by Tim Tagaris, Tue May 02, 2006 at 05:26:47 PM EDT
Matt was nice enough to hand over the reigns for an evening to talk about OH! IO! and the chaos taking place in the Buckeye State this evening. If we learned anything today, it's that J. Kenneth Blackwell isn't even fit to run the election process in Ohio, let alone the state itself.
For the junkie, there are so many intriguing match-ups this evening: A GOP primary for governor pitting Ken Blackwell vs. Attorney General Jim Petro -- barring a major miracle, the winner will face Congressman Ted Strickland (OH-6) this November. Will Charilie Wilson's write-in campaign for the 6th get him on the ticket? You might recall Wilson didn't get enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot and is forced to enter the party through the backdoor. In turn, the NRCC ran ads pretty much on behalf of one of the Democrats on the ballot to boost his name ID. What about Jean Schmidt in OH-2? Republicans rivals were running against Schmidt before the first ballot was cast in August's special election vs. Paul Hackett. COAST was running ads encouraging Republicans to stay home rather than vote for Schmidt. The hope was that they could keep her percentage low enough to justify a primary ... and there is. Not to mention a hot Dem. primary between Thor Jacobs and Vic Wulsin. There's also a nice little primary involving former Dean for Ohio Communications Director Stephanie Studabaker just to the North in OH-3 with the winner facing 2 term incumbent Mike Turner.
Then there is Ohio netroots darling Subodh Chandra running in a contested Democratic primary against Ohio Democratic Party endorsed candidate (and the man who took the lead during coingate) State Senator Marc Dann. Much of the love for Paul Hackett inside the state found its way into Subodh's corner. Of course, Bob Ney (OH-18) has a contested primary that probably won't be close, but will be interesting to see if it becomes a referendum on his corruption. And also in the 18th, there's a hot Dem. primary between Mayor Joe Sulzer and an upstart Zack Space campaign. Finally, a three-way dogfight to replace Sherrod Brown in OH-13 between Capri Cafaro, former Congressman Tom Sawyer, and DCCC favorite Betty Sutton. And I am leaving a few good ones out... What a night!
Here are some resources for you, and I'll provide updates throughout the evening.
Ohio Secretary of State Election Results
Ohio SoS Statewide Results | Ohio SoS Congressional Results
Buckeye State Blog
Cincinnati Enquirer Election Page (OH-2)
Akron Beacon Journal (OH-13 & More)
Plain Dealer Election Coverage
Ohio News Network
Update #1: Because of problems at a Cuyahoga County polling place, all election results will be delayed until 9:30 P.M.Update #2 - 10:10 PM: Well, it looks Chandra's chances have gone up in smoke -- he trails ~ 74 to 26 with 21% of the precincts reporting, almost a 70,000 vote margin. If nothing else, the campaigns web-video favorably comarping Subodh with Apu from the Simpsons is worth one last watch. Also, Charlie Wilson's write-in campaign is holding up ridiculously well in the early stages, outpolling his opponent by a 2 to 1 margin early. And Blackwell holds a 54-46 advantage with that same 21% reporting. Everything else is just way too early.
Update #3 - 10:30 PM: Ted Strickland declares victory with a statement released to supporters (in the extended entry). It's like he almost had it written in advance.
Update #4 - 10:30 PM: On the phone with someone from one of the three campaigns in the 13th, the numbers they have show Sutton at 29% - Cafaro at 26% and Sawyer at 22% and change. Capri's campaign is about concede seeing no way for them to win with the votes still out there.
Update #5 - Big 11:15 Update: *OH-6* -- I'll friggin be. It looks like Charlie Wilson's write-in campaign is going to work! *sigh of relief* The majority of votes have been counted and Wilson has a commanding lead. Even in the counties with a high volume of votes remaining, Wislon is well out-pacing his rivals in the ones that have already come in.
*OH-3* -- Looks like Stephanie Studabaker is going to advance from the Democratic primary to face Mike Turner. Many of you might remember Jane Mitakides took on Turner in 2004.
*OH-13* -- That sigh of relief you hear is coming from the both the DCCC and EMILY'S List. Betty Sutton is going to advance to the general. Capri is about to concede (if she hasn't already) and former Congressman Tom Sawyer's early lead in Summit County has completely evaporated.
*OH-2* -- Looks like this one is going to be a bit closer than Jean Schmidt had hoped. Her Clermont County PLUS strategy has given her a lead, but not commanding enough to promise victory. It's going to come down to Hamilton. After Clermont, Schmidt will probably have around a 1,500 vote lead with 1/2 of Hamilton reporting.
*OH-18* -- I just got a phone call from a friend saying that in the Dem. primary, Space was going to defeat Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer ... the DCCC will not be pleased with that result, at all, in the least. In fact, Ohioelects.com (a site created by a compilation of respected news sources) is calling the race for Space. Sulzer isn't even in 2nd place.
*OH-16* -- Ralph Regula is not going to lose, although he trails right now. His opponent carried Ashland County overwhelmingly, and while that's a surprise to me, Miller is actually from that neck of the woods. Regula will carry Stark County by at least a 2 to 1 margin and win handily.
Update #6 - 11:30 PM Final One: So, Jean Schmidt is going to advance in OH-2 along with Vic Wulsin on the Democratic side. No real big surprises there, although two tough fought primaries. Otherwise, Ken Blackwell and Marc Dann in the two most watched statewide primaries. Charlie Wilson's magical write-in campaign is the story of the night along with Joe Sulzer's implosion against Zach Space in OH-18. Now the question in that race is will Ney resign and allow the party to appoint his successor? Unless I'm forgetting anything, I'll probably move all the analysis and breakdown into the extended entry in a bit. What a night, indeed! It didn't dissapoint.