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Taking Stock of Hometown Races

News coverage of Ohio's congressional and gubernatorial races and the latest Quinnipiac poll reveal: 

Democrats have small leads for governor and U.S. Senator in Ohio, while President Barack Obama's job approval remains stuck in the mid 40s, and the new health care legislation is decidedly unpopular.

Ohio is upholding its reputation as a battleground state. Democrats seem to have a slight edge in the key races, but those leads are small and have gone back and forth in recent months. As has historically been the key in Ohio elections, the undecided vote - many of whom are independents - could well hold the balance of power come November.

As regards Strickland, a mere "37% of voters say he has kept his campaign promises," and his fortunes aren't helped by scandals of his personal use of the state prison's workforce and tax revenues, or that his "top cabinet officials lied under oath about a decision to scrub a criminal investigation at the governor's mansion to save Strickland from political embarrassment." Further, "62% of voters don't know enough about [his Republican challenger, John] Kasich to have an opinion of him." Kasick's room-for-improvement can only bode poorly for Strickland, who isn't likely to gain over many new supporters of his own.

"The Senate numbers reflect the same level of voter unfamiliarity with the candidates." Republican Rob Portman will face the winner of Tuesday's Democratic primary between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

The GOP has its work cut out for it if it plans to contribute to a GOP revolution in November.

Categories > Elections

Discussions - 1 Comment

I took my Election Day training yesterday. One old guy who acts a marshal at the polls (and has since retiring fourteen years ago) said that the way things are going you will need a master's degree in government to be able to serve on Election Day in Ohio. Personally, close to mine and not sure it will help. Rules proliferate and confuse the workers, though all are intended to prevent voter confusion on primary election day. I don't see how.

Anyway, the state is expecting a massive swing in voters from Democrat to Republican. Incoming absentee ballots have been running that way with a startling number of requests for Republican ballots. Hence, there is a new rule.

If you voted as a Democrat or Republican in the last election and wish to change to the other party this time you must take the time fill out a lengthy form and all of the election judges at the precinct table must sign the form, approving. If they don't approve and sign what happens? No one knows, but your vote may not count. It is not an issue in my county where people are tolerant, but in other counties, like Cuyahoga there might be a problem if you wish to change parties: major parties, that is. You can vote the ballot for the primary candidates of other parties, described as minor parties, in this election without such a form. Those other parties with ballots are the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party and the Socialist Party.

We have a different ballot for each, as well as ballots for the undeclared or independent voter. We also have separate ballots for seventeen year-olds who can vote in this election if turning eighteen before the general, but not on issues, only on candidates. Keeping track of all the ballots might be rough. Fortunately (?!), voter turnout is expected to be light.

That is my Ohio elections report from the ground level of our politics. I am not touching on many other of the bizarre and proliferating rules coming from the Sec. of State's office, just those that might pertain to the issues in the post above.

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