Every pawn mattersWritten by Lisa Renee Ward | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Political pundits are debating the impact of the May 24 unofficial election results from New York. Democrat Kathy Hochul won the U.S. House race against Republican Jane Corwin and the Tea Party’s Jack Davis. What does this mean for Ohio and Toledo?
Independent voters are said to have played a key role in giving Hochul the victory. Voters are less inclined to give a party more time. We saw that here in Ohio when a majority of voters did not return Gov. Ted Strickland to a second term.
Hochul gained the support of some Republicans while Davis attacked Corwin. His unofficial tally of 9 percent added to Corwin’s unofficial tally of 43 percent meant that Hochul won with an unofficial 47 percent of the vote.
It was logical for Davis to seek his base of support from those who would lean toward Corwin more than those who leaned toward Hochul. The moral of this political story is the law of unintended consequences for those opting to run as a third party candidate. The hypothetical argument that Corwin would have won if Davis had not run has some merit.
Fear trumps facts. Part of the problem with facts when it comes to a variety of issues like Medicare, collective bargaining or President Obama’s health care plan, is the “facts” depend on the position rather than the policy.
Pundits and political junkies can debate the analyses of the Ryan plan and how it will affect Medicare by the Congressional Budget Office versus the Heritage Foundation. The average voter will only read or hear small parts of each, cherry-picked to create the desired reaction.
Whichever political party is in power will decry the fear factor used by the other side while trying to figure out how to capitalize on fear for their side. They know most voters will base their decision on how it will impact them the most, as opposed to some lofty for the greater good theme.
The effort to repeal Senate Bill 5 in Ohio is expected to gain enough signatures to be on the November ballot. Part of the message beyond the collective bargaining aspect — intentional or unintentional — will be a referendum on Gov. John Kasich.
Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom’s ballot amendment calling for the elimination of the requirement in the law that nearly all Americans obtain health insurance, may garner enough signatures to be on the November ballot as well. It’s being promoted as a repeal of Obamacare.
The election in New York and the increased attention on the message that Republicans are endangering Medicare makes their efforts harder than when the focus was on the president’s health care plan.
Should both issues be on the November ballot, it will create a competing base of support. Independent voters will hold the key to victory or defeat. Money will also be a factor.
It’s being reported more money was spent by Republicans in New York on Corwin’s behalf than by Democrats to assist Hochul. Outside money will be an issue in Ohio for both of our ballot issues, with groups that have an interest in either electoral outcome spending campaign cash.
Locally, with judicial races and district council seats on the ballot, public perception of the candidates and the local county party efforts could be a factor. The Lucas County Republican Party has already staked out its support of the Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom efforts and the Lucas County Democratic Party is supporting We Are Ohio’s efforts to repeal Senate Bill 5.
Independent voters will have an impact locally and how each party motivates its base will be a factor. Money won’t play as large of a role locally, beyond the possible benefit of being included in party mailings generated on the state ballot issues.
National attention will turn to Ohio and, just like in New York, the election results will be used to help set the stage for 2012. The winners will declare it proof that they are the ones who have the most public support, the losers will declare it a fluke.
It’s all part of a larger plan, to either gain or retain power with us facing the decision to be sacrificed pawns on the chessboard or learn the rules of the game — every pawn equals a vote. O
Toledo Free Press Web Editor Lisa Renee Ward operates the political blog GlassCityJungle.com.