Ohio all ears for GOP: Darcy cartoon

Ohio's state bird is the cardinal, The midterm elections made it official the state mammal is the GOP elephant.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ohio’s official state bird is the cardinal.  The midterm elections made it official the state mammal is the GOP elephant.

At his Wednesday press conference, a subdued and agitated President Trump tried to spin the midterm elections as nearly a complete victory for himself and Republicans.  The only state where that was really true was in Ohio, and Trump justifiably hyped those results, expressing his admiration for governor-elect Mike DeWine and his distaste for Democrat challenger Richard Cordray.

Blue wave bypasses Ohio

The Democrats gains in the House now officially register as a blue wave, as they continue to rack up wins, gaining 30 seats with more expected.  But it’s also official the blue wave skipped over Ohio, with Sherrod Brown the only Ohio Democrat not falling off his surfboard.

Led by governor-elect Mike DeWine, Republicans routed Democrats in Ohio’s midterm elections winning races for all Ohio’s top state offices on average by 200,000 votes.  

As Democrats won eight governorships nationwide, DeWine stood out with his dominating win over Cordray.   While Cordray won 9 Ohio counties, DeWine won 79. Cordray had dominated in the counties that are home to Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron, but Dewine nominated everywhere else.   The results followed the rural vs urban pattern in the Trump vs Clinton race.

DeWine  and the rest of the Republican ticket had built in advantages going into the race.  Registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats by 600,000.   The state is heavily gerrymandered to favor Republicans.  Trump won Ohio, the national economy is good.  DeWine had previously beaten Cordray. 

Another advantage I thought DeWine had going into the race was that he had been a visible and active presence in the state as Attorney General while Cordray had gone out of sight and out of mind serving in the Obama administration.

Would Rep. Tim Ryan have beaten DeWine?   Ryan had been talked about as potential candidate for governor before making it official he would remain in Congress.  Since Democrats were desperate to regain the House, it was likely wise that Ryan didn’t leave his seat open for an Ohio Republican to take.

Brown’s win reinforces he should have been on Clinton ticket..

The lone positives for Democrats in Ohio were the victories of Judge Melody Stewart and Sen Sherrod Brown.

Stewart becomes the first African-American to be elected to the Ohio Supreme Court.  Brown becomes a potential 2020 candidate.

Brown’s substantial win in a Trump-red state further proves that one of the major mistakes Hillary Clinton made in her 2016 presidential bid was not choosing Brown as her running mate over the weaker Tim Kaine.

For a presidential campaign that turned on rural, working class voters, the anti-NAFTA-TPP Brown would have produced more appeal and votes than Kaine.

It’s been speculated that one reason Renacci attacked Brown over his nasty divorce, was to soften him up for Trump, should Brown run for president in 2020.   Trump would not be in a good position to attack Brown over allegations made during his divorce.  Trump’s first wife accused him of rape in their nasty divorce.  She now supports Trump, just as Brown’s ex-wife supported his re-election.

DeWine sends right post-election message.

Unlike Trump, Dewine has been a gracious and forward thinking winner.   His first four appointments have been women and he talked about being a governor of all Ohioans not just the Trump base.

As we begin this journey tonight, we must work not as Democrats, not as Republicans but as Ohioans,” said DeWine.

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