I asked that question a lot way back in college.
And I ask it now.
Because there were a few things that came as one heck of a surprise.
1) Where did all the Democrats go?
There were two major statewide primaries last night. They were the two big draws to the primaries for each Party.
One was a primary to represent the Democrats in a race for the United States Senate. It was fought between the Ohio Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor. Each are current statewide elected officials.
You’d imagine a the reaction to such a race from the Democratic electorate would draw ooo’s and ahhh’s.
The other was for the GOP nomination to run for Ohio Auditor. That race was between a County Prosecutor and a State Representative.
I think it’s safe to say the expected reaction from the average GOP voter was somewhere between a yawn and a snore.
In other words, it would have been safe to say more Democrats were expected to vote than Republicans.
That didn’t happen. Not even close.
Well, as of late last night with just over 99% of the vote in, the GOP Auditor’s race had 695,379 votes. The Dem U.S. Senate candidates only combined for 673,586.
An Auditor’s race outshone a race for the U.S. Senate.
In a normal world, Democrats should have easily outnumbered Republicans in such a race. But they didn’t.
Is passion for the Democrats that low? Or is enthusiasm for the Republicans that high? Or is it a combination of both?
A wave is a comin’…
2) How upset are Democrats at Ted Strickland?
I knew it was bad, but I didn’t think it was this bad.
Even though over 673,000 Democrats turned out to vote in the Democratic primary…
And even though each had Ted Strickland’s name right there in front of them on that ballot…
And even though it only took one mark or one flip of the switch…
…only 620,953 Democrats voted for him in his unopposed primary. That’s over 52,000 Democrats who didn’t want to bother supporting Ted.
Now to be fair, what about Kasich? While he didn’t have a primary opponent, he is still far less known among his Party than Strickland. Surely Kasich would perform worse than Strickland did among his own Party relative to the other big name race.
Kasich earned over 40,000 MORE votes than the Auditor’s race.
Kasich – 735,711 primary votes
Strickland – 620,953 primary votes
Now don’t get me wrong. This result doesn’t mean Kasich is leading or Kasich is going to win. But when taken into context using the other variables laid out above, it clearly is an indicator of the enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for each candidate.
A wave is a comin’…
3) Yost’s overwhelming win.
As I’ve said before, this Ohio Auditor’s primary race, no matter how much others want to bill it as such, was not a test of the Tea Party’s power. Why? Because many of those that identify with the Tea Party had two candidates to choose from, not one. There wasn’t a liberal Republican squish that clearly needed kicked to the curb.
Remember, the Tea Party isn’t a political organization designed to get the vote out and push votes. It’s instead a movement – a movement intended to provide a common bond among those that feel government intrusion has gone too far.
Sure, many of those that identify as Tea Partiers organize into political organizations. But many don’t. Many simply identify with the cause and stay informed.
On the other end of the spectrum is THE organization – the Ohio Republican Party.
And their GOTV organization clearly was on top of its game.
The good news out of this Auditor’s race? It stayed below the radar. There weren’t any TV ads broadcast to millions featuring the challengers ripping eachother to shreds. That kept both unscathed heading into yesterday’s primary.
Now Yost needs to get to work raising money. Democratic opponent David Pepper has his family money that has given him a decent financial advantage, but it isn’t overwhelming.
Finally, remember this is a down ticket race. If Strickland and Fisher fail to inspire Ohio Democrats to get to the polls, it could cause additional damage to Pepper’s chances.
A wave’s a comin’…
And then there’s the anti-surprise…
4) As I’ve been telling you Democrats was going to happen for months, Brunner lost.
It wasn’t awful. 56-44. I actually bet a friend yesterday it would be between 11-13, and my prediction yesterday was how it would be a solid victory for Lee, but not as intense as polls suggested.
Thanks again, Democrats. Fisher is the perfect candidate to face Portman. You’ve nominated the man who Strickland put in charge of economic development and job creation during the time Ohio lost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
That alone will destroy any chances of winning for Fisher.
I actually can’t wait for the negative ads to start hitting Fisher on it just to watch his very solid favorability ratings drop like a rock.
Jobs are issue number 1 in Ohio. And Fisher failed at creating any. Then he abandoned his post.
Oh, and he has no money left after beating back Brunner.
A wave is a comin’…