Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Can The Democrats Win Back Ohio?


Ohio is the ultimate swing state and its 18 electoral votes are highly prized. After 1960-- when Ohio got it wrong and backed Nixon over Kennedy-- Ohio has been part of the winning coalition in every presidential race. In the 5 most recent Ohio results, George Bush beat Gore 49.97% to 46.46% and then beat Kerry 50.81% to 48.71%. Then Obama beat McCain 51.50% to 46.91% and beat Romney 50.67% to 47.69%. In 2016 they swung over to Trump, who beat Hillary 52.05% to 43.51%. She barely contested the state and her status quo message was all wrong anyway.

But looking at the state legislature, you'd never guess Ohio was so evenly divided. The super-gerrymandered state Senate has 24 Republicans and just 9 Democrats and the state House has 66 Republicans and just 33 Democrats. The congressional districts were carefully designed to send a disproportionate number of Republicans to Congress. Right now, Ohio's House delegation includes 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats. One senator is a Republican, Rob Portman (who was reelected in 2016 with 3,118,567 votes (58%) against Ted Strickland, an incredibly weak establishment Democrat, with 1,996,908 (37.2%). The other senator is a Democrat, Sherrod Brown, who was reelected in 2012 with 2,762,690 (50.7%) against Josh Mandel with 2,435,712 (44.7%). Brown is up for reelection in November. But the governor is termed out sp his seat is up for grabs on the same day. Can the Democrats take it back?

It's likely that Attorney General Mike DeWine will be the Republican nominee with Secretary of State Jon Husted as his running mate. The most recent poll shows that the Democrats will likely nominate Richard Cordray with former Congresswoman Betty Sutton as his running mate. All the Beltway prognosticators predict a Republican win but the most recent poll is too close to call-- DeWine 45% and Cordray 44%. The political climate in Ohio is turning blue because of Señor Trumpanzee's gigantic unpopularity. The newest pollsters point out that Trumpanzee "is wildly unpopular with Democrats at 13 percent approval and 84 percent disapproval. His approval with independents is also abysmal, with 39 percent supporting and 53 percent opposing. In Ohio independents determine election results and no one expects any of the Republican candidates to distance themselves from Trump at any point during the 2018 cycle, largely because of his 75 percent approval rating among Republicans. "Instead, despite his overall popularity, the Republican primary candidates have shunned Kasich, trying to distance themselves from the governor. At a forum in October, the then-four candidates couldn't muster any support for Kasich." Kasich's Lt. Governor, Mary Taylor, who has been endorsed by Kasich, "has actively tried to shed herself of any connection to the governor, claiming that he actually endorsed DeWine."

On the congressional field-- in spite of a wave election coming and in spite of competitive races at the top of the ticket-- the moribund Ohio Democratic Party has failed to recruit a single top tier candidate for any of the dozen red congressional seats. In fact Bill Johnson (OH-06-- PVI R+16) doesn't have any opponent at all. Other than Betsy Rader (OH-14), Rick Neal (OH-15)  and Ken Harbarbaugh (OH-07), none of the Democratic congressional candidates have raised enough money to run even the most bare-bones competitive races.
OH-01- Steve Chabot raised $328,219 to the top Democrat's $9,810
OH-02- Brad Wenstrump raised $490,378 to $7,543
OH-04- Jim Jordan raised $251,507 to $1,983
OH-05- Bob Latta raised $489,529 to $48,187
OH-06- Bill Johnson-- no opponent
OH-07- Bob Gibbs raised $369,236 to Ken Harbaugh's $418,694
OH-08- Warren Davidson [incomplete information]
OH-10- Michael Turner raised $419,678 to $0
OH-12 (Open) no one from either party is reporting much money yet
OH-14- David Joyce raised $871,810 to Betsy Rader's $258,178
OH-15- Steve Stivers raised $1,634,248 to Rick Neal's $122,183
OH-16 (Open)- Top raising Republicans Antony Gonzalez raised $626,770 and Tom Patton ($278,351) to Democrat Aaron Godfrey's $2,164

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At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... who is making ohio redraw its gerrymandered districts?

And in this hypothetical... the Ds still come out short.

And this doesn't even consider the effects of the hapless DxCCs, state party ineptitude and corruption.

And then, since the Rs still win, it doesn't account for the effects of the vote counting fraud and other vote rigging schemes coming from the OH sec state (I don't know who it is now, but I'm sure Mr. Blackwell will be tutoring him/her).

So the answer would appear to be HELL NO. And what diff would it make anyway?

See. I'm helping.

At 3:34 PM, Blogger ongho said...


I would appreciate your posting a consolidated list of progressive primary candidates who need help, such as Marie Newman. Marie is on the group at Act Blue that you linked, of course, but it would help to know whether there are worthy candidates who are desperate for resources and are not on the ActBlue list.



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