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May 3, 2006 2:04 am

Ohio In

To follow up on my posts below, the Ohio primary results are now in--and it would be hard to imagine a better outcome, across the board, for the Democrats. In the gubernatorial race, Republicans nominated Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a hard-line social conservative; Congressman Ted Strickland easily captured the GOP nod. Blackwell will join Lynn Swann as black GOP gubernatorial nominees, but he's almost certainly too conservative for the state to win. In the Senate race, GOP incumbent Mike Dewine polled only 71% of the vote against nuisance challengers, hardly an impressive showing for a two-term incumbent. State party leaders pressured their strongest candidate, Paul Hackett, out of the Democratic primary, but Dewine's weak showing suggests possible problems for him against Congressman Sherrod Brown.

In the primary for Brown's seat, the Dems nominated the strongest possible candidate; ditto in a three-way primary to run against embattled incumbent Bob Ney. And in the 6th district seat being vacated by Ted Strickland, the strongest possible Democrat, Charles Wilson, failed to make the ballot after submitting only 48 valid nominating signatures. (He needed 50.) So he had to stand as a write-in, and captured an impressive 34,000 (63%) votes. A write-in candidate hasn't been elected to the House since, as far as I can recall, 1982, when Ron Packard won as a write-in in a three-way general election contest.

At this stage, it looks like a 1-seat Dem gain in the House from Ohio, with a very outside chance at 2, and a good shot at the Senate seat.

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