Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Shot Over the Bow

The Republican candidate for the Ohio 2nd district narrowly defeated the Democratic contender in a special election to fill a vacant Congressional seat. When I say narrow, I mean a 4% margin (52-48%) of victory. What makes this so important? The Republican Congressman who vacated the seat won the last election 70-30%. The seat is in an overwhelmingly Republican strong hold, and has been in GOP hands for the past 40 years.

The Democratic nominee, Paul Hackett, was no right of center person running in a democrats clothing either. Mr. Hackett continually harangued President Bush and his policies throughout the race. Many see this as an early referendum on the GOP controlled government, the war in Iraq, and the plague of ethical problems the White House and Congress have been facing. There will be many GOP strategists sitting up and taking notice of this election.

GOP Wins U.S. House Election in Ohio


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Good post. I heard about this. I'm not sure it's a 'referendum' as you say, but it is telling.

The fact that it's been GOP for so long skews any real tea leaf readings.

The riding is urban and here was no mention of how big a role local matters played in the election. Remember Tip O'neill.

Dingo said...

I am sure that there was some play due to the Gov.'s current ethics problems, but the campaign was mainly of the GOP candidate saying when would give the president complete support, and the Dem candidate saying he would fight the president. What was also surprising was that Hackett won the more rural of the districts counties where Bush had done the best in 2004. I really don't know how to read that at all.

ilona said...

I don't know how much you'd weight my opinion on the basis of living in Ohio - but I think you may read alot into this shift if it remains steady. And the Governor has a lot to do with it, along with lots of shady politics on other levels.

I'm fairly typical conservative voter, and I am ready to vote for an independent party- I don't care if it is "throwing away" a vote, but the feeling is decidedly against what the Republican party has served up here in local politics.

For me, I am still completely supportive of President Bush, but that may be something that others in Ohio don't share.

But Taft and his administration have soured many, and I don't think the Republican party yet realizes how badly. I know I won't vote for anyone remotely connected with him. I don't know that I would go so far as to vote for the Dem. candidates being fielded.

On the other hand, I likely will vote Republican for a presidential race. I think lots of other Ohioans are like me in that you couldn't find them embracing the Democrats platform on the national level. At least not as things stand now.

Dingo said...

Ilona, yes, I am sure you are right in that there are many factors that went into the close race (Taft being one of them). But Bush's approval/disapproval rating has been slipping in Ohio, just like everywhere else. Statewide, his disapproval rating is now at 57%.