Monday, October 24, 2005

Ohio Senate Race...Dem Civil War

Several months ago, Democrat Paul Hackett lost in a special race to fill a vacant US House seat in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. The MSM used the close outcome in this race as a sign that the Republican control of the House may be in trouble....the House district in question was strongly Republican.

Hackett is an Iraq war veteran (US Marine) who bad mouthed the President during his House race in speeches and online, but who also issued campaign materials to general voters that obscured the fact that he was a liberal Democrat.

The MSM missed a few important factors: First, the Republican candidate in that race had some serious problems. Second, this was a special election and voter turnout was understandibly low. Third, Hackett's supporters were relatively highly motivated and more likely to turn out to vote. A column in the Dayton Daily News written by Martin Gottlieb discussed Hackett's seemingly amazing performance. "Last time around, it seemed like everything went Hackett's way. His story came to people's attention only very shortly before the election, that is, before the Republicans had time to drive home his 'negatives.' There are always negatives, and they almost always get driven home in a long campaign."

What were Hackett's negatives? Well, he tried to have it both ways...appeal to the paranoid left, but present a comfortable face to the mainstream voters. Even if he had won the special race, he would probably been roundly defeated in the next general election.

Hackett's willingness to attack the President (and the superheated rhetoric he used) made him popular with the paranoid left and he was able to raise a handsome amount of money online. He became a darling of the MSM and the liberal left and he threw his hat into the ring to challenge Senator Mike DeWine, who is up for reelection in 2006. But now, an old-time liberal Dem from the Cleveland area, Sherrod Brown (former Ohio Secretary of State) has announced his intention to run for DeWine's seat and the liberals are torn between supporting a new, tech-savvy candidate and an old-school, liberal lion.

According to a report published Friday in the Cincinnati Inquirer, originally, Brown (who is currently a Rep. in Congress) told the press that he was not going to campaign for the US Senate and Hackett had everyone's support. But now a number of influential liberal bloggers, including Daily Kos (Markos Mouiltsas Zuniga) and Swing State Project (Tim Tagaris) are urging Hackett to back out of the race so that Brown can run unopposed. Interesting that the bloggers would abandon someone that they supported so eagerly. Perhaps one reason is because the Brown campaign has hired some of the paranoid leftie bloggers. for your comrades is one thing; but MONEY is something else!

Brown has run and won in state-wide elections in the past. He has much higher state-wide name recognition and an advantage because the name "Brown" has a successful history in Ohio politics. He also has $2.1 in campaign contributions in the bank.

Hackett is not backing down. The Inquirer's report indicates that Hackett intends to run as "the outsider against a career politician and signalled a brutal primary ahead." The Brown campaign claims that Hackett will drop out of the race. Brown has the support of the Democrat party machine in Ohio and is attempting to neutralize Hackett's online advantage. Finally, national Dem figures like Minority Leader Henry Reid and NY Senator Chuck Schumer (Chairman of the Dem Senatorial Campaign Committee) are no longer actively supporting Hackett now that Brown has announced his candidacy.

Running statewide is not easy and there are an unbelievable amount of little details that have to be handled correctly. I remember working on a July 4th parade for Attorney General candidate Betty Montgomery and watching her opponent, Rich Cordray (now the Franklin County Treasurer and currently running statewide to be Ohio Treasurer in 2006) ride in a foreign built convertible...major mistake! The campaign staff went on to talk about other stupid mistakes that the Cordray campaign made. In the end, Cordray was soundly defeated...experience MATTERS!


Post a Comment

<< Home