Ohio has been the ultimate swing state. The state went narrowly for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, narrowly for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and narrowly for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Statewide, Democrats usually have a good shot to win– unless they recruit, as they did this cycle, incompetent and unelectable candidates (see sad-sack establishment loser Ted Strickland). The biggest problem the state's Democratic establishment has– aside from it's own miserable leadership– is the endemic Republican gerrymandering that has made both houses of the state legislature and the congressional delegation a red cesspool. Currently the state House has 65 Republicans and 34 Democrats and the Senate has 23 Republicans and just 10 Democrats. And remember, at the same time, the state gave full-on leftist senator Sherrod Brown a 51-45% win over garden variety generic Republican Josh Mandel statewide. Those same Ohio voters also stuck the state with a congressional delegation with 12 Republicans and just 4 measly Democrats!
The Ohio Democratic Party whines about gerrymandering all the time but their own incompetence and corruption have been legendary. And when it comes to Congress, they have the DCCC to direct them… straight down the toilet. This cycle, the ultimate swing state doesn't have one congressional race being contested by the DCCC. 16 congressional districts and the ODP and DCCC couldn't find even one to try for. They are the worst!
Early in the cycle, there was tremendous excitement around a young Cincinnati city councilman, PG Sittenfeld, filled with vitality, charisma, great, fresh ideas and a hankering to run against tired GOP hack Rob Portman. Sounded like a great idea to everyone– except Chuck Schumer, who recruited someone far more tired and hackish than Portman as the Democratic candidate, walking corpse Ted Strickland who has so little chance to come close to winning that even Schumer and the DSCC have given up on him. His miserable, lifeless campaign is actually dragging Hillary Clinton down in Ohio!
Meanwhile the DCCC has not recruited a candidate against not-especially-beloved candidates like Steve Chabot, Brad Wenstrup, Jim Jordan, Bob Latta, Bill Johnson, Bob Gibbs, Warren Davidson, Mike Turner, Pat Tiberi, David Joyce, Steve Stivers or Jim Renacci. A competent DCCC and ODP would be contesting Michael Turner's Dayton area seat (which Obama won in 2008 and lost narrowly in 2012), David Joyce' seat east of Cleveland (which Obama lost by 1 point to McCain and by 3 points to Romney), Jim Renacci's seat in the suburbs around Cleveland and Akron, and Steve Chabot's Cincinnati district. It isn't, again, making it tougher for Hillary to mount a strong campaign in those crucial areas. There is no Democratic excitement on the ground to back her up. It's like huge swingy swathes of Ohio have just been complete;y abandoned to the GOP.
The 16th district– Renacci's seat– is probably the one the DCCC should try to take. The Democratic candidate, Berniecrat Keith Mundy, is inspiring and the polar opposite of the corpse-like Strickland. He and his grassroots campaign are filled with energy, enthusiasm and fresh innovative ideas. But the DCCC has purposely looked the other way… to rotgut Blue Dogs, unlikely conservative Democrats like Doug Owens in Utah, Tom O'Halleran in Arizona, Lon Johnson in Michigan, Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey, and Kim Myers in New York.
There are 6 counties or parts of counties that make up suburban/exurban OH-16. A plurality of the voters live in Cuyahoga County and trend towards Democrats but the two next most populous counties are Medina and Stark which trend Republican. Then comes Wayne, which also is red-tinted and then Democratic-leaning Summit. Democratic centers Akron in Summit County and Canton in Stark County have been carefully excised from the district by the gerrymanderers in the state legislature. It makes for a daunting task for Mundy, a challenge he's rising to.
He's being swamped with Renacci corporate cash, of course. As of the June 30 FEC reporting deadline, Renacci had raised $1,637,023 and the NRA was spending money on his behalf. Democrats were busy flushing all their resources down the Ted Strickland senatorial toilet. Strickland had vacuumed up $7,068,790 and the Schemer-Directed Senate Majority PAC had spent $9,925,907. Unions and other clueless Democratic allies had already spent $6 million more on Strickland's moribund and pointless campaign (now virtually abandoned by the reptilian Schumer and his DSCC). Meanwhile, Mundy told me this week that his entire campaign budget is in the neighborhood of $30,000.
Check out that jingle in the video up top. It's been Mundy's secret weapon, an entertaining robocall that's hit thousands of homes in all 6 counties in OH-16. Unlike any of the other congressional contests in Ohio, the polls are decent for Mundy and show a winnable race against an incumbent who is widely disliked. Renacci is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and one of the most ardent Trumpists in the state, acting as a Trump surrogate while many other Ohio Republicans have kept their distance from the much-disliked presidential candidate.
Blue America would like to encourage you to support Keith Mundy with a contribution to his campaign (just tap the thermometer below). A $10 contribution means 500 more robocalls and a $100 contribution means 5,000 of this calls. People seem to love them and the stats should recipients actually listening all the way through and eager to hear it again!
Schumer screwed up Ohio's Senate race and Hillary may well be losing the state to the unlikely Trump, but winning even one of the state's 12 Republican-held congressional seats would make a tremendous change in Ohio politics. A Berniecrat winning against the Trumpoid multimillionaire who represents the interests of only the richest 1% of society would be especially sweet.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis