Saturday, July 30, 2005

Ohio Congressional By-election

There is an interesting Congressional by-election going on in the 2nd Congressional district in southern Ohio bordering on the Ohio River. This is as safe a Republican CD as there is the U.S. It is partly classic working class blue colour Appalachia but also southern influenced fundamentalist Christian pro-Bush country. Voting is on August 2.

Bush appointed the incumbent to an administration job thus opening the seat. However, the Democrats have an Iraq war vet, Paul Hackett, who appears to be making inroads in a district that has voted for the Republican in the past four elections by 40 to 50 point margins. Now rumours say Republican polling puts it within the margin of error or that Hackett is 10 points back. It has the Republicans in a panic, with huge ad buys and a swift boat style campaign of disinformation directed at Hackett although later reports indicate that the swift boater has backed down.

Be nice if it was a straw in the wind, but local factors including the fact that the Democrat is a pro-gun (but also pro-choice) war veteran perhaps makes it atypical. However, it is getting increased attention and even a close outcome will be seen as bad news for Bush whose recent poll numbers have turned negative.

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