Ohio’s One Week Preview

Well there hasn’t been much excitement this election season as no changes are predicted.  The only unlikely surprise next Tuesday will be a Kasich victory of less than 5 points.  The Democrat challenger Ed FitzGerald has run a hapless campaign with zero help from the national party and has never come within 10 points in polling.  Still, true-blue Democrats and union members (although Kasich has received more union support than he did four years ago) will still turn out for their party.  Secondly, some Tea Parties are endorsing a no-vote on the Gubernatorial race.  Kasich has run with Medicaid expansion defending it on compassionate and even religious grounds.  He has also been very aloof on questions regarding Common Core, denying that it’s a problem while supporting School Board candidates who are supportive of it.  Kasich has also decreased Ohio’s debt while increasing government spending.  For fiscal conservatives, these present a problem which lead to Tea Party opposition.  But Kasich doesn’t care, and I believe this race will be called by 8pm.  Democrat-heavy Cuyahoga County is habitually late in turning in results, and Kasich better have his 5-10 point lead by then or else we might be in for a stunner.

The house races, gerrymandered as they are, are not going to be competitive.  The single unlikely exception might be the David Joyce race which had the strongest Tea Party challenge in May.  His northeastern-most district is used to pro-government Republicans with Joyce and his predecessor Steve LaTourette, but the blue-collar campaign of Michael Wager has been modestly strong.  LaTourette’s daughter, by the way, is running for Ohio House in the Republican stronghold of Geauga County.  But party will trump personality, and I expect these two GOP establishment-types to win, as will all existing GOP and Democrat officeholders.