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America's Debate > Archive > Election Forum Archive > [A] Election 2006
The governor of Ohio, Republican Bob Taft, is out. The race to replace him is between Ken Blackwell, the current Secretary of State and Ted Strickland Congressman from the 6th District of Ohio.

Almost all Ohioans (myself included) feel that Taft is a failure. He failed to stick to the conservative principles that we elected him for. In addition, he has been mired in more than one scandal.

Candidate websites:

Blackwell is much more conservative, especially socially, than Taft. He is anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion (he calls himself pro-life and pro-marriage), for tax cuts. Standard conservative fare. He is also a black man.

Strickland's two big issues are education and health care. A retired minister, Strickland's vision of expanding the economy seems to focus on controlling heath care costs.

For me, as an Ohioan, Ohio's biggest problems are:

Brain drain: Ohio graduates a lot of engineers and scientists. The vast majority of them leave the state because of the woeful state of the high technology industries here.

Manufacturing: Ohio is the third largest state in terms of manufacturing employment. The increasingly more difficult competitive environment has led to a lot of job losses.

Urban sprawl: Half of the state's population live in the three biggest metro areas: Cleveland (2.1 million), Cincinnati (2 million), and Columbus (1.6 million). Another 2.7 million live in the next four biggest metro areas: Toledo, Akron, Youngstown and Dayton. The infrastructure of many of these cities is OLD and needs updating. Downtown Cleveland's highways, while in good shape, were designed for about 10% of the traffic that they carry daily.

Education: With such an urban population, the corresponding education problems that accompany it (especially in Cleveland) exist in Ohio.

Cleveland sports: probably nothing the candidates can do about this, however. wink.gif

Ohio is often seen as a microcosm of the United States. It has voted for the winning President in every election for the last 104 years (save twice--Dewey in 1944 when his running mate was from Ohio, and Nixon in 1960). It is almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans--Bush won in 2004 by a mere 2% margin.

Similarly, the state's government is run largely by Republicans, despite it's divided nature. Republicans have been governor since 1991, control both State houses, both Senator spots, and no Democrat has a state wide office.

Summary article in the Economist

In the governor's election, Blackwell is suffering from what the Republicans as a whole are suffering from: a feeling that the people want change. I would guess that a majority of Ohioans agree with Blackwell's stances, but he will probably lose to the tide of anti-incumbency (even though he was not the governor).

Questions for debate:

How do Ohio politics compare to politics on the national level?

Is Ohio a microcosm of the country?

Will Strickland defeat Blackwell?

QUOTE(Amlord @ Oct 19 2006, 01:57 PM) *

Questions for debate:

How do Ohio politics compare to politics on the national level?

Is Ohio a microcosm of the country?

Will Strickland defeat Blackwell?

1. As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. There's a reason why both parties devote so much time, money and resources here. We're far more ethnically, economically and socially diverse than a Iowa or New Hampshire.
We've got a lot of electorial votes and possess a lot of political clout.

But unfortunatley after 16 years of Republican dominance, the GOP has become the problem, not the solution. Ken Blackwell can't run as a outsider because he's been in state government for years now. There is a restlessness and dissatisfaction with incumbents and here in Ohio, those feelings could spell the end of one-party rule.

2. My feeling is if Ohioians are in a "throw the bums out" mood, what looks like a Democratic wave could become a tsunami. The weakness of Blackwell at the top of the ticket could spell "finito" to previously safe Republicans like Senator Mike DeWine and Representative Deborah Pryce. If Strickland dominates Blackwell, he could carry along a lot of Democrats. Currently, the polls suggest it's only in the Ohio Supreme Court and Attorney General races that are likely to stay Republican.

3. Yes, I think so. Blackwell's "October Surprise" in the final debate fell flat and he's being roundly condemned for it by my local newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch. Yesterday, they ran a editorial blasting Blackwell for dredging up a discredited allegation that years ago Strickland did nothing about a staffer who was charged with exposing himself to children. The Dispatch also ran a editorial cartoon of Blackwell as a dog relieving himself on a fire hydrant resembling a frowning Strickland.

The Dispatch, a reliably Republican rag, endoresed DeWine, Pryce and the rest of the local Congressional delegation. They kicked Blackwell to the curb and endorsed the more moderate Strickland.

Blackwell is reduced to a scorched Earth strategy for the last few weeks. He can't come up with reasons why people should vote for him, so he'll have to fall back on getting them to vote against Strickland. It's a loser's gamble, because it will only make Blackwell look mean and extreme. He can't raise Strickland's negatives without raising his own as well. I doubt that will give him the victory.
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