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Ohio gubernatorial election, 2010

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In the Ohio gubernatorial election of 2010, held on November 2, 2010, Republican John Kasich defeated Democrat Ted Strickland, the incumbent. While a primary was scheduled on May 4, 2010, both candidates advanced to the general election ballot without primary opposition.

November 2, 2010 general election results

On November 2, 2010, John Kasich/Mary Taylor won election to the office of Governor/Lt. Governor of Ohio. He ran unopposed in the general election.

Governor/Lt. Governor of Ohio, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kasich/Mary Taylor 49% 1,889,186
     Democratic Ted Strickland/Yvette McGee Brown Incumbent 47% 1,812,059
     Libertarian Ken Matesz/Margaret Ann Leech 2.4% 92,116
     Green Dennis Spisak/Anita Rios 1.5% 58,475
     Write-In David Sargent 0% 633
Total Votes 3,852,469
Election Results Via: Ohio Secretary of State

Inauguration and transition

Inaugural date

Governor-elect John Kasich was inaugurated on January 10, 2011. His inauguration was planned and paid for by the "New Day" transition fund.

Franklin County Republican Party Chairman Doug Preisse led the "New Day," which oversaw both the Inauguration and the transition.

Transition team

The Kasich-Taylor transition was online at Fix Ohio Now. The transition team was also available at:

340 East Gay St.
Columbus, OH 43215

Campaign spokesman Rob Nichols continued in the same post for the transition.

Legal structure of Kasich transition draws ire

Governor-elect Kasich had opened a new fund to cover the costs of his transtion and inauguration. Set up as a non-profit, the group soon drew the eye of the ACLU after it announced that resumes would not be made public until, and unless, they were forwarded to state agencies. Kasich's team argued only resumes sent on to government agencies are subject to open record laws, something some have claimed was a mis use of the transition team's legal status and a poor start to transparency.[1]

A Kasich spokesmen countered that the practice was about citizen privacy rather than a bid to thwart open government. "Ohio needs the best possible talent if we want to get the state back on track, and Ohio will lose out on that top-notch talent if applicants are fearful that their job searches won't remain confidential." Kasich's office received over 1,000 resumes within two hours of first publicly soliciting applications, a number that grew to 1,500 in less than a day.

The law allowing such set-ups for transition efforts took effort in September and was set to be ironed out and contested for some time, yet. The law also allowed Kasich, as the incoming governor, to spend up to $250,000 in tax payer funds on the transition.

The law came into being after a former Attorney General was found to have mis-spent transition funds. At the time, in 2006, donations to transtion funds were both unlimited and exempt from disclosure. Now, electees must file disclosure reports on the 15th of each month for as long as the committee is active and, while total donations are still unlimited, no one individual may donate more than $10,000 to a gubernatorial transition. All other state offices are capped at $3,000 per donor.[2]

Appointments in the Kasich Adminsitration

Administrator Marsha Ryan of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation resigned on Friday, November 19, 2010. Ryan was an appointee of out-going Governor Ted Strickland. In her place, Governor-elect Kasich announced Bob Blair.[3]

May 4, 2010 primary

2010 Race for Lieutenant Governor - Republican Primary[4]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg John Kasich (R) 100.00%
Total votes 746,691
2010 Race for Governor - Democrat Primary[5]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ted S. Strickland (D) 100.00%
Total votes 630,776

2010 Race for Lieutenant Governor - Libertarian Primary[6]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Ken Matesz (R) 100.00%
Total votes 4,407
2010 Race for Lieutenant Governor - Green Primary[7]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Dennis Spisak (R) 100.00%
Total votes 924

Race ratings

See also: Gubernatorial elections 2010, Race tracking

2010 Race Rankings Ohio
Race Tracker Race Rating
The Cook Political Report[8] Toss-up
Congressional Quarterly Politics[9] Toss-up
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball[10] Leans Republican
Rasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard[11] Leans GOP
The Rothenberg Political Report[12] Toss-up Tilting Republican
Overall Call Republican


3. Larry J. Sabato moved race from "Toss-up" to "Leans Republican" on October 28th.

2. Rothenberg moved race from "Pure Toss-up" to "Toss-up Tilting Republican" in its October 1st ratings.

1. Rasmussen moved race from "Toss-up" to "Leans GOP" following August 18th poll.


The November Ballot – Who Made It? Ohio Governor[13]
Nominee Affiliation
Ted Strickland Democrat
John Kasich Republican
Dennis Spisak Green
Ken Matesz Libertarian
Sean Swain write-in (Zapatista Party)
This lists candidates who won their state's primary or convention, or who were unopposed, and who were officially certified for the November ballot by their state's election authority.

Ohio's Secretary of State maintained a list of certified candidates.[14]



  • Dennis Spisak, long time Green Party activist, identifies as a 'Progressive Liberal' and listed single-payer healthcare as the top item on his platform.


  • Ken Matesz is a business owners who identifies as an entrepreneur and stated in his platform that, if elected, he would not seek a second term.


Former Congressman from Ohio and Fox News host, Republican John Kasich ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Initially Kasich faced Ohio state senator Kevin Coughlin. Coughlin, however, withdrew from the race and endorsed Kasich.


  • Kevin Coughlin (Ohio State Senator)


Early polling

Poll Source Dates
Ted Strickland John Kasich Spread
RCP Average 10/14 - 1/12 44.3 40.3 Kasich +4
Rasmussen 1/12 47 40 Kasich +7
Quinnipiac 1/12 40 40 Tied
Ohio Right to Life/Wenzel Strategies 12/10 43 33 Kasich +10


2010 Race for Ohio Governor - Quinnipiac
Date Reported Kasich (R) Strickland (D) Other Don't Know
September 9-14, 2010[15] 54% 37% 2% 7%
(Sample) n=730 MoE=+/- 3.6% p=0.05
June 22-27, 2010[16] 38% 43% 4% 15%
(Sample) n=1,107 MoE=+/- 3.0% p=0.05

Rasmussen Reports

2010 Race for Ohio Governor - Rasmussen Reports[17]
Date Reported Kasich (R) Strickland (D) Other Don't Know
October 11, 2010[18] 48% 45% 3% 4%
September 27, 2010[19] 50% 42% 3% 4%
August 30, 2010[20] 47% 39% 7% 7%
August 16, 2010[21] 48% 40% 6% 7%
August 2, 2010[22] 45% 42% 6% 7%
July 19, 2010[23] 48% 43% 3% 5%
June 29, 2010[24] 47% 40% 3% 10%
June 3, 2010[25] 47% 42% 4% 8%
May 5, 2010[26] 46% 45% 3% 6%
March 30, 2010[27] 46% 45% 2% 7%
March 4, 2010[28] 49% 38% 10% 7%
February 5-6, 2010[29] 47% 41% 5% 8%
January 12, 2010[30] 47% 40% 4% 8%
December 7, 2009[31] 48% 39% 3% 11%
(Sample)[32] n=500 MoE=+/- 4.5% p=0.05


2010 Race for Ohio Governor - Ipsos/Reuters
Date Reported Kasich (R) Strickland (D) Other Don't Know
September 23-27, 2010[33] 53% 37% - 13%
(Sample) n=440 MoE=+/- 4.0% p=0.05

CBS News/NY Times

2010 Race for Ohio Governor - CBS News/NY Times
Date Reported Kasich (R) Strickland (D) Other Don't Know
September 23-27, 2010[34] 43% 42% - 11%
(Sample) n=941 MoE=+/- 3.0% p=0.05

University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research

2010 Race for Ohio Governor - U of C Institute for Policy Research
Date Reported Kasich (R) Strickland (D) Other Don't Know
September 16-20, 2010[35] 49% 45% - -
(Sample) n=852 MoE=+/- 3.4% p=0.05

Campaign spots

Ted Strickland for Governor' 'Angry' ad.

John Kasich for Governor' 'A New Day' ad.

DMCA temporarily removes Strickland ad

An October spot by John Kasich featured a steelworker criticizing Strickland's tenure as governor. Or, rather, Kasich's ad featured actor Chip Redden, portraying a steelworker.

As soon as Strickland's campaign realized the unhappy Ohio worker was really a professional actor, they duy up a series of clips from Redden's past work and made an ad attacking Kasich for using a professional.

John Kasich for Governor' '400,000' ad.

Ted Strickland for Governor' 'Are Your Kidding Me?' ad.

The push-back came not from Kasic but from Arginate Studios, LLC. As the owners of one of the clips of Redden used in the Kasic ad, Arginate used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to have YouTube pull the video. Under the DMCA, the video would have disappeared from YouTube for at least ten days, no small amount of time less than a month away from the election.

Ultimately, Arginate reversed its position and the ad was restored a day later. YouTube competitor Vimeo had never removed the clip.[36]



Ohio was among the few state where the National Rile Association has made a gubernatorial endorsement in favor of the Democrat, officially backing Ted Strickland.[37]

Race background

On January 20, 2010, President Obama traveled to Ohio to host a town hall on jobs and the economy. With an unemployment rate over 10% in Ohio, the notion of a jobless recovery adversely affected public opinion in the state.[38] Months later, Democratic attempts to hold on in Ohio, a state seen as having realigned itself reliably to the part just two years ago, began floundering.[39]

Quinnipiac released poll data on June 29, 2010 showing that Gov. Ted Strickland ledJohn Kasich, the Republican challenger. Strickland's 43% - 38% lead was unchanged from May and April polls, though Kasich's name recognition remained low across the state. Coupled with voter's dissatisfaction with the economy and Ohio's state budget, the race remained tight.[40]

Soon after, Rasmussen reported Kasich had taken the lead, with 47% of the vote to Strickland's 40%.[41]

The heightened competition for the governorship coincides with looming redistricting. Declining population was expected to cost Ohio two Congressional seats and the state's charter gives the governor significant power in redrawing district lines. Early July saw the Ohio chapter of the AFL-CIO announce heightened member education programs and a focus on the governor's race in response to concerns over what the Buckeye state will look like after the 2011 redistricting.[42]

With the autumn sprint well underway and Strickland making paltry gains against Kasich in the polls, national Democrats fell to spending heavily in Ohio, as they believe their ability to control the governorship in the swing state is crucial is Obama is to win a second term in 2012. However, the influx of cash and Strickland's polling numbers augered a desperate ploy more than a refined straegy for worried Democrats.[43]

2006 Election Results

In 2006 Ted Strickland won with a commanding 60% of the vote. Post-election analysis indicated Strickland benefited from some Republican support in the election. In 2010 there is some indication of Democratic support for John Kasich. Crossover and independent voting in the state contributes to its position as one of the most important battleground states in presidential contests.

2006 Results: Ted Strickland (D) - 2,435,384 - 60.5% J. Kenneth Blackwell (R) - 1,474,285 - 36.6%

Gubernatorial electoral history

1998 Gubernatorial Results[44]
Candidates Percentage
Bob Taft (R) 50.05%
Lee Fisher (D) 44.69%
John R. Mitchel (REF) 3.32%
Zanna Feitler (NL) 1.94%
Total votes 3,354,213
2002 Gubernatorial Results[45]
Candidates Percentage
Bob Taft (R) 57.76%
Tim Hagan (D) 38.31%
John Eastman (I) 3.92%
James Whitman (I) 0.01%
Eva Braiman (I) 0.0%
Total votes 3,228,992
2006 Gubernatorial Results[46]
Candidates Percentage
Ted Strickland (D) 60.54%
J. Kenneth Blackwell (R) 36.65%
William Peirce (NP) 1.78%
Robert Fitrakis (NP) 1.02%
Total votes 4,022,754

Presidential electoral history

2000 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 49.97%
Al Gore (D) 46.46%
2004 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 50.81%
John Kerry (D) 48.71%
2008 Presidential Results[47]
Candidates Percentage
John McCain (R) 46.80%
Barack Obama (D) 51.38%

1992 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George H.W. Bush (R) 38.35%
Bill Clinton (D) 40.18%
1996 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
Bob Dole (R) 41.02%
Bill Clinton (D) 47.38%

See also

External links

Candidate pages


  1., "Kasich using new fund for transition," November 19, 2010
  2. The Columbus Dispatch', "Kasich sets inaugural panel: New rules govern fundraising and spending for transition ," November 10, 2010
  3., "Ohio Transitions Continue Amid Governor Shift," November 19, 2010
  4. Ohio Secretary of State, “Governor And Lieutenant Governor - Republican: May 4, 2010: Official Results”
  5. Ohio Secretary of State, “Governor And Lieutenant Governor - Democratic: May 4, 2010: Official Results”
  6. Ohio Secretary of State, “Governor And Lieutenant Governor - Libertarian: May 4, 2010: Official Results”
  7. Ohio Secretary of State, “Governor And Lieutenant Governor - Green: May 4, 2010: Official Results”
  8. The Cook Political, “Governors: Race Ratings”
  9. CQ Politics, “2010 Race Ratings: Governors”
  10. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball', “2010 Governor Ratings”
  11. Rasmussen Reports', “Election 2010: Scorecard Ratings”
  12. Rothenberg Political Report, “Governor Ratings”
  13. Ohio Secretary of State, “2010 Elections Results”, accessed September 14, 2010
  14. Ohio Secretary of State, Candidate Information, accessed July 19, 2010
  15. Quinnipiac, “Kasich Has Double-Digit Lead In Ohio Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Independent Voters Back Republican 2-1”, September 16, 2010
  16. Quinnipiac, “Strickland Holds Off Kasich In Tight Ohio Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Want Arizona-Type Immigration Law”, June 29, 2010
  17. Rasmussen Reports, “State Profiles: Ohio”, accessed August 30, 2010
  18. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Strickland (D) Gains Ground on Kasich (R)”, October 13, 2010
  19. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich (R) Keeps Lead Over Strickland (D)”, September 29, 2010
  20. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: Ohio Governor: Ohio Governor: Kasich (R) 47%, Strickland (D) 39%”, September 1, 2010
  21. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: Ohio Governor: Ohio Governor: Kasich (R) 48%, Strickland (D) 40%”, August 18, 2010
  22. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich (R) 45%, Strickland (D) 42%”, August 5, 2010
  23. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich (R) 48%, Strickland (D) 43%”, July 21, 2010
  24. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich (R) 47%, Strickland (D) 40%”, July 5, 2010
  25. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich 47%, Strickland 42%”, June 7, 2010
  26. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich 46%, Strickland 45%”, May 7, 2010
  27. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich 46% Strickland 45%”, April 1, 2010
  28. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich 49%, Strickland 38%”, March 8, 2010
  29. Rasmussen Reports, “Ohio Governor: Kasich 47%, Strickland 41%”, February 9, 2010
  30. Rasmussen Reports, “2010 Ohio Governor: GOP’s Kasich Remains Ahead of Incumbent Strickland”, January 14, 2010
  31. Rasmussen Reports, “In 2010 Ohio Governor Match-up, Strickland Trails Kasich”, December 9, 2009
  32. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at]
  33. Ipsos/Reuters, “Poll gives former Bush official big lead in Ohio”, September 28, 2010
  34. CBS News/NY Times, “Poll: Dogfight in Ohio Governor's Race”, September 28, 2010
  35. Dayton Daily News, “Ohio newspaper poll says governor's race tightens”, September 26, 2010
  36. Electronic Freedom Foundation, "Copyright Abuse in Ohio Governor Election," October 7, 2010
  37. Washington Post, "NRA backs Democrats in key races, frustrating GOP," October 6, 2010
  38. Obama to Ohio to Talk Jobs & Hear Some Anger
  39. The Washington Post, "Blue strongholds are becoming Democratic graveyards," September 21, 2010
  40. Quinnipiac, "Strickland Holds Off Kasich In Tight Ohio Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Want Arizona-Type Immigration Law ," June 29, 2010
  41. Rasmussen Reports, "Ohio Governor: Kasich (R) 47%, Strickland (D) 40%," July 5, 2010
  42. The Hill, "Ohio labor groups focused on governor’s race ," July 6, 2010
  43. Real Clear Politics, "Strickland Pushes Ohio's 2012 Firewall Strategy," September 29, 2010
  44. Ohio Secretary of State, “1998 General Election Results“
  45. Ohio Secretary of State, “2002 General Election Results“
  46. Ohio Secretary of State, “2006 General Election Results“
  47. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections', accessed July 28, 2010