To no one's surprise that reads this blog, I'm calling it for Kasich.
I actually expected a draw. It wasn't. Not by a longshot.
In fact, simply by staying on message, Kasich won.
It's amazing how simply discussing the problems Ohio faces while repeating the remedies you've proposed for its recovery can be so effective. While Strickland flailed, harping on the same old attacks we've seen in his negative ads, Kasich pounded away at the Governor for not taking responsibility the elected CEO of the state.
But the ultimate reason why Ted lost can be blamed on Ted himself.
He didn't make news.
Ted needed a gamechanger. There wasn't one.
His big zinger? Trying to make a crack about whether Kasich cheered for the Hurricanes over the Buckeyes this past weekend.
Tomorrow morning the papers will say there was a debate. They'll repeat some of the talking points from both sides.
But then we'll be done with it until the next debate. There was no story that people will continue talking about for weeks to come. There was nothing people will discuss extensively at the water cooler. It's over and done.
And when you're down by almost 10 points with only 49 days to go, that's not good.