Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lunch Counter Report: The Day After

The mood at the Lunch counter was subdued today. I was very interested in how these normally “status quo” Republicans voted and how they felt about it. Had they and Ohio Turned Blue. Was I going to be able to gloat a bit?

As expected, some still voted for some republicans, citing “tax and spend” and “all “politicians are corrupt anyway” type reasons. But some did vote for democrats, yet they were not happy about it. It seems the corruption issue had hit home with them on statewide races, they felt the house needed cleaned.

This makes sense when you look at the results. What Republicans lost? With one exception it was the ones tied to the Taft administration and or corruption. This lunch counter is in Bob Ney’s district, usually a very strong safe red district, but Ney’s guilty plea and frankly Padgett’s lack of viability as a congressional candidate changed that this time. Her bankruptcy was cited a number of times by these voters.

These men have not become Democrats by any means. As I analyze the numbers around the state, it appears that Ohio hasn’t turned blue either. The corrupt were tossed, the rest were kept. Look at the congressional races, as of right now only Ney’s district changed to a Democrat. Ohioans didn’t vote against Bush, they didn’t vote against the war, they didn’t even vote to change Congress. They voted against corruption.

But yet, Mike Dewine lost. He wasn’t successfully tied to any of the corruption scandals; surely this had to be a referendum on Bush. Apparently not, amazingly it appears it was instead a referendum on a badly run, negative campaign. If Dewine had stuck to tax and spend, if he had stuck to security, he would have gotten some of the lunch counter votes he lost. Conventional wisdom is that negative ads work. But this time the shear overload of them seems to have backfired. The attacks began to look so ridiculous; voters reacted against Dewine, rather then doubting who was being attacked. If you look back at the numbers the more negative Dewine got, the bigger Brown’s lead grew.

The message I see in the numbers and at the lunch counter is that we Democrats have won a single battle. We have a lot of work to do if we want to win the next one.

So there is no gloating by this blogger. Well ok, I may be smiling a bit more then yesterday, but my sleeves are still rolled up as the work has just begun.


Blogger Jill said...

Joe, what a lovely post. Thanks for these reflections.

I believe the truth is somewhere in between. I've lived in Ohio (NE0) since 88 so don't have a lot of memories of a lot of Dems running the state and all I really cared about when I did was local and that was blue so I didn't pay much attention downstate.

However -I'd posit that maybe the state isn't as RED as people think it is. And that none of the results boil down easily.

My opinion is that voters are a lot smarter than the politicians in many though not all instances. Rich Cordray (I feel like a groupie because I keep mentioning his campaign) and Jennifer Brunner too I think are very smart candidates and campaigners. They didn't condescend to voters - at all. They didn't play on issues, they didn't play on fear. They used the facts they had - and those facts included instance after instance of abuse of power that resulted in corrupt and often illegal behavior. I assure you, some of us who are very blue would take out are upsetment over such disregard for the public on blue candidates too.

7:37 AM  

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