A few months ago, Democrats were facing uphill battles in the Ohio races for governor and U.S. Senate. However, recent polls have been more encouraging. A new Quinnipac poll shows Governor Ted Strickland leading Republican John Kasich by 44 percent to 38 percent and both Democratic candidates, Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner, narrowly ahead of Republican Rob Portman in the U.S. Senate races, 40-37 and 40-36. Quinnipac was polling registered voters in Ohio, and polls that sample likely voters tend to produce better numbers for Republicans, but as you can see from the Pollster.com chart, several pollsters have found Strickland in a stronger position compared to a few months ago:
I'm Jeff Coryell, editor of the Ohio Daily Blog until just after the 2008 election. Now I'm volunteering my time and donating what I can to support Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in the Democratic primary for the open U.S. Senate seat of retiring incumbent Senator George Voinovich (R-OH). I'm publishing this diary to explain why I'm dedicating myself to this cause, and why I believe that netroots progressives around the country should join me in supporting Jennifer Brunner.
We're seeing in dramatic fashion the consequences of having a Democratic majority in the Senate that is stocked with "moderates" who are overly anxious to kowtow to the GOP and careers pols who are too concerned with their political fortunes to make tough votes in support of progressive positions. I'm backing Jennifer Brunner because she is an unabashed progressive and she's not afraid to put her progressive principles into action. At an event at the City Club of Cleveland today she said flat-out that if she were in Congress today she'd push the Democrats to move ahead unilaterally on health care reform with a strong public option, and that she will never hesitate to do what is right out of concern about her own re-election. This is someone in the mold of our other Senator, Sherrod Brown, for whom Jennifer worked when he was Secretary of State. Imagine how great it would be to have two real progressive leaders in the Senate from the formerly purple state of Ohio, and two who already have a great working relationship at that.
To put it plainly, progressives across the country should support Jennifer Brunner in this critical primary because she is a progressive champion with a record of success in public service, and because she is clearly the best choice to defeat the likely Republican candidate in the general election. Details after the break.
Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to speak with Ohio's Democratic Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, a candidate for his party's Senatorial nomination for the open seat race in 2010.
Fisher and I covered a number of issues, with the candidate expressing his support for the public option (and unwillingness, as of that point, to support any bill that did not include a public option), the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, and the Employee Free Choice Act. Fisher also stated that he counts himself among the vast majority of Americans who understand and know that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. Here is the rush transcript of our conversation:
Jonathan Singer: What do you as the path to victory in a general election, you versus the friend of George Bush? Maybe that is the path...
Lee Fisher: Well, that is part of the path. I think the path to victory is a number of things. Number one, speaking directly to what people care most about, and that is turning around the economy; creating jobs, saving jobs, attracting jobs; and making sure that people understand that their next Senator cares about them in terms of putting food on the table, paying their bills, making sure the rules are fair, and that they're going to have an opportunity, not only for themselves but for their kids. To me, that's what it's all about. It's all about stabilizing the economy, and then making sure that Ohio actually prospers in a way that every family gets an opportunity to achieve their dreams. And that's number one.
The second is to show the contrast between Lee Fisher and Rob Portman. And the fact that Rob Portman and George Bush brought us eight years of disastrous trade policies and economic policies that got us into the deepest economic ditch in most of our lifetimes, and that the worst possible thing we could do would be to move backwards and go back to the same people and the same policies that got us into this mess. And there is no candidate in America today running for office on the Republican side who is more closely tied to George Bush, because Portman was one of the chief architects of Bush's trade and economic policies. So some Republicans might be able to run away from Bush. Rob Portman cannot.