Democrats & Liberals Archives

OH-2: The stench of Republican sweat fills the air

Ohio’s special election forced the Republican Party to dump cash and resources into a seat that should have been completely safe for them.

According to the Almanac of American Politics 2006, "The most Republican major metropolitan area in the nation over the longest time span has been Cincinnati". Bush beat Kerry 64%-36% in this region.

The Republicans were forced to sweat this race because, as Howard Dean has noted over and over...the Democrats made it competitive. They didn't just roll over and let the Republicans have the seat.

I received a copy of this NRCC memo today courtesy of a Democratic aide:

MEMO

To: GOP Friends

From: Carl Forti, Communications Director
Ed Patru, Deputy Communications Director

Re: OH-02 Special Election

Date: August 3, 2005

National Republicans last night retained the OH-02 Congressional seat vacated by Ambassador Rob Portman. Republican Jean Schmidt defeated Democrat Paul Hackett. The following post-election analysis may be helpful to you as you discuss the race and its implications.

Republicans Won; Democrats Lost – Republican Jean Schmidt defeated Democrat Paul Hackett by a comfortable margin, 52%-48%. Turnout in last night’s special election was 29%.

Hackett Ran as a Republican – Despite Hackett’s best efforts to nationalize the OH-02 special election, and the national media’s extraordinary interest in the race, the election was a local race and Hackett ran as a Republican. Two of his TV ads – including his closing ad – bore images of the President.

Democrats Failed to Create Wind on Ethics – Despite Democrat attempts to link Schmidt to the cloud of controversy in Columbus, Hackett still failed to win. What happened in Ohio was a microcosm of the strategy Democrats are aiming to employ nationally, namely, they are attempting to defeat Republicans by creating an anti-Republican wind.

Democrats Failed in OH-02 Despite Enormous Help – Even with an extraordinary amount of national media attention showered on Hackett, a huge last-minute influx of money from Democrat-affiliated special interests and other liberal online groups, and aggressive help from online bloggers, Democrats failed in OH-02. Despite all the national attention and online support, national Democrats failed to support Hackett. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did not donate to the Hackett campaign. DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel also failed to lend his personal financial support to Hackett.

The President Remains Popular Among Republicans – The OH-02 special demonstrated that the President remains immensely popular among Republican base voters, and that Democrat attempts to make congressional elections a referendum on the President’s policies in districts where Republicans outnumber Democrats will not work.

National Democrats Are Extremely Vulnerable on the Issue of Taxes – Democrat Paul Hackett was defeated largely as a result of his positions on taxes. OH-02 demonstrated emphatically that national Democrats do not have credibility on the tax message and they continue to be extremely vulnerable on the issue.

National Democrats Wasted Money They Don’t Have on OH-02 – National Democrats spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the special at a time when they have less than a third of the COH net resources available to them than the national Republicans have.

The fact that the NRCC found it necessary in the first place to send out a memo on a special election that should have been a cakewalk for them is extremely telling. They need talking points (TPs..which is also what they wipe with) for a seat they should have held with great ease?

TP #1: Republicans Won; Democrats LostRepublican Jean Schmidt defeated Democrat Paul Hackett by a comfortable margin, 52%-48%. Turnout in last night’s special election was 29%.

Rob Portman, who vacated the seat, received 70%+ of the vote in this district from 1998-2004. Schmidt won it by 4. Not only is this an extremely UNCOMFORTABLE margin for the GOP and Schmidt..it's just a few heartbeats away from an automatic recount.

TP #2:Hackett Ran as a RepublicanDespite Hackett’s best efforts to nationalize the OH-02 special election, and the national media’s extraordinary interest in the race, the election was a local race and Hackett ran as a Republican. Two of his TV ads – including his closing ad – bore images of the President.

Schmidt took half a million dollars of NRCC (that's national, for those of you scoring at home) cash for this race. The national media became interested in the race after the shameful attempts at smearing Paul Hackett. Not to mention Schmidt's dishonesty regarding her association with Republican blogger and former candidate Eric Minamyer.

TP #3:Democrats Failed to Create Wind on EthicsDespite Democrat attempts to link Schmidt to the cloud of controversy in Columbus, Hackett still failed to win. What happened in Ohio was a microcosm of the strategy Democrats are aiming to employ nationally, namely, they are attempting to defeat Republicans by creating an anti-Republican wind.

How dare those Democrats point out Schmidt's shaky ethics. And since when is Coingate a "cloud of controversy"? The Republican Party of Ohio has been exposed as a corrupt political machine that screwed the taxpayers of Ohio. It's crystal. Schmidt lied about her association with Noe..the guy at the head of the scandal.

TP #4:Democrats Failed in OH-02 Despite Enormous HelpEven with an extraordinary amount of national media attention showered on Hackett, a huge last-minute influx of money from Democrat-affiliated special interests and other liberal online groups, and aggressive help from online bloggers, Democrats failed in OH-02. Despite all the national attention and online support, national Democrats failed to support Hackett. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did not donate to the Hackett campaign. DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel also failed to lend his personal financial support to Hackett.

The DNC sent 28 campaign staff to Ohio. Hackett clearly had enough money and resources to make a major difference in the race. Republican bitching about "national" influences in this race is complete joke. If Pelosi and Emanuel had focused a huge amount into this race, Hackett still likely would have lost and the GOP would be complaining about how the Dems wasted their money.

(Oh wait...see TP#7)

TP #5:The President Remains Popular Among RepublicansThe OH-02 special demonstrated that the President remains immensely popular among Republican base voters, and that Democrat attempts to make congressional elections a referendum on the President’s policies in districts where Republicans outnumber Democrats will not work.

According to Zogby, the Red State approval ratings for Bush aren't exactly under the "immensely popular" category:

Zogby International also continues to track the President’s performance in both the “Red States” which he carried in the 2004 election and the “Blue States” carried by Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat Bush defeated last fall. President Bush is approved by 52% in the Red States, a positive trend away from his 48% job approval there a month ago. But in the Blue States, the President’s approval is in freefall, down to 37% in the latest poll, two points lower than the 39% of Blue States who approved his job performance in June.

If "just barely half of the people think Bush doesn't suck" in the states that voted for him is "immensely popular" then the "soft bigotry of low expectations" has once again reared it's head.

TP #6:National Democrats Are Extremely Vulnerable on the Issue of TaxesDemocrat Paul Hackett was defeated largely as a result of his positions on taxes. OH-02 demonstrated emphatically that national Democrats do not have credibility on the tax message and they continue to be extremely vulnerable on the issue.

Hackett creamed Schmidt with rural voters..where taxes tend to be the larger issue. Hackett practically won a seat that has been virtually untouchable for the last 6 years. It would appear that the nation is preparing itself for a reasonable and responsible tax and spend strategy..even in it's most Republican regions. Raising taxes in a time of war (that's why we had to have Bolton in the UN right now..we're at war, remember?) isn't unreasonable to the vast majority of Americans. Even Republican Americans.

TP #7:National Democrats Wasted Money They Don’t Have on OH-02National Democrats spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the special at a time when they have less than a third of the COH net resources available to them than the national Republicans have.

Weren't they just complaining that the Dems didn't use all their resources to help Hackett? They also claimed that Hackett tried to "nationalize" a local race by using outside resources? And now here it says the Dems spent resources they didn't have? The GOP can't even keep their talking points straight in the same damn memo.

And don't worry about the national Dems when it comes to money, Dr. Dean has everything well under control.

Posted by Carla Ryan at August 3, 2005 5:15 PM