ABC News is calling the 15th District here in Ohio for Republican Steve Stivers over incumbent Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy. With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, Stivers leads Kilroy, 54 percent to 41 percent.
Kilroy, who was swept in to office with the Obama win in 2008, was a faithful proponent of the “health care reform” legislation and the House Democratic agenda. She was also one of UJ’s favorites.
One of the bellwether U.S House races in Ohio in this election was District 18, where incumbent Democrat Zack Space faced a stiff challenge from Republican Bob Gibbs.
The 18th is a big, sprawling district just to the east of us, so ads for the race were run on some of the Columbus TV stations. The negative ads — which was about all we saw — depicted Gibbs as a job-killer who wanted to outsource jobs to China, whereas Space was portrayed as a Nancy Pelosi clone.
The race has now been called in favor of Gibbs, who leads by a surprisingly large 14 percentage point margin with 92 percent of the votes counted. This race will be well worth reviewing in retrospect, to see what motivated the voters to turn on Space to such an extent. I suspect that the economy and government spending will be cited by most voters as the key reasons for their decision.
We’ve been channel-surfing tonight on this Election Night, flipping between CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.
All of the stations feature pundits, of course, but CNN seems to have an unworkably large number of them. Good Lord! It’s unbearable! How many are there, anyway? They seem to be rotating them in and out, like they are players on a hockey team running two-minute shifts.
I suppose pundits are unavoidable on election nights, but can’t the media outlets pick just one or two whom they think actually have something meaningful to say and just stick with them?
As the night progresses, we’ve seen significant swings in the Ohio Governor’s race. In early returns, Republican John Kasich led, then incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland surged into the lead, and now Kasich has moved into a slight lead.
In Ohio, the issue of where the votes have been counted can be highly significant. Although Ohio, as a whole, is a swing state, the Buckeye State really is a bunch of enclaves. When you consider interim statewide results, you must consider whether it is Democratic strongholds that been counted or Republican areas that have been tallied first.
Here in central Ohio, the Stivers-Kilroy case in the 15th District has not been called, although Stivers has a significant lead with more than half of the votes counted. In our district, the 12th, about a third of the votes have been counted and Republican incumbent Pat Tiberi has a surprisingly small lead over Democratic challenger Paula Brooks.
As of 10:20 p.m. Eastern time, there is still a lot to be decided.
In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio is projected to defeat Independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
I don’t know much about Rubio, but I am glad to see Crist go down to defeat. Crist lost to Rubio in the Republican primary and promptly decided to run as an Independent. In my view, Crist’s willingness to say and do anything to try to get elected epitomizes everything that is wrong with American politicians. Principles obviously meant little to him; his campaign was all about voting for Charlie Crist. Voters apparently decided they would rather vote for a candidate who stood for something other than his own advancement.
It will be interesting to see how Rubio performs on the national stage. As a conservative son of Cuban immigrants, he will be the focus of some significant media attention.
The networks are calling the Ohio U.S. Senate race for Republican Rob Portman over Democrat Lee Fisher.
No surprise there. Portman has been leading in the polls by wide margins for weeks, and Fisher’s campaign has been pretty much invisible. Fisher got attention only when he did a curious “24-hours-of-Lee-Fisher” event recently, and that was seen as more of a publicity stunt than anything else.
Portman will replace another Republican, George Voinovich, so the result is not a pick up for the Republicans. Portman is likely more conservative than Voinovich, but he is not a Tea Party favorite, either.
On the Democrat side, I expect many Ohio Democrats are regretting that they didn’t nominate Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner rather than Fisher. Brunner is more of a fresh face, whereas Fisher has been in Ohio politics for 30 years — and he didn’t run much of a campaign.
For the first time, we at Webner House are trying some live-blogging (not that anyone cares, I imagine). Kish and I are camped out in front of the TV, channel surfing to watch the returns. The polls haven’t closed yet in Ohio, but they have closed in several states.
When Richard and I went to vote this morning at about 7 a.m., our polling place was not very busy. There were people at every station, but Richard and I did not need to wait for more than a few minutes. Kish went to vote at about 4:45, and there was no real line then, either — although she had to wait for one or two people to finish up. The Ohio Secretary of State apparently is talking about a light turnout. The conventional wisdom, I think, would be that that bodes well for the Republicans.
What to watch when the polls close in Ohio? The Strickland-Kasich race looks like a close one. Here in central Ohio, we’ll be looking to see whether Steve Stivers can beat Mary Jo Kilroy in the 15th District. And elsewhere in Ohio, is there really a chance that Dennis Kucinich might lose?