Redfern: Dems should do well in November


By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The success of the Democratic state ticket largely rests with a strong victory by Gov. Ted Strickland, state Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern said.

During an interview Thursday with The Vindicator’s editorial board, Redfern said he was “relatively optimistic” that Democrats would do well in Ohio in the November general election despite national polls showing his party losing favor with voters.

“I’m not throwing up the white flag and saying, ‘I’ll take two of these five offices and call it a day,’” Redfern said.

He was referring to the races for governor, secretary of state, auditor, attorney general and treasurer.

“We have got so much work to do, but the resources are there” for Democrats to win in November.

A lot of it depends on Strickland, who is facing a challenge from Republican John Kasich.

“Races are built on the top of the ticket,” Redfern said.

If Strickland wins convincingly, the rest of the Democratic ticket will succeed, Redfern said.

There are plenty of people who don’t realize they can vote for state treasurer, for example, Redfern said.

The Ohio Democratic Party is the largest state party in terms of employees with 182, he said. The party has developed a strong grass-roots program that hinges on staff members going door-to-door asking voters what issues matter the most to them and understanding how best to solve their concerns, he said.

As for the open U.S. Senate seat up for election in November between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, a Democrat, and Republican Rob Portman, Redfern said, “It’s obviously a challenge, but it’s still neck-and-neck” in the polls.

With the economy still struggling, Fisher should probably be trailing Portman by 10 percentage points, Redfern said. It is because of Fisher’s strength as a candidate that he is in a statistical dead-heat with Portman, who has raised more $10 million compared with $4.85 million for Fisher, Redfern said.

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