Sunday, August 05, 2018

Will Trump Deliver A Deep Red Ohio House District To The Democrat On Tuesday?


On Tuesday there's a congressional special election in a very gerrymandered deep red district (OH-12) in central Ohio. It shouldn't even be competitive. But it is. The last time the district voted for a Democratic presidential candidate was just over a century ago. And the Democratic candidate, Danny O'Connor, isn't even any good-- just a run-of-the-mill right-of-center nothing, not much better than the run-of-the-mill right-of-center nothing the GOP is running, Troy Balderson. The only real issue Tuesday is Trump.

Yesterday, AP reported that, much to the chagrin of most Republican leaders, Trump is reshaping the midterm campaigns. Yesterday he was in Ohio doing a rally for Balderson, whose name he mixed up with another congressman's from the area last week with one of his one-size-fits-all inauthentic twitter endorsements. His "strategy of becoming aggressively involved in the midterm elections," reports AP, "is prompting concern among some Republicans who worry he's complicating the political calculus for GOP candidates trying to outrun his popularity. Those Republicans worry their statewide candidates may rise or fall based on Trump's standing, muddling their path to maintain control of Congress. But Trump has no plans to step out of the spotlight."
The president is casting himself as the star of the midterms, eagerly inserting himself into hotly contested primaries, headlining rallies in pivotal swing states and increasing his fundraising efforts for Republicans. Last week, Trump agreed to donate a portion of his reelection fund to 100 GOP candidates running in competitive House and Senate races.

He's expected to be even more aggressive in the fall. White House officials say he's reserving time on his schedule for midterm travel and fundraising likely to surpass that of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

"This is now about Donald Trump," said Al Cardenas, a former Florida Republican chairman. "It's a high-risk, high-stakes proposition."
The balance Republicans worry about is if the hardcore Trump supporters he turns out is greater than the Democrats and independents he riles up and gets to go to the polls to defeat his candidates. As AP pointed out "there are some signs that Trump's unpopularity with the general electorate may hamper more than help individual Republican candidates... [S]ome Republicans warn Trump's outsized media presence drowns out the messages of congressional candidates, who believe the path to victory lies with a focus on local issues, the Republican tax cuts and the prospect of Nancy Pelosi becoming House speaker again. In Ohio, Balderson and his GOP allies have tried to tie Democrat Danny O'Connor to Pelosi." It's a stretch that didn't work in the Pennsylvania race that put Conor Lamb in Congress in a much redder district than OH-12. But with Trump in the district there's no stretch for Democrats who want to tie Balderson to him and his unpopular policies. And there's more than his unpopular policies to tie Balderson to.

Henry Gomez was a well-known reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer who is now a political reporter for BuzzFeed. He hit on the worries of Ohio Republicans in his tweet above. As Trump headed to Ohio yesterday, his racist comments on LeBron, not the issues in the House race, were what people in OH-12 were talking about. The headline in the Plain Dealer: "President Trump slams LeBron James’ intelligence on Twitter, draws immediate negative reaction." Balderson (and NRCC chairman Steve Stivers, from a neighboring district) must have been swallowing antacids by the handful.

Trump's idiotic tweet was referencing LeBron’s CNN interview with Don Lemon. LeBron noted that Trump uses "sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to. Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings someone together."

The CNN interview was last Monday after James opened his I Promise School for third- and fourth-graders who are falling behind their peers academically in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. "On Saturday morning, in response to Trump's gratuitous attack, Lemon tweeted a link to his interview with James and this comment: 'Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages? #BeBest'." Trump sees two successful black men and the inner KKK-self he inherited from his father pops right out. Social media exploded with anti-Trump sentiments, many comparing LeBron's new school to the Trump University scam. Even Melania backed LeBron after her husband had made a complete and utter ass of himself. It's exactly the kind of distraction Republican leaders fear about Trump's participation in the midterms, not just in Ohio, but everywhere.

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At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH-12 has a Repub and a DINO competing for the seat? What was that Harry Truman once said about such contests?

Worried GOP will just dust off the Ken Blackwell strategy used to deny John Kerry the White House since they control the State. Winning isn't everything to them. It's the ONLY thing!

This would be a great opportunity for John Kasich to step in and ensure a clean election to show that he's truly the pragmatist he pretends to be on TV - but he won't step up. Republicans owe their souls to the Red Party Store.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Anthony said...

So far the only thing I've seen about Danny O'Connor that makes him better than the republican (other than not being a republican) is that he's against cuts for entitlements.


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