Ohio Elections A Bellwether?

In an extraordinary election in a Southern Ohio district that has always been highly, highly, highly Republican district, Iraq War vet Paul Hackett came within 4 percentage points in a race against the Republican candidate Schmidt. 4,000 votes out of 114,000 cast – 52% to 48%.

In terms of the district’s voting record, etc. it was Schmidt’s win was supposed to be well into the double digits. To provide a bit of context, this is the same highly conservative area right around Cincinnati where the local prosecutors have followed up on their “People vs. Larry Flynt” fame by ensuring that local hotels face prosecution if their in-room movies feature any porn. A city that allows the Klan to put up crosses (not lit) every year at Christmas.

[quote]OH-2 Past Election Results:

2004: 72% to 28%

2002: 74% to 26%

2000: 74% to 23%

1998: 76% to 24%[/quote]

Throughout the election, Hackett took on a well-oiled political machine that took every opportunity to try to smearboat the man – including spreading false rumors about the man’s combat experience as a Marines major in Iraq. Hit with the truth, “Capt. Minamyer” who was spreading false info about Hackett, had to back down. http://ericminamyer.myblogsite.com/blog/_archives/2005/7/27/1083313.html

My view is that this is a bit like Rocky I – a close loss for a good candidate in a congressional district with a history (as recent as last November) of GOP margins of around 50% for the past 5 elections.

I agree with you, MFGR. I think this should be a real wake-up call to the GOP.

I haven’t been following the story that closely, but it certainly looks like the Republicans were a little over-confident in that race. They seem to have basically thought “We’re in a safe district, and we’re running against an ambulence chaser (er… ‘personal injury lawyer’) with virtually no political experience. It doesn’t really matter who who put up against this guy does it?”

So they pick some stiff that even conservative groups like Club For Growth think is a loser (apparently they publicly came out against Schmidt for her liberal tax-and-spend record). Result? An absurdly low turnout by the Republicans, and very nearly a victory for the personal injury lawyer.

The more optimistic Republicans all seem to be pointing to the poor GOP candidate, the massive support going into Ohio from Kos, moveon.org and other national left-leaning groups, and the fact that Hackett campaign adds showed him as a Bush supporter and tried to avoid mentioning the fact that he was a Democrat.

All that may well be. But at the end of the day the numbers you put up speak for themselves. This was a district that apparently voted for Bush to the tune of 62%. The fact that the Republican here only got 52% is a pretty poor showing. I suspect that the GOP will want to learn their lesson from this and put up a better candidate for this seat in 2006.

Spins away!

It’s a special election, but an “absurdly low turnout by the Republicans” can also be interpreted as a swing vote jumping ship and going Democrat. A “personal injury lawyer” can also be considered a “Marine major,” depending on the circumstances.

With a close result like this in the reddest of the red districts, no Republican seat is safe anymore.

Spins away!

It’s a special election, but an “absurdly low turnout by the Republicans” can also be interpreted as a swing vote jumping ship and going Democrat. A “personal injury lawyer” can also be considered a “Marine major,” depending on the circumstances. [/quote]

heh … yeah I did phrase things a bit differently than you, didn’t I? I had a feeling you’d like that :wink:

All spin aside, I do agree with you that this result has got to be a big concern for the Republicans. The two major parties have done a good enough job at gerrymandering their districts that of course the vast majority of incumbents will be re-elected, as they always are. But this is certainly one more indication that the GOP majorities in Congress are far from assured. If I were a Democrat there is no question that I would be very happy about the Ohio result.

Fair enough. I bet Schmidt is also very happy to be headed to Congress. Let’s check in with the GOP leadership.

“I can calculate the odds of a GOP congressional majority in January 2007, but you wouldn’t like that very much.”

:laughing:

Anything is possible I guess. It will be tough for the Democrats to turn it around in one election cycle, but then again most people didn’t think that the GOP would take the House in 1994 either. shrug

I certainly hope the Senate doesn’t change hands, largely because of the issue of federal judges. But some part of me holds out a small hope that a Democratic House might have a silver lining – that it might clash with the Republicans violently enough to get some healthy gridlock going to reign in Bush’s obscene spending and subsidies. (Yeah yeah, I know… but a fella can dream can’t he? :wink: )

I suspect the only reason we see results with this kind of R to D swing is because of “coingate” (google it, or read the latest Toledo Blade). If I understand “coingate” correctly, it was a massive theft of Ohio State public monies only possible thanks to apparent complicity/fraud/incompetence by many throughout the state GOP machine.

I wouldn’t read much into these results beyond Ohio, although I would lay money on BIGTIME Democratic gains in OH in '06 (for all the good that would do).

who counts the votes? i think we all know stalin’s quote alluding to such?

Ken Blackwell is the sec of state in ohio…he was also the chairman of the Bush campaign for the 2004 election…do i smell conflict of interest???

he was in charge of orchestrating the physical aspects of election day. strangely the northern districts of ohio (read: liberals, minorites dominate the region) had far fewer voting machines than they had in southern ohio (read: hicksville, right-wing nutville). consequently the lines were very long in the north. far fewer people were able to reach the polls.

isn’t that curious?

stay tuned. there are few books coming out soon that will examine the mess that took place in 2004.

almost 20 marines from a small town in ohio have died “over there” in the past two days. one can but ponder the impact of such if it had happened a day earlier.

excellent point!

Link to story?

I grew up in Ohio.

Link to story?

I grew up in Ohio.[/quote]
Ohio
It’s just real sad.

Thanks for the link.

Here is another I found. It is an Ohio-based Marine Corps Battalion. One of the guys was from my hometown.

Capsules of Ohio Marines Killed in Iraq

What on earth will happen to the GOP if a lot more vets start coming back to run on anti-war platforms? Hackett lost in probably the only Ohio congressional district in which the guy could have lost – i.e., if he’s able to cut a 50% margin down to 4% in the reddest of the red districts he could probably go for a substantial statewide office in 2006.

FYI
The signs used by Mr. Hackett did NOT indicate he was running on the Democrat ticket.
Ain’t that a hoot!

I guess you haven’t been in the U.S. for a long time. Most of the signs I used to see were pretty simple:

“SCHMIDT for Congress”

or

“SO-AND-SO for U.S. Senate”

That’s just how it is. Now, if somebody expects to be a big nobody and has to rely completely upon their political affiliation to get any votes at all, then I suppose you have to put up ads that say:

“so-and-so: REPUBLICAN for Congress”

Evidently Schmidt and Hackett didn’t think they had to do so. Schmidt was a long-time politician. Both Schmidt and Hackett went through extensively covered primary processes. Reading through the Cincinnati newspaper websites over the past while, it’s pretty clear that everybody knew these guys were running against each other.

I don’t get it.

One can vote for sheeps in Ohio? :loco:

As usual, Hobbes is gracious to a fault. (you’re wrong about President Bush, though, Hobbes)

If a Democrat war hero loses to a sub-standard Republican (by Hobbes’ standard, anyway) in an election, this is clearly a victory for the GOP.

Hope and roughly $2 will buy you a cup of coffee in today’s USA, as I’m thinking you must know, mofangongren.

I mean, come on. By my reckoning, we Americans don’t usually count victories as such until they’re, well, victories.

$0.02

[quote=“flike”]If a Democrat war hero loses to a sub-standard Republican (by Hobbes’ standard, anyway) in an election, this is clearly a victory for the GOP.
Hope and roughly $2 will buy you a cup of coffee in today’s USA, as I’m thinking you must know, mofangongren.
I mean, come on. By my reckoning, we Americans don’t usually count victories as such until they’re, well, victories.
$0.02[/quote]
flike -
Mr. Hackett is a member of an active Marine reserve unit, did a tour in Iraq and is scheduled to return for another tour. That is a commendable record of service.
However, do you have a link to what makes him a “war hero” ?
I would like to share this information with other Marines, both retired and active, who would be interested in his story.
Thanks for the link and info.