First up, this week Chris Cillizza’s Friday Line took on the governor’s races. On Cillizza’s list of governorships most likely to change party hands, Ohio remains at number 2.
Cillizza does mention, consistent with the “Hope for Republicans” headline, that Blackwell did well in the Cincinnati poll. He neglected to mention that the Cincinati poll is something of an outlier – the other polls have consistently shown Strickland with a double-digit lead. Moreover, HypoSpeak points out and illustrates that the trend in the Rasmussen poll is currently grim – Blackwell is static and Strickland is rising.
Callahan has started blogging about Blackwell’s Lease-the-Turnpike idea. As a political strategy, it worries me. I’m all for breaking it down and talking about why it won’t work, but before going in depth about why it is a bad idea, we need to acknowledge a few things:
- It gives Blackwell a hypothetical pot of money to pay for his campaign promises
- His campaign promises include spending big bucks on inner-city renewal projects.
- People who would benefit from those projects will not care that the money is borrowed from future generations.
Today’s Dispatch interviews a bunch of folks in an independent-heavy, Republican-voting precinct in Columbus. Yes, wading into one of these street scene pieces is fraught with hazard. It’s been said that the plural of anecdote is data. Perhaps, but the sincular of “data” is “statistically insignificant factoid with a huge sampling error.” Not as pithy, but you get the point.
Nonetheless, let’s look at some of the potentially portentous data points unearthed by the Dispatch.
I don’t know why, but the Ohio blogosphere seems to be feeling a little nervous about the race. How else to explain Strickland getting pretty much no blogosphere grief over his vote in favor of the COPE act with its net discrimination provisions intact. He and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones were the only Ohio Dems to do so. As Callahan noted, Brown voted “No” despite entreaties from his friends in the Communications Workers of America. After Ted voted the bill out of committee the netroots erupted in vitriol. This time, nary a peep.
Staff at Buckeye State did take time to write a thoughtful piece on the Blackwell persona that basically set down much of what I had been thinking. Namely, that Blackwell’s apparent flip-flopping is not a matter of indecision but of political expedience. Truth be told, I don’t think Blackwell himself buys half of what he is selling. He just runs ideas out, sees what sticks, backs away from what doesn’t
Finally, I’m a little worried about the silence of late from Camp Strickland. The Blackwell switchback on the voting rules should have prompted insufferably smug and celebratory emails. Instead, I got happy talk pieces about the grand opening of the Shaker Heights HQ – your chance to hear Lee Fisher quote rock lyrics in person – and an odd invitation to send a tribute to my dad to Ted’s website.
Let’s keep our heads in the game, guys.