Sunday, January 07, 2018

Ohio GOP Challenge To Sherrod Brown Falls Apart


Ohio is one of those super-gerrymandered states whose state legislative districts and congressional districts were drawn by the Republicans to make it impossible for Democrats to win seats. Keep in mind that Obama won statewide in 2008 and 2012— 2,940,044 (51.38%) to 2,677,820 (46.80%) in 2008 and 2,827,709 (50.67%) to 2,661,437 (47.69%) in 2012. Yet Ohio has a very static and very lopsided state legislature with 24 Republicans and 9 Democrats in the state Senate and a 66-33 GOP margin in the state House. The congressional delegation includes 12 Republicans and just 4 Democrats. It’s a 50/50 state with overwhelming GOP majorities in every gerrymandrable body.

In 2012 Sherrod Brown was up for reelection and the Republicans ran the state treasurer Josh Mandel, a very reactionary Tea Party-backed hack. Brown beat him 2,762,757 (50.7%) to 2,435,740 (44.7%). Mandel underperformed Romney significantly. Brown spent $24,576,288 on the race to Mandel’s $18,868,809, although this was evened out by right-wing groups spending $23.4 million in support of Mandel (compared to just $15.2 million that Democratic groups spent for Brown).

2018 was looking like a rematch, although a crackpot Trumpist, multimillionaire bankster Mike Gibbons, was challenging Mandel in the GOP primary. As of the Sept. 30 FEC reporting deadline Brown had raised $13,735,090 to the $5,289,238 Mandel had raised and $1,112,214 that the lunatic Trumpist had brought in. But everything changed on Friday when Mandel suddenly withdrew from the race (to spend more time with a suddenly ill wife), leaving the GOP stuck with the lunatic Trumpist. By the way, Trump wiped out Hillary in Ohio— one of the primary reasons he’s in the White House and she isn’t. The score was 2,841,005 (51.69) to 2,394,164 (43.56%). Preserving the status quo was exactly what Ohio voters did not want to hear about.

The Republican Party now faces a February 7 filing deadline to find a normal candidate or look forward to being eviscerated with the Trumpist next November. The primary is May 8th. Keep in mind, Mandel, though supported by the established was already pretty extreme and spouting nonsense and lies regularly. Gibbons, though, is like from another planet altogether. Independent voters (and moderate Republicans) aren’t going vote for him and if they stay away from the polls, the governorship could fall to Democrat Richard Cordray and there might even be a chance for Democrats to pick up as couple of gerrymandered seats (like OH-15 where Rick Neal is an extraordinary candidate).

Top tier Republican candidates are reluctant to run in a Trump-Centric election cycle. Possible replacements include Rep. Jim Renacci and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who are both in the crowded gubernatorial race, though neither is favored in the primary for that race. Gibbons, who already put $500,000 of his own into the race, said he’s prepared to spend another $5 million of his own to buy the seat if necessary.

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At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Fingers crossed for Brown in Ohio and any and all other Dems running anywhere. The Blue Wave needs to be a tsunami. This whole train wreck must be stopped. The Republicans, every single one of them, are evil traitors who have shown themselves willing to ruin democracy for the billionaire class that pulls their strings.

The gerrymandering and voter suppression must stop as well. Dems must win in spite of them and it will be a hard battle.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The OH sec state determines who counts and possibly how. Who is that. And why is that never mentioned?


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