent Dave Yost now leading state representative John Patrick Carney 45 percent to 33 percent.

Besides Kasich, incumbent Attorney General Mike DeWine also seems in position to easily retain his office.  He leads Democratic challenger David Pepper, who lost to Yost for Auditor four years ago, 60 percent to 32 percent.

In a high-profile campaign for Secretary of State, incumbent Jon Husted leads state senator Nina Turner 49 percent to 35 percent.

Husted is appealing a recent judicial ruling that rolled back Republican attempts to cut early voting opportunities in Ohio.  But despite the national coverage of the issue, Turner has been unable to capitalize with voters.

If Republicans hold on to win the top of the ticket statewide races, it will be a severe blow to state Democrats who suffered the same loss four years ago.

While President Obama carried Ohio in 2008 and 2012, many strategists credit his campaign team for leading to those victories.  The statewide contests are considered a better reflection of the actual strength of both major parties.

Several of the GOP incumbents have announced they will not debate their Democratic challengers this fall leading to complaints from non-partisan groups who say voters are the losers in that decision.

DeWine, Husted and Mandel have each refused to meet their opponents in a debate.  The Kasich campaign, according to several GOP strategists, is expected to make a similar decision.

Kasich debated former governor Ted Strickland twice before the 2010 general election.