Where did you hear it first?
Believe it or not, Ganley’s move has caused a bit of a ripple effect across the political landscape.
The best way to look at this is to determine the winners and losers of the decision…
Rob Portman – Obviously, being able to avoid a potentially costly primary is a huge win for Portman. While he almost assuredly would have won against Ganley, it’s quite possible he would have needed to spend much of his $6 million to ensure his victory.
John Boehner – The House Minority Leader not only clears the primary field, but gets another potential vote for Speaker if Ganley wins.
The Tea Party – Ganley had garnered a bit of support among the Tea Partiers across the state. They now have a chance to have their own candidate get full Party backing in what is sure to be a high profile race. The question is whether Ganley tries to distance himself at all from the Tea Party movement considering the political demographics of the 13th District.
Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner – Portman gets to keep all his cash and wait to spend it against Fisher or Brunner(yeah, right) as they emerge broke and damaged from the Democrat primary. This is the last thing either of the Democrats wanted to hear.
Betty Sutton – Duh. Obviously, Rep. Sutton wasn’t expecting this or else she would have more than $200k cash on hand for her re-elect. Now, right off the bat she has only 1/6 the cash of Ganley, and Ganley has every motivation to drop more into the race.
DCCC – Sutton will need help. And lots of it. This means the DCCC will be forced to defend a seat they never thought they would ever have to in 2010. And that means a lot of cash that won’t go to other targeted races.
This is going to be an interesting one. Yes, Sutton has garnered over 60% in both of her races in 2006 and 2008, but there was a report of an internal GOP poll showing Ganley UP by 3% that was the final driver in pushing him into the race. If true, that says a lot about Ohio’s political environment.
We also have the interesting scenario of a millionaire auto-dealer going up against the creator of cash-for-clunkers. While this won’t be a primary theme of the race, it will be interesting to watch how it plays out.
Ultimately, this is going to be a costly race for both candidates. And that’s bad news for the Democrats. Even if Sutton does win, it will pull resources, both financially and in manpower, that could have gone elsewhere.
Somewhere, Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus, Zack Space, and Charlie Wilson are kicking something.