Politics & Policy

Ohio Evening Roundup

Gubernatorial Race

“I feel like I am behind at this point,” Strickland told Enquirer editors and reporters Tuesday. “I don’t feel like I am 12 points behind. But I am not overly concerned about it.”

The “12 percent” Strickland referred to is the 12 percentage point gap between himself and GOP opponent John Kasich in the two most recent polls of the gubernatorial race – one conducted between Aug. 25 and Sept. 3 by the Columbus Dispatch and one conducted Aug. 30 by Rasmussen Reports.

Strickland, according to campaign finance reports, had a better month in August than Kasich, raising $1.48 million compared to $1.35 million for the former central Ohio congressman.

Both Strickland and his Republican challenger, Kasich, admit that the state has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs during the last few years, but they disagree on why, 10TV’s Jeff Hogan reported.

“Why were those jobs lost? Not because of what I did or what Ohioans did, but because of what folks on Wall Street did,” Strickland said.

Kasich blames the Ohio Department of Development, calling it slow, unfocused and unable to make a decision.

“They tell me that when you go in there, you better make sure that you have your affairs in order, because you may never come out again,” Kasich said.

Senatorial Race

It’s clear that the gap has dented the Democrat’s ability to both establish himself and slow down Portman.

While many candidates around the country have been on television for at least a month, Fisher is just rolling out his first statewide TV spot this week.

Fisher’s campaign wouldn’t disclose the size of the ad buy, but a state Republican official said it was $1.4 million and that the ad would be running in northern Ohio and Columbus but not in the Cincinnati area.

  • Fisher launches yet another attack on Rob Portman for being an outsourcer — an attack which has already been refuted:

 

House Races

Down the road at the Stark County Fair, first-term Democratic Rep. John Boccieri says the policies of the past are to blame.

“When I see that shuttered factory, I’m reminded of our trade deals that were allowed to happen. That didn’t happen in 20 months. That happened over years and decades of lack of focus on the American worker and American businesses,” the congressman said.

Boccieri’s district was represented by Republicans for nearly 60 years before he won in 2008. But voters here went for John McCain for president, not Barack Obama.

A source close to Ohio Democratic Congressman John Boccieri tells CNN that although the White House invited him to President Obama’s speech in Cleveland Wednesday, he has not yet decided whether he will attend.

As of mid-year, Boccieri lead Renacci in overall fundraising, $1.3 million in contributions to $1.1 million, but the Republican loaned his campaign $305,000 from personal funds and hasn’t ruled out kicking in more. Nonetheless, the Democratic incumbent had a bigger cash warchest, with $1.1 million in the bank compared to $663,000 for the challenger.

The race has caught the attention of the national labor union AFSCME, which has committed to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative TV ads against Renacci. One ad alleges that the Republican “cheated on his taxes” and “hid” million of dollars in income. Renacci denies the charge. He says he mounted a court challenge against a change in a specific Ohio tax law but willingly paid over $1 million in back taxes and fees upon losing the case. He recently filed a defamation suit against AFSCME over the ad.

Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, said on Tuesday that Republican candidates Steve Chabot and Mike Robison are spreading rumors that State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-West Price Hill) tried to change her name on November’s ballot.

  • Not to mention, Driehaus doesn’t want anyone else to know he’s associated with Barack Obama:

Rep. Steve Driehaus warned that his Republican opponent will do “everything he can” to nationalize the 1st Congressional District election – to make it about President Barack Obama and control of Congress.

But Driehaus plans to put the focus on local issues: jobs created by the stimulus bill, his fight for the Brent Spence Bridge project and the funding of a Joint Strike Fighter alternative engine, which affects 1,000 jobs at Evendale’s GE Aviation.

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