GOP sweep is impressive

On the side

Low turnout: Voter turnout in the recent election in Ohio was poor.

Statewide, only 47.95 percent of registered voters bothered to cast ballots this election.

The turnout results in the Mahoning Valley were lower than predictions by local election officials, but extremely close to the statewide percentage.

In Mahoning County, turnout was 47.29 percent. Officials there predicted turnout at 58 percent to 59 percent. Turnout in 2006, the last gubernatorial election year, was 55.94 percent.

In Trumbull County, turnout for this election was 48.54 percent. The prediction was 55 percent to 60 percent. Turnout in 2006 was 58.31 percent.

In Columbiana County, turnout for this election was 47.53 percent. The prediction was 50 percent to 55 percent. Turnout in 2006 was 47.43 percent.

There are so many fascinating stories in Ohio to tell based on the results of this election.

The Republicans regained control of the Ohio House, won every statewide race on the ballot, unseated five Democratic members of Congress, and even picked up two seats in the Ohio Senate.

Come January, Republicans will have complete control over state government. The party will have to prove itself in a hurry and come up with ways to close a projected $8 billion state budget gap.

Gov.-elect John Kasich’s platform not only ruled out raising taxes, but he vowed to reduce them at some point in the future. He and fellow Republicans need to be careful how they slash expenses and conduct state business if they want to stay in power. The electorate is very fickle with a demand that problems, no matter how big, be resolved quickly.

It was only four years ago that Ohioans voted to elect Democrats as governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and U.S. senator. It was only two years ago that Democrats took control of the Ohio House.

Those two elections came after years of Republicans controlling state government. Voters were fed up with Republicans and voted many of them out of office. Now voters feeling the same way about Democrats.

So who were the big winners from this election?

Obviously, John Kasich is at the top of the list.

After a 10-year hiatus from running for office, the former congressman won a hotly contested race against Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat.

With Ohio always seen as a key state in the presidential election, Kasich becomes one of the most important officeholders in the country for the 2012 race. If he can produce positive results fast, he could even be considered a candidate for vice president.

Mary Taylor took a big risk running for lieutenant governor when her re-election as auditor was all but guaranteed.

Look for her profile to be raised in the Kasich administration. She needs to work on political fund raising. If she can do that, Taylor could be the Republican’s nominee for U.S. Senate in 2012 against incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown.

Ex-U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine’s political career seemed over after Brown soundly beat him in 2006.

DeWine won a close race for attorney general against Richard Cordray, the incumbent Democrat who was probably the most effective executive branch officeholder in the state.

The day before the election, DeWine predicted a close victory saying voters wanted to get rid of incumbents. Turns out, he knew what he was talking about.

Just as Justice Maureen O’Connor did in 2008, she received the most votes among any candidate on Tuesday’s ballot.

This time it was for chief justice compared to her successful re-election to a justice seat in 2008.

Justice O’Connor did this even though her race is so far down ticket I’m surprised so many people found her. She beat Eric Brown, appointed chief justice by Strickland, in all 88 counties, and received 67.78 percent of the vote.

How impressive is that? The next highest vote percentage statewide was 57.25 percent by Republican Rob Portman for U.S. Senate.

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