Thursday, August 04, 2005

Ohio $.02

So much has been made over Hackett's near-loss in Ohio's 2nd district and about how it means that Dems can win anywhere and that the Repubs are on the wane. One huge point that everyone mentions but glosses over its importance is that Hackett is a soldier fighting in Iraq. This is huge rock-star status in GOPland. Hackett's near-success should be credited to the GOP's formula of (criticize anything about the war in Iraq) = (Terrorist lover) backfiring on them. Oh, sure, they desperately tried to smear Hackett, but it obviously didn't work.

The Dems cannot expect to do this well in red areas of the country unless they plan on running Iraq War veterans in every race.


Otto Man said...

True, I-Rod, the veteran status gave Hackett a big boost, but it was somewhat offset by his calling the president a threat to America and an SOB. ("That ought to hold the little SOBs!")

All in all, I think there are lessons from Hackett that can be applied elsewhere -- candidates should take aggressive stands on privacy and against the rise of the religious right (Hackett's line about "I don't need Washington to tell me how to live my private life or how to pray to my God"); they should harp on the GOP scandals (pronounced in Ohio, but everywhere really); and they should look closely at Hackett's liberal-libertarianism.

I think pressing all three of these buttons at once would help Democrats across the country, since there's a rising dissatisfaction with Bush and the GOP, one that's felt the most keenly in the libertarian wing of the party that's scared shitless over the religious right. That's where these things can be won.

Otto Man said...

Charlie Cook's reaction (stolen from Kos): "For Ohio Republicans, this is a wake-up call that they have very big problems in the Buckeye State as they gear up for 2006 when an open governorship, a potentially vulnerable Senate incumbent with problems in his own base, and theoretically up to eight House seats that Democrats could realistically target will be on the ballot. Of those eight House seats, not one is as remotely as Republican as the [OH-02] district."

Yossarian said...

This district usually goes republican by 40 points. Hackett brought that margin down to 4. That's huge. And it wasn't just his veteran status. It was also his stance on guns, unemployment, and farm relief programs (all huge issuses in this district). If you look at the break down by county, Hackett crushed Schimdt in the most rual parts, but he lost in suburbs of Cincinnati with it's McMansions.

Also there was a 28% turnout when only a 15% was expected. And in many special elections (sad but true) you will only see 8-10% coming out to vote.

Can we expect to win statewide in '06? Well, Right now the republicans are running Ken "Kathleen Harris of '04" Blackwell, and Jim Petro and Betty Montgomery for Governor. The Last two are involved with coingate (how much is not yet known). So we have a chance there. Plus we have two great candidates on the deoms side already.

As far as Senate - Mike DeWine is still very strong here. His son spent $800,000 in a primary bid against Jean Schmidt (and he came in 4th!!!!) (AND it averaged out to $194 he spent on every vote!!!!!!- I think thats a record) But as of now nowbody has stepped up and announced that they will run - I did get a phone survey from Jerry Springer though (I am not kidding)