New Quinnipiac Ohio Poll: Bad News for Smear Merchants

Josh MandelBlur

The Vanishing Candidate

One of the more respected pollsters, Quinnipiac, came out with a new set of polls today, taking a look at the presidential race in the critical swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Things are flowing President Obama's way.

But that's not why I am so excited (Well, not the ONLY reason).

No. It's this:

Sherrod Brown (D-inc): 50 (46)
Josh Mandel (R): 34 (40)
Undecided: 14 (12)

The numbers in parentheses are the previous poll, showing Brown going from a six-point lead to a 16-point lead!!!!

Now, polls are up and polls are down, and that's pretty strong swing. The truth may lie somewhere in between. But it's unusual for a candidate who leads like that going into the summer to lose, short of a surprise scandal. But knowing these candidates, Mandel is the one more likely to have something like that crop up — and he clearly knows he's out of ammo when he grasps at the straw of Brown's decades-old divorce.

Whether this poll is dead accurate or slightly less so isn't the point. The point is that Mandel and his shady friends have unloaded more than $10 million blanketing the airwaves with nasty smears against Brown. And it isn't working. At all.

Normally, a smart candidate would change tactics at this point. But in Mandel's case, to what? The stellar record of accomplishment he doesn't have? (People are probably burned out on the irrelevant "I was a Marine.") The strong, coherent set of policy proposals he's never formulated? The stances on issues he doesn't want to share publicly because they would be hurtful to most regular working people and benefit primarily the wealthy corporate interests who control him?

"It's not too late for Mandel to make his campaign more honest," Joe Hallett of the ultra-conservative Columbus Dispatch practically begged on Sunday.

But time is getting short for Mandel. Will the secretive money groups smearing Brown on his behalf continue to flood Ohio with attack ads which clearly aren't working, risking having them backfire completely? I guess we'll find out.

In the meantime, let's not rest. The bigger Mandel's margin of loss, the less rosy his political future looks. In many states, they only WISH they had someone as good as Sherrod Brown to work for. You can:

(I'm amused that the first thing you see when you go to Brown's website is "click here to see Josh Mandel's #1 liability." Brown's entire campaign staff must have been up late for weeks trying to pick Mandel's #1 liability out of a list of dozens.)

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