The Republican is losing in the race to hold the Ohio seat held by Republican Bob Ney, the high-profile, once-powerful committee chairman who abandoned his reelection bid after recently pleading guilty to accepting money and gifts in an influence-peddling scandal. In that race, Democrat Zack Space leads Republican Joy Padgett, 45% to 36%. ~John Zogby
Note that OH-18 is the same district that Novak is listing as “leaning GOP” in his October 4 Report. One of these two is really, really wrong, and I am sorry to say that it seems to me that it is Novak who is badly mistaken. I don’t say that mainly or simply because I would prefer GOP defeat this year, but because what we have been hearing about seats such as OH-18 in particular point towards GOP gloom and worry. Trailing by nine points in OH-18 would make sense of that gloom. Having a decent shot at retaining the seat, which Novak’s projections suggest, would not.
However, let us bear in mind that Zogby can sometimes be impressively wrong–this is the man whose outfit predicted the great Kerry landslide, after all.
Update: As noted in a previous post, the OH-18 numbers are not the only ones that don’t match up in the two reports. They paint diametrically opposed pictures of IL-6 and CT-4 (Shays): Novak says they lean to the GOP, while Zogby shows the Democratic candidate leading by 5 points in both cases. Also, Zogby shows my own representative Heather Wilson trailing Madrid slightly in NM-1 in another district that Novak lists as “leaning GOP.” The most recent New Mexican polling among self-described likely voters, reported in The Albuquerque Journal, shows Wilson and Madrid tied at 44%. It sounds as if Zogby’s research is more accurate across the board.