Shifting Sands - Ohio Primaries

Friday, May 05, 2006
Michael Barone did an excellent overview piece on the Ohio primaries, paying particular attention to statewide turnout and the contrast between previous primary results and the general election which follows.

His concluding statement has an air of prophecy:

Somehow, despite all the discouraging news and dismal poll numbers, there are a lot of plodding, dull, dutiful people, too stubborn to take instruction from their betters in the mainstream media, who insist on going out and voting Republican. Hard to explain. But that's what the numbers seem to say.

A more detailed review of the results on a district by district basis reveal that there are two (out of twelve Republican districts) in which Democrats can be said to have any hopes at all of picking up seats. Ney (OH-18) will have difficulty should he decide to stay in competition through November (although he did still hold an edge in total votes cast in the primary) and LaTourette (OH-14) is in a similiar condition. The third 'targeted' candidate is Pryce in OH-15 but her base support is unwavering and the possibility of a Dem pickup is close to nil.

There have been rumors that Ney will withdraw in plenty of time for a substitute to be selected and should that occurr the district's strong Republican registration edge should carry his replacement into office. LaTourette is facing a law professor who has published enough to provide ample material which his strongly Republican (Bush 63%) district will be given opportunity to examine very closely. The Democratic candidate in the 18th is Zack Space - a divorce (oops - "family law") attorney. Great pick, nothing like starting with both feet in a bucket.

Ohio was announced as a 'focus' state for Democratic efforts. The current Republican administration in the state has been notable both in its ineptitude and in its inability to hew to ethical standards. Ney is closely tied to the Abramoff scandal and the convergence of scandal was (in theory) sufficient to motivate voters to switch.

If Tuesday's results are any measure, the Democrats better polish up 'Plan B' because 'Plan A' appears to have been formulated upon unfounded assumptions.


loner said...

It's May.

Nonetheless, Dennis the Peasant, I sense, knows Ohio better than both Hugh and Michael.


Rick Ballard said...


It is May. Things can change and I think that I might have mentioned that from time to time. It is rather evident that the Dem Plan A is dependent upon a groundswell that shows up in the for hire polls but seems invisible at the actuall polls.

I didn't mention Blackwell or Hewitt and I don't particularly disagree with that DtP has to say concerning Blackwell.

loner said...


Lakers-Suns has me thinking too much.


terrye said...

One thintg the Ohio Republicans have going for them is the Ohio Democrats.

David Thomson said...

“One thintg the Ohio Republicans have going for them is the Ohio Democrats.”

Let’s take that one more step:

One thing all Republicans have going for them are the Democrats.

The hard left seems too influential even in a lot of statewide races throughout the country. They will push many candidates too far to the left. I'm starting to get fairly optimistic.

Rick Ballard said...


If Ohio was actually a big 'focus' state then their candidate selection process needs a bit of work. In the four districts where they have a prayer the candidates are:

OH-14 - law professor
OH-15 - public interest lawyer
OH-16 - pastor
OH-18 - divorce lawyer

Three lawyers and a pastor. Last time I looked Congress was chuck full of lawyers, what kind of positive 'change' might be effected by adding three more? I could understand a pastor, based simply on the premise that prayer is the only remaining hope.

There's still plenty of time for a big Rep screwup and there's always the possibility that the Dems have crafted a "a car in every pot and two chickens in every garage" plan that might be as effective as the Contract With America. Not a huge possibility but we'll have to wait and see.

David Thomson said...

“...and there's always the possibility that the Dems have crafted a "a car in every pot and two chickens in every garage" plan that might be as effective as the Contract With America.”

The economic policies of the “mainstream” Democrats will not win elections in red and purple states. The majority of these voters may not be as libertarian as myself---but they no longer feel comfortable with heavy governmental intrusion in the private sector. On top of that, the GOP wins on security issues. The Republicans will have to foolishly defeat themselves. Sigh, this admittedly is always a possibility.

George W. Bush’s numbers are apparently up to 38%. This likely means that at least 48% of likely voters would still vote for him today. My guess is that translates into an easy 52% vote total for the Republican candidates. Their own numbers should usually be slightly higher that the President’s.