As I hinted yesterday on Twitter, if everything goes as well as hoped, there may be five new Republican Members representing Ohio in the 112th Congress.
Bill Johnson, a retired Lt. Col. in the Air Force and a manufacturing entrepreneur has announced his campaign to challenge Congressman Charlie Wilson (no, not that one) in Ohio’s 6th district.
If you only looked at his smackdown of someone named Richard Stobbs in 2008, you’d think Charlie Wilson didn’t have much to worry about.
My, how things change.
To start, Stobbs was a filler candidate. In the 2008 environment, there wasn’t a serious challenger that wanted to risk losing in the Year of Hope and Change.
But with that being said, it’s incredibly important to note that John McCain WON Charlie Wilson’s district last year.
And now we’re in an environment that convinced the Washington Post/ABC poll analysts to write:
The closeness of the two parties over the past several months on this “generic ballot” measure is similar to that found in most Gallup readings from 1994 through 2005 (spanning the period when Republicans won control of the U.S. House and subsequently maintained it for more than a decade).
Closer to elections, Gallup bases its generic-ballot results on voters deemed most likely to vote. Because Republicans are generally more likely than Democrats to turn out to vote, particularly in midterm elections, their positioning improves by several points when the generic ballot is based on likely voters rather than registered voters. Thus, a tie between Democrats and Republicans among registered voters probably corresponds to a Republican lead among likely voters.
What else helps Johnson’s chances? Maybe the fact that Wilson has voted with Pelosi 97% of the time, including the immensely unpopular Obamacare and Stimulus.
Additionally, unemployment within the 6th congressional district tops 12%.
Just under the guise of an exploratory committee, Johnson has already been able to pocket $106k – a fantastic starting point to build from with an obvious propensity for raising much more.
Finally, and to the benefit of all GOP candidates across Ohio, the inspired statewide campaigns of Rob Portman and John Kasich will provide the kind of enthusiasm among Republican voters that simply hasn’t been there in years.
It’s sounds a little crazy, but come next January the partisan advantage in the Ohio congressional delegation may switch from 10-8 Dems to 13- 5 GOP.
Time to get to work.
If you’d like to help Bill Johnson’s campaign, please visit www.billjohnsonleads.com.
UPDATE: Thanks to Jim Geraghty at the National Review, Bill is already getting some national coverage. Check it out.