Ohio Poll Researchers Make National Impact
Date: Oct. 10, 2000
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Archive: General News
For the pollsters behind UC's Ohio Poll, it doesn't get any
better than right now - sitting in a swing state with front-row
seats for one of the closest presidential election campaigns
"This kind of election is why we do what we do
as political analysts," says Eric Rademacher, director of public
polling for the Ohio Poll. "A closely contested race like this
one makes our jobs more exciting. Both campaigns have clearly
done their homework in Ohio, which has resulted in a campaign
that looks very much like a world-class chess match. Trying to
determine how this strategy, the heavy get-out-the-vote efforts
and appeals to independent voters will ultimately shape the
election outcome in Ohio continues to be a very stimulating
The Ohio Poll, which is sponsored by
UC and conducted by UC's Institute for Policy Research (IPR), has
been widely watched as political observers look for clues on what
is going on within the Ohio electorate. The most recent round of
polling, released in late September, showed George W. Bush with a
four-percentage point lead over Al Gore among Ohio voters.
Results also showed that no one or two issues carried enough
importance for voters to swing their preferences in one direction
or the other.
"Success in Ohio for either Gore or Bush really
comes down to an ability to attract voters across a wide range of
issues, as opposed to any one issue," explains Rademacher. "It's
a very difficult task."
The most recent Ohio Poll came out
prior to the start of the debates. Two more Ohio Polls will be
conducted prior to the Nov. 7 election.
Kim Downing, director
of research services for the Ohio Poll and an expert in political
communication, is closely watching the debates for developments
that could influence the key audience of undecided
"Debates provide the opportunity to see both candidates
together which is most useful to undecided voters," Downing says.
"It's the one time to hear the candidate not in a sound bite or
packaged in an advertising campaign. That could be very
significant this year. It could come down to how they look,
sound, respond to questions and to each other."
and Rademacher have been sharpening their analysis skills in
recent weeks. They co-hosted a national on-line chat session
during the Vice Presidential candidates' debate on Oct. 5, and
have been fielding media requests from as far away as Switzerland
"There's a great deal of respect for the Ohio Poll,
the IPR and the University of Cincinnati among national and
statewide journalists and political observers," says Rademacher.
"That's probably the best thing about the attention this year.
It's clear many people across the country and even the world have
a high respect for what we do, and that's very gratifying for all
the people who work here."