Politics & Policy

Ohio Friday Morning Roundup

Gubernatorial Race

Senatorial Race

Ohio has so many close state and federal races that any pattern here is likely to reflect broader, national trends in the contests for control of Capitol Hill. “It’s a mixture of old and new, rural and urban, industry and agriculture,” says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan The Rothenberg Political Report, which handicaps congressional and gubernatorial elections.

Congressional Races

Brown’s trip did not include stops for tea party favorites for Senate such as Nevada’s Sharron Angle, Kentucky’s Rand Paul or Colorado’s Ken Buck.[…]

Brown appeared at fundraising events for GOP Senate candidates Mark Kirk in Illinois, Dino Rossi in Washington and Carly Fiorina in California. He raised money in Ohio for Steve Stivers and Steve Chabot, who are in hotly contested races to reclaim the GOP seats they once held in the House.

Steve Chabot isn’t just looking to get back to Congress; he wants to be chairman of the House Small Business Committee.

The Republican candidate for Ohio’s 1st Congressional District told editors and reporters that during a meeting with The Enquirer on Thursday. Since he lost the seat in 2008 to Democrat Steve Driehaus in what he called a “very challenging race,” he’s had a lot of unexpected spare time on his hands, the former congressman said. He described it as time to get back in touch with the small business community after his 14-year stint in the House.

If back in the seat, “I will keep my seniority,” Chabot said. “And much of the ability to get things done and make a difference is because of seniority.”

One of the most telling names on the “triage” list was Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, a freshman Democrat who represents a Columbus district that President Obama carried with 54 percent of the vote. On paper, this should be a district that Democrats could save, with the DCCC’s money and the Democratic National Committee’s vaunted get-out-the-vote program, given the large number of Obama-friendly college students at Ohio State University and a white-collar electorate that voted heavily for Obama.

But if Kilroy is trailing Republican Steve Stivers badly enough, as several internal polls suggest, Democrats need to decide whether it’s worth spending a million dollars in Columbus when other incumbents need the assistance.

Indeed, the DCCC has reserved advertising time in a number of expensive districts where members have been trailing in internal and public polling, including those held by Reps. Suzanne Kosmas (Orlando), Betsy Markey (Denver), Steve Driehaus (Cincinnati) and John Boccieri (Cleveland). There’s no guarantee the money will still be there in October.

  • And even Salon points out that when that money’s used to lie about your record, it’s no good:

So far the deluge has not happened. Democrats are running attack ads against congressional candidates in Wisconsin and Michigan. In Ohio, the Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher is tying his opponent Rob Portman to George Bush. But lots of ads are still focusing on introducing the Democratic candidates to voters, like the one from Mary Jo Kilroy, a first-term House member from Ohio. She “voted against the bank bailout,” she boasts, creating some distance from the highly unpopular program. But sometimes a positive is a negative. As Factcheck.org pointed out, Kilroy and four other Democrats who claim to have voted against the bank plan weren’t in Congress at the time.