The Tea Party Flop

In the two months since my last post, the Tea Party faction of the Republican party rightfully decided to mount a primary challenge to John Kasich.  Ted Stevenot is a conservative grassroots leader and was willing to suffer the slings and arrows of a “hopeless” campaign against a “popular” sitting governor.  Well, maybe not.  (Kasich Catches a Break)

If given the choice between making a primary challenge versus voting a principled third-party, I would choose the primary 99 times out of 100.  Some Tea Party members (who weren’t enamored with the Republican party anyway) are willing to go third party instead of supporting John Kasich.  Former Republican Congressman Charlie Earl is running as a Libertarian and would likely take a few thousand votes away from Kasich, possibly allowing the Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald to win.  Instead I prefer a primary, and was excited about the potential Stevenot race.  He likely would have lost, but it would have forced Kasich to regularly address the concern of conservative voters.

Additionally, the elected GOP in Columbus acted unconstitutionally when they disallowed third parties to petition for the ballot.  (Libertarians Win Challenge).  So its back to Plan B for conservatives who will need to decide how they feel about their governor.  Kasich has risen in popularity with his support of Medicaid Expansion, but will this translate into votes?  Are Ted Strickland voters going to flip to Kasich?  How much abandonment can Kasich afford from those who voted for him in 2010?

I think by November, Kasich will win by maybe three points instead of two.  He will likely be asked about his national intentions for 2016, either as a candidate himself (he ran for President very briefly in 2000) or as a Vice-Presidential pick.  And if the Ohio Tea Party is smart, they’ll bring up Obamacare Expansion and how it was enacted without the approval of the legislature, and they’ll bring up the establishment mentality that tried to restrict choices on the ballot, then they’ll concede that Kasich is better than Fitzgerald, but then for 2016 they’ll point to Wisconsin and say “There is your Midwest Governor.”


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