Unlike Virginia and New Jersey, which are electing governors this November, Ohio doesn’t have off-year elections for statewide offices. Our election in November will include a few state-wide ballot issues (like Issue 3, the gambling initiative), but most of the ballot will be devoted to local elections for school boards, city council, and township trustee positions.
That won’t keep the national media from targeting Ohio for attention and considering what the 2010 state-wide elections might look like, and here is the first article I have seen along those lines. There will be a full slate of significant races. Every state-wide office, from Governor to Auditor, will be up for grabs, as well as the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Senator George Voinovich and every congressional seat. The politicking for the races is already underway. Our firm has been visited by candidates, and I regularly get e-mails and mailings from the various candidates looking for contributions.
Still, I think it is very early to say much of anything meaningful about what might happen in Ohio in 2010. A year is a very long time in politics — just ask Marc Dann — and the election no doubt will be influenced, as every Ohio election seems to be, by the state of the economy, unemployment figures, and scandals that have not yet hit the front pages. I think most people like Governor Strickland and think he has been a good, moderating influence on Ohio politics, but that perception could change if, say, the state’s unemployment rate continues to climb and the Governor and the General Assembly continue to have to deal with budget shortfalls by considering politically unpopular actions like tax increases. Any predictions now about what might happen in the Buckeye State in November 2010 would be pure speculation, and almost certain to be wrong.