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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ohio 2006

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Ohio potentially offers 2 of the most hotly contested races in the 2006 election cycle.  By virtue of the status that accompanies these seats, and the fact that they are in Ohio -- focus on these races will not be spared by media, party, and pundits alike.

So, let's take a first look?

Current Governor of Ohio: Bob Taft (Term Limited)

Current Senator up for re-election: Mike DeWine

More below the jump...

The villains

Governor Bob Taft:  He isn't running, but one thing isn't for sure; Taft is not the most popular Governor east of the Mississippi -- even within his own party.

Many of us remember the comments about Governor Taft made by Conan the Republican, Grover Norquist, shortly before the election.

We have an idiot, stupid, corrupt, dumb rotten republican Governor in that State... who has been busy looting the state, raising taxes, lying to the gun owners.

Ohio is the only state that in the nation that has lost jobs and isn't recovering because he's been beating the economy to death in the state. But he's not on the ballot, George Bush is on the state. It's not helpful, he should be taken out and horsewhipped.

This seat is prime for a pick-up; one of the names I keep hearing over and over again, ready for a Republican run is Kenneth Blackwell.  That's right, THE Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell.

Corruption and enabling an unfair voting process obviously has its perks in the Republican party. 

Other potential candidates include Attorney General Jim Petro and Auditor Betty Montgomery.  An initial poll has Blackwell faring best among those candidates with 36% -- to Montgomery 21% -- to Petro at 18%.

Then there is United States Senator Mike DeWine; who kind of looks like a garden gnome to me...

Here is the chart for DeWine.  Check out his positions HERE

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But enough of them, let's talk about the good guys.

Ted Strickland

One Democrat who seems to have his sites set on Bob Taft's seat is Congressman Ted Strickland.

I had the opportunity to meet and listen to Congressman Strickland a few times while I was working in Ohio for the 2004 election.  He seemed like he was already campaigning for a state-wide office.  He took the cycle to travel from corner to corner in the state, stumping for the President, Eric Fingerhut, and a full-slate of Democratic challengers for Congress.

He is a very bright candidate, but not the kind of guy that makes you get out of your seat and start a mosh pit at a party rally.  Besides, when I saw him speak, it was normally along side of Tim Ryan and Sherrod Brown.  Those two will infect you with the "spirit" when listening to them.

You can learn more about him on the issues, HERE.  People also seem to like the chart, so here it is as well.

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Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

Yup, Jerry Springer.  Love him or think he is a hazard to the Democratic Party, he has done an immense amount of work for Democrats in and out of the state.

You can check out his blog HERE. I bet you didn't know that Kos himself along with Jesse from Pandagon, and Jerome from MyDD are contributors to Jerry's blog.  Well, they are.

Here is the thing about Jerry.  Unlike Eric Fingerhut, name recognition is not a problem. Everyone knows Jerry.  Not only that, he has access to several boatloads full of cash.  He already had over $1 million in a campaign account before he decided to pull-out of the 2004 Senatorial race.

Just to show you how popular Jerry Springer is in some circles, he was named the Democrat of the Year for 2004 in the state of Ohio.

Most assume that Jerry will run for the Senate seat, although that is in question.  He may choose to attempt a gubernatorial run.  It wouldn't be the first time either.  In 1982 Springer ran for governor, but came in 3rd in the Democratic primary.

Jerry is a very dynamic speaker, but might have a tough time putting that television show of his behind him.  There is also the small story of a check he should have never written.

Michael Coleman

Coleman is the mayor of Columbus, the state capital of Ohio.  If Coleman does decide to throw his hat into a ring, it will be in the race for Governor.

There was an article yesterday in the Canton Repository about Coleman and another candidate, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, saying they would not run against each other in the primary.

Coleman has made some headlines lately, participating in a movement to remove the Ohio State Party Chairman, Dennis White, from office.  Many believe there is a "pattern of failure" within the Ohio Democratic Party, and White needs to go.

Coleman has stopped short of calling for White's job.

Don Plusquellic

Plusquellic is the Mayor of Akron and has indicated in the past that he has no intention of running for office.  But now that, "Ohio is in such bad condition," he will consider the possibility of running for Governor.

Plusquellic has been the mayor of Akron since 1987.  He is also the president of the United States Council of Mayors.

Sherrod Brown

I cannot say enough about Sherrod Brown.  He is the best, the greatest, one-of-a-kind.

I haven't seen much about his desire to run for Senate, but gosh I wish he would. Don't get me wrong, there are rumblings within the state party establishment, but I think Democrats might move aside for Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

If you don't want to read lavish praise tossed upon a man for several paragraphs, feel free to skip to the end and comment on the upcoming races.

Here is the chart on Sherrod.

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From an entire post on Swing State Project I wrote about the Congressman.

The first time I met Congressman Sherrod Brown (Dem. OH-13), he was speaking to a relatively small group of 40 people at a barbecue in Medina, Ohio.  Of all the candidates/electeds I met while working on the Seemann campaign (OH-16), I left Ohio impressed with none more so than Sherrod Brown.

He spoke eloquently and calmly about the importance of the 2004 Presidential Election.  Then his focus shifted, his voice rose, and his passion increased as he started talking about Republicans holding the Medicare vote open until 6 A.M. to gain the votes necessary in the House to pass the prescription drug bill.

He gave us the inside baseball you rarely read in the papers or watch on the television.  Blow by blow about ranking members coercing, threatening, and strong-arming Republicans opposed to the bill until they collected enough votes for passage.  Stories like Congressman Nick Smith (Rep. MI) being offered money for his son's Congressional campaign if he would switch his vote. 

In fact, Congressman Brown has won statewide office before.  In 1982 and 1986 he was voted in as Secretary of State in Ohio.  He can win in a state-wide election.  He has before.  It is my most sincere wish that he try it again.  And soon.  Say 2006?

So, that's the run down as I see it today.  If it was Final Jeopardy, I would guess you will see Strickland and Coleman in a primary for Governor & Jerry Springer unchallenged in the race for Senate.  But who the hell knows in Ohio.

Posted at 12:23 AM in Ohio | Technorati


Dems in Ohio have told me that Tim Ryan is definitely a strong contender to overtake DeWine. He's young and likable. More info...


Posted by: AnthonySF at December 30, 2004 02:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Um, didn't Dewine win with 2/3 of the vote last time?

Wishful thinking at best to think he can be knocked off, unless something goes horribly wrong for him, or are you all are privy to special data?

Posted by: JS at December 30, 2004 07:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

PS -- OK, so it wasn't quite 2/3. It was 60%-36%. And apparently the challenger was a weak candidate.

One year ago Dewine's approval rating was 63% (with 19% disapproving).

Who knows, maybe you're right. Maybe he will become vulnerable, I just don't see it.

Posted by: JS at December 30, 2004 07:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You can take Sherrod Brown's name off the list.

He personally told me he's not running for Governor in '06. His staff says the same thing.

Posted by: Jeff Seemann at December 31, 2004 05:12 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Springer would be an automatic loser. The guy isn't exactly Mr. Morality.

Posted by: Manny at December 31, 2004 07:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Michael Coleman would be a good guy for either. Mayors are much better candidates. Unlike members of Congress, they actually have a record of accomplishment, not just votes. Mayor Coleman has done some great things in Columbus, here's an article I wrote about him at my old job.

Posted by: DaveB at December 31, 2004 08:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Do you have a post where you explain the charts? They look remarkably like the political-quiz generated charts, but have "populism" instead of "authoritarian", which are quite different things.

Posted by: loser at January 1, 2005 12:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Although i feel Strickland would be a great candidate for Senate i would rather see Strickland run for governor. I would like to see a more energetic candidate for senate such as Ryan or Springer. Whatever happens it will be a very exciting next couple of years in Ohio politics.

Posted by: Jason at January 1, 2005 09:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Tim Ryan is great and incredibly dynamic. His one setback might be the he would have only been a two term House rep. Actually, dont know if this is a problem or not, but we'll see. Dewine from what I gather is not as popular as Voinovich. But the approval numbers on Dewine upthread look disppointing. Unless he is really vulnerable, I would rather have someone less, maybe Strickland take on Dewine. Since BRown is out of the governor's race, it seems, I would like Michael Coleman there.

Posted by: T at January 2, 2005 06:13 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

A person recently asked where the charts come from. Visit here and you'll find links to these charts along with explanation for both senators and all 18 congresspersons in Ohio.

My site will be dedicated to all federal and state races in Ohio in 2006, 2008 and beyond. We will focus on races as well as possible ballot initiatives that will benefit the underrepresented people of Ohio.


Posted by: Paul at January 2, 2005 11:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

My favorite Jerry Springer quote is, "The good news is everyone knows who I am, while the bad news is everyone knows who I am." It's a very interesting candidacy for statewide office, since he's got a real game to himself. He could finish every stump speech with a final thought and say that he has a lot of experience with getting out of disastrous situations.

Posted by: dstein at January 4, 2005 10:17 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment