Democrats Might Not Blow the Next Election… Developing…

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As the master political analyst Michael Barone likes to point out, early turnout in primaries in special elections and primaries is a pretty good indicator of what shape the political parties are in. Last night Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina had their primaries, and the between-the-lines news bodes pretty well for the Party of Death.

In Ohio, statewide, Republicans Ken Blackwell and Jim "Blind People Suck" Petro were battling for the gubernatorial nomination while Democrat Ted Strickland was facing only token opposition for his party's nod. The Republican race had slighly higher turnout to the tune of 60,000 votes. But in the rest of the races, Democrats outpaced the GOP. The most dramatic race was in the rural 6th district, which borders on Ohio West Virginia and voted basically 50-50 Bush-Kerry. Democrat Charlie Wilson had seemed to blow this one when he filed his candidate petitions—he needed 50 legitimate signatures from voters and somehow failed to get them. In order to win the primary Wilson needed to get more write-in votes than two opponents, and since the candidate was a state senator from a district that didn't much overlap with the 6th, Republicans thought they could block him. The GOP House committee bought ads attacking one of Wilson's lame opponents, who was on the ballot, thinking they could build up his name recognition and get a critical mass of voters to pull his lever instead of writing in Wilson's name. But Wilson pulled through with 43,692 votes out of a total 65,797. The Republicans' preferred candidate won his primary with a lousy 18,356 votes out of 37,596. Again—this is a district where Bush and Kerry ran even. Where'd the Republicans go?

Indiana looked about the same for both parties. The most surprising race there was probably in the 8th district in Evansville and Terra Haute, a swing seat that voted 62-38 for Bush in 2004. Neither party's candidate had an opponent, and incumbent Republican John Hostettler (one of six GOP votes against the Iraq War in 2003) got 27,366 votes. But Democrat Brad Ellsworth got 43,213 votes.

None of these races are over until November, but these results hint that the GOP's low poll numbers and scandals are actually having an impact. If you've got stock in any red paint-making companies: Sell.

NEXT: Better 88 Years Late Than Never

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  1. The most dramatic race was in the rural 6th district, which borders on Ohio and voted basically 50-50 Bush-Kerry.

    I think you meant another state.

  2. in the rural 6th district, which borders on Ohio

    You mean borders on Michigan, I think.

  3. It’s about time Reason got a serious propeller head elections nerd. More Weigel, less Rand! But next time, let’s have a precint-level breakout of data. This congressional district shit is so coarse-grained.

  4. As an Evansville resident, I can tell you that the most exciting election news was the Republican primary race for Sheriff. Upstart Goedde, upset his leadership anointed opponent.

  5. Levies and tax proposals failed uniformly in Ohio, as far as I can tell. Not good news for the busybody party, the Democrats.

  6. Not good news for the busybody party, the Democrats.

    Oh please. The Republicans have become twice the “busybody party” the Democrats ever hoped to be.

  7. I don’t know–if the Republicans nominate the re-animated corpse of Adolf Hitler to run on their ticket in the next election, I think the Democrats will still find a way to nominate somebody Americans like even less.

    I wish they’d stop talking about what a “strong candidate” Hillary Clinton is. I cringe just thinking about it.

  8. I don’t know–if the Republicans nominate the re-animated corpse of Adolf Hitler to run on their ticket in the next election, I think the Democrats will still find a way to nominate somebody Americans like even less.

    I wish they’d stop talking about what a “strong candidate” Hillary Clinton is. I cringe just thinking about it.

  9. Hardin, don’t know if you’re from Ohio, like me, but Republicans are just as confiscatory in their policies as the Dems here (it’s just a matter of degree, not kind). Bob Taft spends and destroys budgets in a way that would make Lyndon Johnson proud. No wonder Dubya loves Ohio’s guv’na so much …

    Blackwell did well among the rural bible thumpers, and moderate Steve Forbes types who overlook Blackwell’s rightward social outlook in the hope that our Secretary of State might make a more fiscally responsible conservative, rather than the tax-spend GOP idiot we currently have in the Governor’s mansion.

    If you look at the big city results, Jim Petro actually did better with URBAN Republicans (who tend to be more socially moderate like Columbus’ former Gay-friendly Republican mayor, Greg Lashutka), even beating Blackwell by five percentage points among Republican primary voters in Franklin County (Columbus, OH).

    Personally, I think Petro gets a bum rap, as he’s no more criminal than our other Republican state officials, including the Guv’nor and Blackwell (who is not without muddy fingers). Consider that a backhanded compliment …

    The general public is disgusted with both parties, and since the Democrats in Ohio are hopelessly unorganized and dimwitted (I’m a libertarian who registers Democratic only because I find the Bible Thumping Fascism of Ohio GOP extremely disgusting). Providing the economy does not get significantly worse in the state, the Democratics will not pick up significant votes. The voter mindsind is that we might have wobbly tires (GOP), but that other used tire shop (DNC) hasn’t proven they have better merchandise.

    Finally, I laugh at all the idiot Ohioans (of any party) who voted for the Gay Marriage Ban in 2004 (I didn’t vote on it, being in Iraq at the time). The morons worded the law in such a way that it actually allows many heterosexual domestic partner abusers to escape prosecution. That’s really showing those gays!!

  10. I wish they’d stop talking about what a “strong candidate” Hillary Clinton is. I cringe just thinking about it.

    Personally, I cringe more at Obama than Hillary. Being an African-American, I’m amazed how he’s portrayed as the Second Coming of Martin Luther Christ, while at the same time he’s trying to beat the drum for bombing Iran (having never served, I’m sure War Part Two is nothing more than an abstract policy paper to his Harvard Egghead), and rubberstamping COINTELPRO The Next Generation (Patriot Act).

  11. If only there were a relatively moderate, highly qualified Libertarian on the ballot.

    It wasn’t reported in the news, but the Peirce/Noble campaign met the May 1 deadline for turning in their petitions. 5,000 valid signatures were required and they delivered 13,394:

    http://www.peirceforohio.com/in-the-news

    I’m not sure when GOP primary winner Blackwell’s crew will finish validating the signatures, but at this point things are looking good for at least 3 choices on the ballot in November.

  12. Evan,

    Did you happen to be at Foxfield on Saturday? I was the drunk, shirtless, loud, white guy wearing BDU pants.

  13. Yeah, Ohio is a lost cause. If it’d wag a Bible around the rubes would elect a can of Pringles to office. They just fall for it again and again.

    Ohio seems to have two sorts of politicians: loathesome apparatchiks and boring apparatchiks. The LA won the republican primary and will run against a BA in the fall. Two BAs will compete for the senate.

  14. I don’t know what stocks my retirement account chooses to buy, but it seems like the red paint company could easily re-deploy as Hillary’s collectivist medicine finally goes from dream to reality over the next five years.

    Red paint is the most elastic of all the colours! I think my artist wife told me that it is the most expensive too, because of ingredient costs.

  15. other mark: nah, I was in a Cessna Skyhawk at 6500 feet somewhere between here and Ashville, NC.

  16. Dave:

    06 is a “blue moon” election down here in NC, meaning no gub’ner or US Sen races to draw voters attention. As such, a very light turnout is be expected. This makes it hard to draw big conclusions about where voters are, but not impossible. Even further inside baseball, though, is the fact that conservatives DID turn out to oust a state GOP rep who had basically gone over to the Dems the past few years in exchange for a big hunk of power. In sum — big news flash — voters MIGHT turn out if they think there is a point to it all.

  17. Evan, here in NJ we have the same thing with the GOPhers in the more rural counties. They prohibit the building of transporation infrastructure in the name maintaining rural atmosphere. In doing so, these sleazy morons (aka: 99% of Republicans) actually drive DOWN real estate values!

    Sounds like you’ve got your effects mixed up.

    JMJ

  18. I think the country is about ready to go back to divided government. That might just be wishful thinking on my part. As big of a Republican as I am, I have had it with the Trent Lott, Jerry Lewis (yeah that is a real guy not a joke) wing running Congress and looting the treasury. It would serve them right to be stuck in the minority for a while and its not like Pelosi and Reid would accomplish anything if they were in power other than confirm the fact that Dems can’t be trusted with any real authority.

  19. Red paint is the most elastic of all the colours! I think my artist wife told me that it is the most expensive too, because of ingredient costs.

    I was always told barns are red because it was the cheapest color.

  20. Got some bad news for Dems in Ohio…I will re-post my reply to Oliver Willis when he waxed wistfully about Howard Dean at the beginning of the 2004 election:

    “Your guy is going to get beat so bad, he will look like a hemophiliac after a fistfight”

    Dream on little Dems….dream on. Blackwell is going to thump Strickland, and even the odious Mike Dewine is going back to the show. Not that I will be voting for him, I am pulling the lever for Brown (I do have some principle, you know)

  21. I don’t know, John. Harpers Index had a stat recently that showed that people vote with the balance of power (ticket splitting) in mind far far less today than they did 30 years ago. Americans today vote for very simple reasons – “I like that guy!,” “He voted for it, then against it! DDDDDDDDDDUHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!,” “Republicans are men’s men.” sort of stuff.

    JMJ

  22. Back in February, we had a special election for the state House of Representatives here in Austin that was pretty interesting in this regard. In House District 42, made up of northwest Travis County and some of Williamson County, the Democrat Donna Howard stomped the Republican into guava jelly, 65% – 45%. Howard replaces Todd Baxter, an R, who was linked to Tom DeLay. For only the second time since 1978, the Dems picked up a seat in the state house in Texas.

    Now, a few caveats. Austin is a dark-blue island in a sea of red. Bible-thumping doesn’t play here. Also, Howard was a dream candidate, having been on the Eanes school board recently, in a district in which the school district is the only reason it has any population. (Eanes is the only white-flight suburban school district near Austin. Westlake High School repeatedly appears in the state baseball and football playoffs.) Her opponent was completely tone-deaf on schooling issues. Still, this was a district drawn for Republicans and, until now, held by a Republican, in a Republican state.

  23. Dream on little Dems….dream on. Blackwell is going to thump Strickland

    I don’t know about that. That Blackwell might win by 2 – 6 points is likely (at THIS point), but it will hardly be the Ohio gubernatorial version of McGovern-Nixon.

    Either way, the disastrous economic policies of BOTH the Repugnicans and the Demoncraps will eventually catch up with WHOEVER sits in the Governor’s Mansion in Ohio in 2007, making either Strickland OR Blackwell a one-term governor. That’s my armchair prognostication. Check back in four years (LOL) …

    Of course, if Bill and Hill get involved in Strickland’s campaign (which is theoretically conceivable, considering Ohio’s electoral importance to 2008) all bets are off

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