Oz leads Fetterman in polls for the first time after Democrat’s struggles in debate
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
At a time when candidates need to focus on their message and have a plan to get there, the most visible Democratic candidate in the race for Ohio governor is Fettelman, whose campaign has been largely overshadowed by that of newly-minted front-runner, Chris Chocola.
But Chocola’s campaign is going through an increasingly rocky time. Earlier this month, he was criticized by several Ohio Republicans over his comments in the Columbus Dispatch about his opposition to the state’s controversial gay marriage ban, and he was also embroiled in a sex scandal that has resulted in his resignation from two committees of the Ohio House.
Chocola’s difficulties have been exacerbated since he announced his candidacy for the governor’s office last summer. He had only two paid TV commercials and an email list of 4,500 people, and despite a large budget, was unable to raise much more than $4,600 in contributions in the last fundraising quarter. With two months to go before the July 4 primary, Chocola’s campaign said it was “deeply saddened” by its latest fundraising shortfall.
Despite Chocola’s challenges, the state-wide polls for the governor’s race showed Fettelman leading Chocola in the race for the first time in weeks. Voters were asked in the final poll released Thursday to compare the two candidates based on their overall merits and the issues they would focus on. Fettelman’s lead widened to 9 points, with 38% of voters supporting him and 22% supporting Chocola.
“It’s a very good sign for him,” said David Wasserman, an analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “He has moved much closer to the top of the polls. The question is whether he can sustain it and make it a bigger lead than that for much longer.”
In other gubernatorial races, the number of Republican candidates competing has increased. Ohio has 12 Republicans in the race for governor, compared with 10 Democrats.
Fettelman, the owner of a printing company, is a former teacher, teacher’s aide, and community activist. He has been a perennial candidate in Ohio’s GOP primary, first challenging Mitt Romney in 2010