In 2006, Cuyahoga County and it’s directly adjacent counties accounted for 28% of the votes Ted Strickland needed to win the Ohio Governor’s race.
In other words, it’s the Democratic base of Ohio.
When political hopefuls declare their candidacies this week for November’s statewide elections, it will mark the first time in at least 70 years that a Democrat from Northeast Ohio will not be seeking an executive office.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern quickly dismisses the observation by saying, “the reliance on having a Northeast Ohio candidate in a statewide race, from a regional standpoint, has become less important. That’s not to suggest Northeast Ohio isn’t important. Obviously it is, but it is as important now as central Ohio or other parts of the state.”
As we all know, if you can’t get out the vote, you’re not going to win. This is exponentially more important when considering your base.
How do you get out the vote? Well from a geographical standpoint, it’s vital to have longstanding relationships that provide a groundswell of grassroots support.
Well, the statewide candidates on the Democratic slate don’t have any of those relationships in their geographic base. And it’s showing.
Nationally known Democratic strategist Jerry Austin of Cleveland said this ticket will prove what elected officials in Northeast Ohio had suspected all along from the Strickland administration.
“Politicians up here have expressed frustration about the lack of attention from this administration for a while,” Austin said. “And now you turn around and there is no one on the ballot from Cuyahoga County. Well, now people think there is absolutely a disregard for Northeast Ohio going on.”
Does that sound like someone who is going to work his tail off to utilize all of his contacts to get his favorite Democrats elected to office?
What about Democratic State Senator Nina Turner?
“If anyone thinks they can disregard Cuyahoga County, then they are sadly mistaken,” Turner said. She added that “people are talking about this everywhere, young and old, average citizens to bigwigs.”
The vitally important Democratic political activists of Northeast Ohio clearly are unhappy with the Ohio Democratic Party and their slate of statewide candidates.
This kind of frustration, if it can’t be turned around quick, will make it extremely difficult for Ted Strickland & Co. to get out the vote in the all-important Democratic bastion of Northeast Ohio.
And it could cost them dearly.