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Kasich v Strickland -- Ohio center stage again
Townhall .com ^ | June 7, 2009 | Salena Zito

Posted on 06/07/2009 7:07:11 AM PDT by Kaslin

Ohio has a political-identity crisis. Is it a “blue state,” as demonstrated by Democrats’ statewide wins in 2006 and 2008, or a “red state” that is just fed up with the behavior of its former Republican elected officials?

“Well, it's more like an orange state,” said Bert Rockman, a political scientist from Purdue University.

Ohio, Rockman explains, is mostly up for grabs: “Through gerrymandering – and, yes, both parties do it – Republicans had for some time a lock on the state legislature and, therefore, a lock on the state's congressional delegation.”

That's changed some, precipitated by the misfortunes during Republican Gov. Bob Taft’s administration and by the difficult economic climate that Ohio, like other industrial Midwestern states, has suffered.

Democrats do well in the cities; Republicans do well in small towns and rural parts of the state. The suburbs are up for grabs; they lean more Republican around Cincinnati with more Democratic near Columbus.

Look at Columbus for how the state will go: It is a formerly Republican middle-class city that is now mainly Democratic; its typically well-off suburbs are still mainly Republican but trending lately toward Democrats.

“Generally speaking,” Rockman says, “despite much malarkey about Reagan Democrats, the Democrats have consistently held onto their working-class base” in the state.

This week, a former Republican congressman from Ohio, John Kasich, announced he will take on Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland next year. The ebb-and-flow of that race in many ways will reflect the mood of the country and whether or not the Democrats’ revolution of 2008 has legs.

Strickland’s counterpart in Pennsylvania, Gov. Ed Rendell, is a great admirer of Kasich (a Pittsburgh native) and calls him one of his favorite Republicans. Yet he says, predictably, that Strickland deserves to be re-elected.

“Ted has done a fabulous job in Ohio,” Rendell said, explaining that a governor’s role is to create an environment for job development, job growth and job retention – three marks he says Strickland has hit.

Statewide, Strickland is better-known. He comes from southern Ohio and is, as Democrats go, fairly conservative – though undoubtedly less so than Kasich.

Rockman anticipates this will be a real horserace: “A lot may depend upon whether voters think well of the current presidential administration … as well as what they think of Strickland, who still seems to be doing okay.

“Kasich will be a formidable opponent. … (He’s) an adept compromiser, across party lines on certain issues. If he doesn't make it, it will not be for lack of effort.”

Democratic strategist John Lapp of Ralston-Lapp sees it differently. “Look, you have a Republican field of throwbacks; Kasich is easily identifiable as a (Newt) Gingrich throwback.”

He believes Ohio Democrats have the better bench now and in the future, making Ohio a reliable blue state for perhaps generations.

The country is at a particular moment in time in which people are becoming more comfortable with a protective – and inevitably bigger – government than with a smaller one, which breeds longevity for Democrats.

Yet with big-government love comes the fact that someone has to pay for it, meaning taxpayers.

So what strengths do Strickland and Kasich bring to their showdown?

An ordained minister, Strickland is non-ideological; he won traditional Democratic constituencies in northeast Ohio and the big cities but also did well in Ohio’s Appalachian region. His appeal seemed broad in 2006, but that could have resulted in part from the scandals unfolding within Taft's administration.

Kasich, on the other hand, has dual appeal: A son of working-class parents, he is very tight on fiscal matters and pretty conventionally Republican in rhetoric. Tremendously buoyant, he has a genuine empathy for working people and the insecurities afflicting industrial workers.

Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told the Trib that Kasich’s candidacy will instantly instigate a debate over how Ohio is losing people, losing industry and raising taxes and how Ohioans must reverse that process.

“John Kasich was a reformer long before it became popular,” Boehner said. “He understands what needs to be done to enact real change in Ohio.”

How this goes is anyone’s guess, says Rockman: “It will hinge a lot on whom voters blame for the bad economic tidings in the state.

“… At this point, I think Strickland is likely to have the edge, but we are a long way from the


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: kasich; oh2010; ohio; strickland; zito

1 posted on 06/07/2009 7:07:11 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Oops,

“… At this point, I think Strickland is likely to have the edge, but we are a long way from the election.”

2 posted on 06/07/2009 7:08:50 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for 0bama: One Bad Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

Kasich will be a formidable opponent. … (He’s) an adept compromiser, across party lines on certain issues.

A.K.A.........RINO


3 posted on 06/07/2009 7:12:45 AM PDT by NCBraveheart (Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing it's Idiot)
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To: Kaslin; ADemocratNoMore; Akron Al; arbee4bush; agrace; ATOMIC_PUNK; Badeye; Bikers4Bush; ...
Ohio pings...


4 posted on 06/07/2009 7:14:29 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave ("Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kaslin

I hope the Republicans go after the Hispanic vote. There are conservative Hispanic business owners here who appreciate the opportunity to raise their families in a strong state and might be very willing to campaign for a Republican.


5 posted on 06/07/2009 7:19:14 AM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: Kaslin

make no mistake. ohio (my state) is as blue as it gets.

there are the democrats (”blue”), and republicans — also “blue”. it is nearly impossible to tell the difference.

the left and right feet of ohio politics are both walking in step, in the same direction.


6 posted on 06/07/2009 7:30:11 AM PDT by kpp_kpp
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To: JavaJumpy; All

I agree with you.. Also you better have a good flame suit on..


7 posted on 06/07/2009 7:32:29 AM PDT by KevinDavis (http://governorpalin4president.blogspot.com/)
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To: JavaJumpy
I hope the Republicans go after the Hispanic vote. There are conservative Hispanic business owners here who appreciate the opportunity to raise their families in a strong state and might be very willing to campaign for a Republican.

Shouldn't your statement read ----I hope the Republicans go after the Conservative vote. ----

Nationality should not play a role as it has nothing to do with it.

Republicans need to draw Conservatives into the party with their Conservative message and the only way to do that is to stay on message while screaming it every chance they get via any medium.

8 posted on 06/07/2009 7:34:40 AM PDT by Dustbunny ("Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. " Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kaslin
O-H-I-O!

A wonderful place to be from.

Amazing << Hear this. Feel this, and tell me that this isn't music.

Oh, dear...


9 posted on 06/07/2009 7:40:25 AM PDT by rdb3 (The mouth is the exhaust pipe of the heart.)
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To: Kaslin

At least Ohio conservatives have a reason to get off of the couch on a statewide basis. This should help the other statewide Republican offices and down ticket races.

Kasich has to prevent Strickland from successfully blaming all of Ohio’s woes on Square Bob Sponge Tax Taft (an extremely tall order - he killed the Buckeye GOP with his tax hikes and unethical behavior) and Bush (my how the libs love to bang that drum).

Query: If Ohio goes GOP in November 2010 with a Kasich victory, will the media proclaim it as a portent of 2012 (As Ohio goes, so goes the Nation)? Nah, who am I kidding. That headline will only see the light of day if it is another Dem sweep.


10 posted on 06/07/2009 7:41:23 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Hey Obama, spread my work ethic, not my wealth!)
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To: Kaslin

At this point, it can be red again as democrats ruin that state and unemployment climbs into double digits.


11 posted on 06/07/2009 7:50:28 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: Kaslin

I’ve heard rumors that Strickland might not run for reelection. He’s 67 years old and it can’t fun being Ohio governor right now.


12 posted on 06/07/2009 7:56:50 AM PDT by Ticonderoga34 (A Community Organizer is the 21st century version of a Ward Heeler.)
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To: zert_28

Besides the economy, Strickland will be judged on his pledge to reform school financing. That might be his undoing.


13 posted on 06/07/2009 7:59:00 AM PDT by Comparative Advantage
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To: JavaJumpy; KevinDavis

Yeah, me too.
You see, the problem here is that, clearly, the Republican party has not kowtowed enough to illegal invaders.
When we make it clear that we, as Republicans, want all of their families from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador to be here and also voting Republican, then the Democrats can never win.
Who the f*** cares if we are God’s great experiment of freedom in the world. Hell, anyone can do that.
Yeah, it kinda like George Bush said about the economy, we have to destroy this Republic and it’s sovereignty to save it.
Why can’t more Republicans and conservatives just be like us? Huh guys, why do these lilliputian sovereignty whores have to continue to bleat so?


14 posted on 06/07/2009 8:22:15 AM PDT by cybervyk
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To: Comparative Advantage

Strickland is a paper pusher. End of story. He is not a leader. On the other hand, Kasich is energetic, full of ideas and is younger.


15 posted on 06/07/2009 8:22:50 AM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: kpp_kpp

Not here! Strickland has lost IMHO the Appalachian region. Our unemployment was around 7% when he took office with big promises of jobs, we now sit with an ever increasing rate of 12.9%. If Kasich hits the job loss hard and blames it on Strickland’s polices he will probably do well in this area.


16 posted on 06/07/2009 8:57:14 AM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: Dustbunny

Nationality should not play a role as it has nothing to do with it.

Republicans need to draw Conservatives into the party with their Conservative message and the only way to do that is to stay on message while screaming it every chance they get via any medium.

_______________________

The Obama campaign will tell you nationality has everything to do with it. It worked for them.

As far as screaming conservatism goes, you can scream all you want but that will not gain votes. In fact, more than 70% of women voted for Obama in Ohio. They’re not interested in conservatism and you have to consider how many votes are coming from liberal college campuses in this state.

It seems to me that those who want true conservatism without compromise will need to find someone with gumption and money to start a third party which can actually go somewhere. I could be wrong, though.


17 posted on 06/07/2009 9:13:29 AM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: Dustbunny; KevinDavis

Shouldn’t your statement read ——I hope the Republicans go after the Conservative vote. ——

Nationality should not play a role as it has nothing to do with it.

Republicans need to draw Conservatives into the party with their Conservative message and the only way to do that is to stay on message while screaming it every chance they get via any medium.

______________________

Conservative Evangelical Hispanics Support Sotomayer:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2266669/posts


18 posted on 06/07/2009 10:24:24 AM PDT by JavaJumpy
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To: JavaJumpy

The Republicans cannot try to appeal largely to racial or ethno-centric attitutes, but rather on a core philosophy of liberty, freedom and free markets.


19 posted on 06/07/2009 11:15:07 AM PDT by Comparative Advantage
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To: NCBraveheart
Kasich was the House Budget Chair who actually enabled the Congress to balance the budget during the 90's.

Strickland has kept his head down and avoided serious mistakes, but he has done little for the economic doldrums of the state. He won a strange election in which the voters were nauseated by the disgusting debacle of the corrupt Taft administration, and was opposed by Ken Blackwell, a conservative Black who was sabotaged by the state GOP muckymucks.

I think Kasich would mount a serious challenge and it would behoove conservatives to get behind him.

20 posted on 06/07/2009 11:47:00 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: NCBraveheart

ACU lifetime rating 88%, balanced the budget for the only time in the last million years, not a RINO.


21 posted on 06/07/2009 2:04:32 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: Kaslin
“Ted has done a fabulous job in Ohio,” Rendell said, explaining that a governor’s role is to create an environment for job development, job growth and job retention – three marks he says Strickland has hit.

Doubling the unemployment rate since he took office seems to indicate Strickland has been an abject failure in all the above.

22 posted on 06/07/2009 2:41:37 PM PDT by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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