Monday, January 11, 2010

More on Kasich/....?

Well apparently my post last week predicting Mary Taylor as Kasich's LG pick piqued some interest on Cap Square and even in the media. From the Dispatch:
Capitol Square is abuzz with speculation about the political marriage. It makes sense on a number of levels. Kasich would benefit from having a woman on the ticket who has political strength in voter-rich northeastern Ohio (Taylor lives in the Akron suburb of Green). As the sitting auditor, Taylor also would have the credibility to press the case for Kasich that Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland has mismanaged the state's economy and budget.
Some critics have surmised that because Taylor is such a strong candidate, it shows the weakness of the Kasich campaign; that they need someone as high profile as Mary to shake things up.

Yes, you read that messed up logic right, folks.

Kasich may pick the best possible LG candidate for a number of reasons, but mostly because he's supposed to pick the best possible LG candidate!

Plus, no LG candidate will ever shake up a race. Can the LG help shape the race by providing a high profile surrogate with credentials to back up quality talking points? Absolutely. But shaking up? Not so much.

Now why wouldn't he pick Taylor? As some Republicans I've spoken to agree, it puts into question the Auditor's race, and in turn, the apportionment board.

For those that don't know, the Ohio Apportionment Board is an administrative body which draws the single-member legislative districts for the Ohio General Assembly every ten years following the census. Each of the 33 senate districts is composed of three contiguous of the 99 house of representatives district.

The board has five members; the Governor of Ohio, the Ohio Secretary of State, the Ohio State Auditor, a member selected by the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and the senate leader of the same party, and a member selected by the house and senate leaders of other party.

A Kasich/Taylor ticket further strengthens a gubernatorial campaign that is up 9 among likely voters per Rasmussen, tied among registered voters(!) in Quinnipiac, and all before Kasich has ran a single comparative ad.

Husted is clearly out in front in the Secretary of State race and vastly outfundraising the opposition.

The House and Senate split.

So, if Kasich & Husted win, no matter what happens to the Auditor's seat, Republicans win the apportionment board. Sure, 4-1 is better than 3-2, but a majority is a majority.

And right now I don't think any serious pol from either side would bet against both Kasich and Husted winning in November.

But, with that being said, if Kasich selects Taylor, a serious candidate must be chosen to run for Auditor. With Pepper only able to raise about 140k a month in his first two months of running, he isn't a threat to spend his way to victory - especially considering the Pepper family funded a little over 1/5 of his slight fundraising haul. So a Republican able to quickly raise money, or self-fund the race, seems essential. That leaves someone like Josh Mandel moving over from the Treasurer's race or DeWine moving over from AG to take over. Either would be ridiculously difficult for Pepper to beat.

If DeWine moves over, the fundraising floodgates open for Yost and he gets his chance to see what he can do against Cordray.

Either way, as long as the Auditor nominee is legit, it's hard to imagine a down-ticket race somehow bucking the GOP trend that is rearing its head in Ohio, and nationally, these days.

Finally, what about Mary's ambitions to run for Senate? Well, if she decides to run against Sherrod, doing so from the LG position will only benefit her. Sure, folks that follow this stuff like you do(you are reading this little blog, right?) understand that the Auditor is far more important a position than LG, but for the average voter it's tough to disagree that Lieutenant Governor sounds stronger than Auditor. Along with the lesser responsibilities, she'd have more time to devote to raising the money she'll need to take on Brown in 2012.

Ultimately, I'm sticking to my bet that Taylor's the pick. Yes, it makes things a little more fun for everyone in this crazy political game to see who would get the Auditor gig, but ultimately, I think it's worth it.


  1. I'm a little shocked that you wouldn't mention Yost as a candidate for Auditor. That position seems a little "under" a former US Senator (trying to get into Sen. DeWine's head a little).

  2. Yost doesn't have the proven fundraising network, the high profile, or the resume to win the Auditor's gig. We need a bigger name in there.

  3. Resume? Dave Yost is the former Delaware County Auditor.

  4. My bad, Anon. That will teach me not to look at the whole resume.

    That said, if Taylor is the pick, our Auditor candidate needs two of those three characteristics, and Yost filling just one doesn't quite fill the bill - unless he gets some serious help re: fundraising from the Party.

    Is it a possibility? Sure. But not likely.

  5. Don't you think it is more likely if he "steps out of the way" of DeWine, thus not putting the ORP in a bind of playing favorites in the AG primary. IMO, DeWine won't stoop to Auditor's office and Yost can use it as a professional building block so something later on down the road.

  6. When I say "it is more likely," I mean garnering a fundraising base. Sorry to be unclear in that last post.

  7. MakeOhioRed,

    Yes, the ORP would get behind Yost if he stepped into the Auditor position.

    And fortunately, both are clearly qualified to run, but I just tend to believe, given the choice, that we would want to go with the candidate with the higher profile - DeWine.

    With that said, I agree that it will be extremely difficult for him to switch races.

  8. Really the bigger question is why would Mary Taylor want to be LG? She's in a much better position as auditor to continue to rise than as LG.

    It may be a smart move for Kasich - but dumb for Taylor.

  9. If Mary Taylor were to join the Kasich ticket, it would only hurt her standing among independent voters.

    Independent voters see Taylor as championing the people of Ohio with her push for more transparency via auditing state and local governments in Ohio. To accept a position on the Kasich ticket would be interpreted as abandoning principles and the people in order to subordinating herself to a political party and a Washington insider. I don't think that's a recipe for courting independent votes for a U.S. Senate run. She'd be in the good graces of the public if she ran for U.S. Senate as the sitting Auditor, a position in which she can continue to rack up accolade after accolade. Her accomplishments would do much of the campaigning for her.

    If Kasich has the inside track on the governor's race (which I question), and Husted has the inside track on the SoS race (which I question), then isn't it fabulous that Taylor also has the inside track on the Auditor's race (solidly so) so that the party apparatus can pick up three statewide seats instead of two? I don't understand your math that says picking up two races is better than picking up three.

    I especially don't understand, if we're going to pick up two instead of three offices, why we would abandon the auditor's race when we have the first auditor who's actually qualified to be auditor. That's what makes Taylor's re-election bid so formidable in the first place.

    State Senator Mark Wagoner would be capable of handling a surrogate role on the campaign trail for Kasich.

    If we're going to move Mike DeWine to another race, he could be Lt. Gov. After all, he has experience in that office. Or, if we're chasing two apportionment offices instead of three, then why not move Husted to the Lt. Gov. position and let Mike DeWine run for SoS?

    If Kasich doesn't like those options, then perhaps it's because he's a misogynist, and believes that a female Republican who can hold her own ought to always play second fiddle instead of out-performing the GOP men.

  10. misogynist? Wow.


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