Last night, the Cuyahoga County GOP voted to endorse Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor.
Actually, less than 20% of the members of Cuyahoga County’s GOP voted to endorse Seth Morgan for Ohio Auditor.
How big of a deal is that?
The Cleveland Plain Dealer didn’t even cover it.
Morgan supporters like to claim the string of County endorsements, many of which have been voted on by a small minority of central committees that decided to show up to the meeting, is an indication of momentum in his candidacy.
Fine. Believe that if you want. But it means nothing.
By and large, these County endorsements don’t actually result in anything. These County Parties don’t go to work on the phones raising dollars for their endorsees. As evidenced above, they don’t even get decent news coverage. If lucky, the most Morgan can expect is being placed on the County Party’s slate card, if they even have one.
Now, some may say Yost is at fault for not working the County Parties harder. You know how it works – you take a central committee member or two to coffee or breakfast and schmooze them to get their vote.
So is Yost’s time better spent doing that, or using those meeting times to spend with contributors?
Back in 2006, Jim Petro learned how important endorsements are when he won endorsements from nearly every county GOP, the Ohio Right to Life, and every major newspaper. Remember him being the nominee? Neither do I.
But let’s refocus on this race. Do you recall how many registered voters knew who John Kasich was in the last Quinnipiac poll? 38%. Barely over a third.
What do you think that number is for Dave Yost and Seth Morgan? Jack and Squat.
So at the end of the day, it’s cash that will win this race – cash that can be spent expanding your name ID.
In a discussion I had with Yost back when he was still running for AG, he had already developed solid relationships all over the state with top contributors, but they were tepid about donating due to Mike DeWine’s commanding lead. Well, now all those relationships can be cashed in.
Additionally, Yost announced the endorsement from 16 of 21 State Senators yesterday, including Leader Bill Harris. Think that helps fundraising? Thought so.
And then there is the ORP. ‘Nuff said.
With these factors all included, I’ll be absolutely shocked if Yost doesn’t have a commanding fundraising lead come the next financial report.
Finally, Yost is the superior candidate. He’s a tough conservative. He’s the only candidate who actually has actually served as Auditor for local government. And he distinguished himself when he did so.
Morgan is a CPA.
That doesn’t mean Morgan doesn’t have potential, but his scorched earth style of campaigning is quickly burning bridges that didn’t need to be burned.
UPDATE: A reader informs me that the Plain Dealer posted a story about the endorsement later in the morning today. That’s nice and all, but that doesn’t defeat the greater point – name ID for both Yost and Morgan is extremely low. Neither have run in statewide general elections before. And both need cash to help the primary voters understand who they are and what they are about. My bet is Yost is the only one who will be able to raise the necessary dollars to ensure a win.
But if you’re a conservative that supports Morgan over Yost, great. Go get ’em. Work your butt off and do what you can to get him a win in May. I simply think the likelihood of such a win is very unlikely.