Will a blue wave hit Ohio on Tuesday?
It’s hard to say, but one thing is true: Democrats will have their best election since 2006, the last time they won the governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer seats.
That’s really not going out on a limb because Republicans have controlled state government for 24 of the past 28 years.
Democrats weren’t competitive in some of those statewide election years. All you have to do is go back four years to see the pathetic showing from Democrats with then-Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald leading a weak ticket that was crushed in 2014.
However, Democrats have done a significantly better job in this election raising money, campaigning on the right issues and are much more focused than in 2014.
A recent poll from the Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute had Mike DeWine, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, at 39.4 percent and Rich Cordray, the Democratic nominee, at 38.8 percent, a statistical dead-heat. The poll has two minor-party candidates at a combined 6 percent – which seems rather high.
It also had 15.8 percent of those polled undecided. That too seems like a lot of people who haven’t made up their minds with the election only days away.
Other polls have shown a virtual tie between DeWine and Cordray.
The two candidates are pulling out all the stops flooding the airwaves with commercials and having high-profile surrogates campaign for them, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for DeWine, and former Vice President Joe Biden in Youngstown this past Monday for Cordray as well as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Former President Barack Obama also campaigned for Cordray in September.
Based on history, this should be a good year for Democrats. Traditionally, the opposition party to the president does well in midterm elections such as this.
National election experts expect Democrats to capture the U.S. House. It’s unlikely they’ll regain control of the U.S. Senate even though Republicans rule it by a slim 51-49 majority.
In Ohio, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the incumbent Democrat, is poised to be re-elected to a third six-year term. His Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, hasn’t gained much traction.
The Baldwin Wallace poll has Brown with 51.2 percent to 31.7 for Renacci. I don’t think it will be a nearly 20-point blowout, but the race isn’t going to be close.
The same poll has Democrats ahead, typically not by much, in the races for attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer. However, the poll also has undecided voters anywhere from 20.8 percent to 22.8 percent.
If the poll is accurate it seems as though plenty will be deciding who they’re voting for at the last possible minute.
One interesting question in the poll is about who people favor in U.S. House races. Currently, there are 12 Republican House members and 4 Democrats in Ohio.
The poll shows people favor Democratic candidates 42.6 percent compared to Republicans with 39 percent.
But there are perhaps three or four competitive House races – all currently controlled by Republicans – in Ohio, and it’s likely to be a struggle for Democrats to pick up more than two.
Turnout is the key to winning elections, and that seems to be a plus for Democrats this year. That’s because turnout is expected to be pretty good.
Cleveland.com had an interesting breakdown in a Tuesday article of gubernatorial elections since 1982.
It showed that when turnout is higher than 50 percent, Democrats have won the governor’s race three out of four times.
When turnout is under 50 percent, Republicans are 5-0 in governor races.
If the statewide races are as tight as predicted, expect a long night Tuesday.