Ohio: Schmidt’s Own Poll Puts Her Ahead by 18 Points

Posted March 21, 2008 at 5:21pm

In a poll commissioned by her own campaign, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R) is showing a double-digit lead over her Democratic opponent, physician and 2006 nominee Victoria Wulsin.

The Tarrance Group poll showed that out of 400 likely voters, Schmidt received 51 percent of the vote to Wulsin’s 33 percent. Undecided voters accounted for 9 percent, while the independent candidate garnered 8 percent in the survey.

Participants were surveyed March 11 and 12 and the poll had a margin of error of 4.9 points.

“Jean Schmidt is more popular now than ever with voters, in stark contrast to Ms. Wulsin’s free-fall,” said Schmidt campaign spokesman Bruce Pfaff in a statement. “We begin the campaign with an 18 point lead in stark contrast to the political environment in 2006.”

This is not the first time Schmidt and Wulsin have faced off in the southern Ohio district, which is traditionally a GOP stronghold. Schmidt defeated Wulsin by about 2,500 votes in 2006, a year in which Democrats won big across the state.

When the poll is broken down by county, Schmidt increased her lead in the district’s most populous part, Hamilton County, to 52 percent to Wulsin’s 32 percent, with 7 percent undecided. Wulsin had her highest mark, 38 percent to Schmidt’s 48 percent, in the less-populated eastern counties in the district.

Ann Herzner, a spokeswoman for Wulsin, said the poll’s numbers “speak volumes” about Schmidt’s “vulnerability.”

“As an incumbent serving since 2005, she barely got above 50 percent in three counties,” Herzner said. “Not to mention the marginal error of this poll is 4.5 percent and there are up to 10 percent of undecided voters in some areas. There is still movement in the district.”
— Shira Toeplitz