The 2014 race for Governor of Ohio,_2014

Incumbent Republican John Kasich, a former Congressman, FOX host and Wall Street guy, is running for reelection. He only narrowly beat his Democratic predecessor and has had a bumpy first term with lots of terrible decisions. After doing his damnedest to be a Buckeye Scott Walker, though, he’s tacked back to the center and calmed down a bit. He has buckets of money and strong support from Big Business, and his poll numbers have been showing relatively steady improvement as the state’s economy seems to recover.

Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald is the county executive of Cuyahoga County (the greater Cleveland area), where he’s done excellent work. He’s a former colleague of mine and a good guy IMHO. But he’s not too well-known outside of NE Ohio, botched the rollout of his first running mate (lots o’ tax problems) and his fundraising has been disappointing to date. President Obama isn’t all that popular here these days, and this is his last midterm election, which usually doesn’t bode well for candidates of the incumbent second-term President’s party.

Probably would’ve been better for FitzGerald to get reelected as county exec - which he pretty easily could have done - and have four more years of solid achievement to point to when he ran for an open gubernatorial seat in Columbus in 2018.

I wish it weren’t so, and I’ll be glad to be proven wrong, but I suspect Kasich can look forward to a second term - and will likely run for President two years hence.

What do you think?

Too early to despair. Still plenty of time for things to happen before November, especially for the national tide to drive state elections like this one. There’s plenty of video of various Kasich fuckery to put on the telly, and plenty of time for Fitzgerald to remind all the voters of his support of Obamacare.

The most disappointing thing about this race is that Rich Cordray isn’t in it. Last I spoke with him - late in the 2010 campaign - he told me he felt pretty good about being in it.

FiveThirtyEightis saying Kasich has an 83% chance of winning.

Who’s despairing? Not me. I’m just trying to be realistic.

Cordray is also a good guy and has a better CV than FitzGerald, but is not nearly as dynamic a speaker or campaigner. I’ve seen them both in action.

I met Cordray years ago in Canada, and sent him a tin of maple syrup one Christmas. Could tell even then that he’d be running for some office at some point.

Kasich has expanded Medicaid. I like that (no surprise).

My high school quiz show team in Columbus beat Cordray’s. That’s my claim to a connection.

True, but so would any Democrat have done.

Yes, Kasich expanded Medicaid in Ohio, in the teeth of strong opposition from conservatives in his own party, and I give him props for that.

My sister-in-law was a law school classmate of his. She’s followed his career with interest over the years.

But I still shook his hand before any of you did. You can never take that away from me. :wink:

Fitzgerald seems to be an amazing candidate. Awesome resume. I think the reason he’s running is because he can beat Kasich(although it’s less than 50-50 than he will), but Kasich is strong enough that it won’t be a particular disappointment if he falls short. Then he’d be the obvious frontrunner in 2018, or he could challenge Rob Portman in 2016.

Could be. I still wish he’d stayed put until 2018 and run for the open seat.

FitzGerald has his first ad up:

The latest polling is slightly more encouraging for him:

I’ve heard some radio ads for Kasich (talking about his small-town values) and one TV ad (talking about how his leadership has Ohio on the right track).

Interesting insights, but if not FitzGerald, who would you put at the top of the Democratic ticket? I haven’t seen him in person but he seems to be running a pretty decent campaign. Of course, I may be a cockeyed optimist – I’m one little blue dot in a sea of red over here in Miami County.

He’s a quality candidate. He’ll probably run a great campaign. And PPP shows him down by only one point. So maybe. Now that it’s a winnable race, it looks like he made the right decision to run.

Could be. Hope you’re right. But I suspect he’s gonna be buried in negative ads, with not nearly as much money as he needs to respond, come the fall.

He’ll probably lose, but only because incumbents have advantages and Kasich’s approval probably is too high for the voters to turn him out. Plus the usual problems with Democratic turnout in a midterm election.

But it looks like he’ll come close enough to make an impressive showing, and could even win. If he does, I expect he’ll be a Presidential contender in 2020 or 2024.

I’m a big fan of Kasich’s though, and I hope he runs for Prez in 2016. So I’m hoping he wins easily.

Not a good week for Ed Fitzgerald: