So it looks for all the world like the Republicans will hold onto the Fifth. AP is projecting a win for Bob Latta with Robin Weirach currently pulling about the same (as of this writing) as last year.
Swing state had explained why earlier this week:
- In reality, despite a bruising primary followed by a weak campaign by Latta, the deck is still stacked against Robin Weirauch here. For one thing, there are only six districts in the nation that are more Republican leaning than OH-05 and are held by Democrats: MO-04 (Ike Skelton), ND-AL (Earl Pomeroy), TX-22 (Nick Lampson), MS-04 (Gene Taylor), UT-02 (Jim Matheson), and TX-17 (Chet Edwards). These are all seats held by very exceptional and very experienced campaigners.
Thanks again to Jeff Coryell for providing us (even those of us feverishly working under multiple deadlines) with lively field reports.
Finally a thought. Much of the Republican anger at Bob Latta has recently been expressed as anger for running a lackluster campaign (see the Swing State link above.) But the anger began with the bare knuckle, wingnuttier-than-thou, social-issue-focused campaign coupled with Latta's less-than-perfect record on taxes and spending. One popular narrative in the Presidential election is that Evangelicals may bolt if Republicans nominate either Romney or Giuliani. Does Ohio-5 suggest a dynamic running the other way? If the Republicans nominate Mike Huckabee, who is seen as insufficiently Republican on economic issues, might the Growth Clubbers either run a third party candidate or at least refuse to support the nominee and let their constituents sit out election day?
I don't know, but apparently Tony Perkins thinks so. If you have thoughts, drop them in comments. And if you don't have time now, just wait a couple days and drop them on the BSB thread.
UPDATE: Just received from ODP this statement from Party Chair Chris Redfern:
- Tonight's election results show Republicans are more vulnerable than ever in Ohio. In a district that George W. Bush carried with 61% of the vote and where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by 50 percent, the GOP had to scramble to win a special election that should have been a cake walk. Desperate to hold on to a district they had controlled for nearly 70 years, national Republicans had to spend more than $428,000 - or nearly 20% of their entire campaign account. Now the GOP - with even fewer resources on hand - will be even less equipped to play effectively in the 4-5 competitive House races in Ohio in 2008. Make no make mistake, this election shows that in November 2008, voters in Ohio and across the country will choose strong Democrats who will undo the damage of the Bush-Cheney years.