Saturday, April 28, 2018

Republican Gerrymandered OH-12 Special Election Now Rated A Toss Up


OH-12 should be a competitive district. But the Republican-controlled legislature gerrymandered it in such a way as to make it safe for Republicans. Pat Tiberi, first elected in 2000, has never had a competitive race, not just because the Ohio Democratic Party died some years ago, but because Democrats knew the boundaries made running there a waste of time. A Republican has held the congressional seat since 1983. But, sick of Trump, Tiberi decided to retire this year and OH-12 is now an open seat with an August 7 special election. The district spreads out from Columbus' northern University District and the suburbs north and east of the city-- Worthington, Dubin, Westerville, New Albany, Gahanna to Delaware County in the north and way up to Mansfield and Bellville and as far east as Newark, Zanesville and beyond. Trump had no trouble beating Hillary in this R+7 district. He took 53.2% to her 41.9%. But yesterday... out of the blue, the Cook Report announced that the OH-12 special election is now a toss up. Where did that come from?

Like I said, the Ohio Democratic Party is essentially dead and there are no thrilling candidates among the half dozen or so Democrats running for the party nomination May 8. The establishment candidate is Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor although Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott is supposed to be competitive with him, as is a 27-year-old Galena farmer, John Russell, the progressive and grassroots activist in the race. Scott has gone out of his was to claim the mantle of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party and to make sure voters know he's not a progressive-- a really dumb more in a Democratic primary. O'Connor is nearly as bad, but keeping it more to himself. Both loudly claim they wouldn't vote for Pelosi as speaker.

On the Republican side, there are even more candidates with a bitter primary bitting far right crackpot Melanie Leneghan-- backed by the neo-fascist Freedom Caucus (and endorsed by Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows)-- Troy Balderson, an establishment centrist endorsed by Tiberi (who put $150,000 into the race), and the local fave, Carol O'Brien, a county prosector. As of the March 31 FEC reporting deadline, there were six candidates who had raised enough money to run competitive campaigns:
Tim Kane (R)- $427,493
Troy Balderson (R)- $415,724
Melanie Leneghan (R)- $375,901
Carol O'Brien (R)- $193,387
Danny O'Connor (D)- $161,951
Kevin Bacon (R)- $146,928
So how does Cook call it a toss-up when it isn't even clear who the candidates will be? Trump. They're now assuming the election will be a referendum on the increasingly unpopular Trump-- especially in Ohio's most highly educated and most affluent district.

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At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're talking about polling. polling.

Talk to us about who will "count" the votes... and who will restrict certain voters from voting in any number of ways that both parties have practiced over the years... THEN tell us how a toss-up it is.



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