Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Republican Support Falls in Ohio’s Second District

Assuming a recount doesn’t change the result in this special election for Congress in Ohio, Paul Hackett has taken at least 48% of the vote in a district which Republicans could usually count on a victory of 30%. Hackett accomplished this by campaigning against Bush and the Iraq War, while supporting liberal social issues including same sex marriage.

While we would have preferred a victory, coming close in such a strong Republican district is significant. If a Democrat can knock 26% off of the typical Republican margin of victory, imagine how many districts would change hands with similar results. Special elections such as this have often been bellwethers of major changes to come in the next general election.

Earlier today, before the results were known, Charlie Cook wrote this in the Cook Political Report:

But even assuming a GOP win tonight, the margin of victory can give us some insight into just how radioactive the governor’s troubles and the “time for a change” sentiment in the state will be for other Republicans in the Buckeye State next year. If Schmidt’s victory margin is in double digits, this tells us that there is not much of an anti-GOP wind in Ohio right now. If the margin is say six to nine points for Schmidt, then there is a wind, but certainly no hurricane. A Schmidt win of less than five points should be a very serious warning sign for Ohio Republicans that something is very, very wrong, while a Hackett victory would be a devastating blow to the Ohio GOP.


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