It has been well documented that Ohio plays a big part in the Presidential races. In fact, not since Abraham Lincoln has a Republican made it to the white house without winning the state of Ohio. Until this last election in 2008, a democrat did not win the popular vote in Ohio since 1964 when Lyndon B. Johnson successfully won the election in Ohio. For this reason, Ohio always has been a major battleground state in the Presidential elections which makes their gubernatorial election an important one for the entire nation.
One reason that many believe that President Obama was able to carry Ohio was because for the first time since 1991, Ohio had a democrat in the Governors mansion.
With Ohio set to elect their next Governor in this upcoming election, the eyes of the nation should be paying attention. The incumbent Ted Strickland, a democrat is facing stiff competition from his republican challenger John Kasich. Strickland won his first election against Ken Blackwell in a landslide capturing over 60 percent of the vote and promising change for Ohio. However, during Strickland’s tenure, Ohio, as has the nation has seen its unemployment rate rise and his approval rating is now below 50 percent.
According to realclearpolitics.com Kasich is leading in nearly every poll and the gap is widening. One study conducted by Quinnipiac from September 9 to September 14 has Kasich at a +17. On the contrary, during that same time a study was conducted by Fox News only had Kasich +6.
John Kasich served nine consecutive terms in the US House of Representatives and was chairman of the last house budget committee that presented a balanced budget. Many feel that his history on capital hill and his successful financial history make him the right candidate to lead Ohio in a new direction.
However, members of the Strickland camp point to Kasich’s seven year career with Lehman Brothers, a now defunct investment firm make him a part of the problem, not the solution. Strickland argues that the downfall of our country’s economy can be linked directly to investment firms such as Lehman Brothers which is a clear indicator of Kasich’s judgment.
If Kasich managers to hold on to his lead in the polls and unseat Ted Strickland it could lead to not only big changes for the state of Ohio but big changes for this country. If the Republicans can regain control of Ohio this November, it opens the possibility of them regaining control of the oval office in 2011.
Joe Hallet, “Ohio & The Presidency,” The Columbus Dispatch