We now have three straight (Mass.; Va.; N.J.) statewide elections — two in very blue states — where the Republican candidate won. In each case, the turnout numbers reflected a typical statewide turnout for a non-POTUS election. What this tells me is that Democrats/liberals/progressives are deflated and not coming out in force to vote, especially African American voters. Republican/conservative and independent voters are showing up and strongly favoring the Republican candidate. So what does this mean for Ohio in 2010? It means that incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland better figure out how to get out his voters in the numbers approaching what he got in 2006. His decision today to add former Franklin County judge and African American Yvette McGee Brown as his running mate is a very good one. First, it negates to some degree the advantage Republican John Kasich has as a former Congressman from Franklin County. Next, it counterbalances Kasich’s decision to add Ohio auditor Mary Taylor when it comes to female voters — in the latest poll, Strickland is still winning the female vote by 4 percent. As important, given McGee Brown’s strong relationship with the business community and big-money people in Columbus, it will make it harder for Kasich to raise funds in his home county. Finally, it gives dispirited African American voters a reason to come out and vote. With the growing anger at incumbents and Democrats, Strickland will need all of those advantages, especially if the job picture in Ohio doesn’t improve by November.
— Matt A. Mayer is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and president of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions in Columbus, Ohio. He has served as counselor to the deputy secretary and acting executive director for the Office of Grants and Training in the Department of Homeland Security. He is author of Homeland Security and Federalism: Protecting America from Outside the Beltway.