By Stuart Rothenberg
Tuesday’s Ohio results were almost uniformly good news for Democrats.
In the best news, state Senator Charlie Wilson (D) overwhelmed two primary opponents to win the Democratic Congressional nomination in Ohio’s 6th District. Wilson’s write-in victory was backed by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee money and commitment. He’ll face Republican state Rep. Chuck Blasdel in November in a race that now favors the Democrats at least narrowly. The National Republican Congressional Committee ran ads beating up on Wilson for his performance in office, but Wilson’s strong showing, combined with Blasdel’s less impressive primary victory, enhances the Democrat’s chances.
Elsewhere, in Ohio 13, former state Rep. Betty Sutton defeated a number of Democratic primary opponents, including two contenders who, if nominated, would have given Republicans reason for optimism in the fall. The GOP nominee, Lorain Mayor Craig Foltin, is a credible candidate, but he may not have the issues he needs to stop Sutton from uniting Democrats and winning this Democratic district.
And in Ohio’s 18th C.D., Republican Representative Bob Ney won renomination with less than 70% of the vote, hardly the overwhelming victory he needed to persuade anyone that he is not vulnerable in November. GOP turnout in the district was unimpressive, thereby adding to questions about voter enthusiasm for Ney even among Republicans. The Democratic nominee, Zack Space, isn’t regarded as a top tier challenger, but given Ney’s legal and political problems, that probably will not matter.
Ohio remains an excellent Democratic opportunity with a number of GOP House seats in play -- including those held by Reps. Deborah Pryce and Steve Chabot -- and with Republicans trying to hang onto a Senate seat and the governorship. This is an absolutely perfect environment for Democrats. If they can’t sweep the state clean in 2006, they’ll never do it.
This item first appeared on Political Wire on May 4, 2006.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
By Stuart Rothenberg