by Craig Dimitri

Two Ohio Republicans may have survived the Democratic storm surge that flooded the state on November 7, when Democratic gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates crushed their GOP opponents.  One is quasi-freshman Rep. Jean Schmidt, the other is long-time Rep. Deborah Pryce.  Let’s talk about Schmidt, first…

Schmidt currently enjoys a solid (but by no means insurmountable) lead of 2,865 votes over Democratic challenger Dr. Victoria Wulsin, about 2%, in her seven-county, southern Ohio, Cincinnati-area district.  In 2005, the same two candidates faced each other in a special election to fill the seat, with Schmidt, a state legislator, winning by about 3%.  This was an exceptionally weak showing, given that this district is overwhelmingly Republican.  George W. Bush defeated John F. Kerry in the district in 2004 by a 64%-36% margin, nearly a 2-1 ratio.

This year, Schmidt was attempting to win a full term in her own right, but independent polling, as well as the weakness of the Ohio GOP this year, showed her to be vulnerable in the rematch with Wulsin.  For a Democrat to win this seat, would have been one of their most stunning victories in a year in which they had a great deal of them. 

However, this race is not yet finished; there are still over 8,200 provisional ballots and more than 1,500 absentee ballots, remaining to be counted, according to the political blog on Cincinnati.com, the site of the city’s newspapers.  Wulsin would need to win a considerable majority, but the outcome is not absolutely certain, and she has not conceded.  Friday, November 17, was the deadline for provisional ballot voters to confirm their identity; the Wulsin campaign site’s front page was a plea for their supporters to do precisely that, by the legal deadline set by the U.S. district court handling the contest.

Questions? Comments? Information? You can contact Craig Dimitri at cdimitri1@yahoo.com.

Schmidt campaign site – http://www.jeanschmidt.com/

Wulsin campaign site – http://www.wulsinforcongress.com/

Cincinnati.com political blog – http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/gov/

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