It turns out that Nate Silver’s turnout map was way wrong about Ohio. I don’t have time to audit his state-by-state claims, but someone should.
Silver’s map says Ohio turnout was down by 8.7 percent.
Uh, more than double that, as seen in a press release this morning from Tom Zawistowski of Ohio Citizens PAC (bolds are mine; some minor editing was done and paragraph breaks added by me):
Media Spin of Kasich Win in Ohio Distorts the Facts
Akron, OH – Tom Zawistowski, President of the Ohio Citizens PAC, today rejected the spin the media is putting on the re-election of Ohio Governor John Kasich, prompted by Kasich and his staff, as a distortion of the facts.
Kasich won re-election by a 31% margin and won in 86 of Ohio’s 88 counties. He and his team are trying to use the results, such as their winning “69% of Independent Voters, 60% of Women Voters, and 57% of Young Voters”, to suggest that Kasich could be a viable republican candidate for President in 2016.
Commenting on the Governors “race,” Zawistowski said “Here are the facts that the media is leaving out of their post election reports of what actually happened in Ohio. As the chart below shows, nearly a million more Ohioans stayed home this year compared with 2010 – 3,956,045 vs 3,010,760 – because the voters are not stupid and they knew they had no real choice for governor.
This year Kasich ran virtually unopposed, due to his nefarious actions, and had … $20 million compared with $4.6 million for FitzGerald, yet he only attracted a measly 33,000 more votes than he got in 2010. Which shows that his popularity is not what he claims.
Furthermore, 88,000 Ohioans voted and left the Governor’s choice blank, more than his margin of victory in 2010. In his two elections for governor, Kasich has yet to attract even 25% of the votes in the state – having had only 23.5% of voters vote for him in 2010 and only 24.81% in 2014. Hardly a mandate.
Kasich did not get people to vote for him, he only got people to not vote at all and stay home. It they would not vote for him his year, they would not come out to vote for him for president in 2016, they would come out to vote against him.”
Zawistowski concluded, “We just had an election for Governor in which not one issue was discussed. Not one debate was held about the actual state of the Ohio economy and our future direction. Despite Kasich’s dubious claims of economic growth, Ohio is 44th in the nation in job growth, we are still 200,000 jobs down from where we were when the bottom fell out. We haven’t even recovered let alone grown jobs and Kasich is just blowing smoke about how everyone is doing great.
Does anyone believe that Kasich could win Ohio in a presidential race when Barack Obama got over 1,000,000 more votes in 2012 than Kasich did in 2014 running without any credible Democratic campaign or money against him? Particularly after alienating the conservative base with his liberal first term record as indicated in the chart below?
Like we said before this election, not only would conservatives not vote for John Kasich for president, we would not work for him as a presidential candidate and he can’t win if we don’t. He would not have won re-election this year if he had not bribed the democrats and kept other candidates off the ballot. What he did to win re-election this year will not work in a presidential election.”
Actually, the turnout decline is higher than the 21.5 percent seen in a straight calculation from the first table above (38.66% vs. 49.22% is a 10.56-point, 21.5% decline), whose registration and turnout numbers, after getting burned by Silver, I traced back to the Ohio Secretary of State’s site.
That’s because, in the meantime, Secretary of State Jon Husted did a purge which took 245,000 dead people off the voter rolls.
Redo the math for 2010 considering the purge, and you end up with turnout of 50.77 percent. That would mean that the decline from 2010 in 2014 was really almost 12 points (11.91, to be exact), or 23.5 percent.
Nothing creates apathy and depresses turnout like a poorly performing governor who for all practical purposes is unopposed.
Zawistowski is right. How any of the above credibly translates into presidential viability for John Kasich is a mystery.
What’s not a mystery is why the national press is presenting Kasich favorably as a potential 2016 candidate. It’s because, if he were to somehow win the Republican nomination, he’d lose the general election.