Everyone wants to pick a winner. Maybe because they like to feel they were right, maybe because they expect a payoff for supporting them. Richland county has, for the past four election, voted overwhelmingly Republican. Those demographics place the odds in favor of the eventual Republican nominee. Luckily, Americans also love the underdog.
So what is the strategy for a young Democrat with no connections, no money, and no name recognition winning the nomination and then going on to winning in November? After that, what’s the strategy to have any impact in a Republican controlled government that sidelines Democrats? Solid questions, you’ve clearly come prepared.
Here’s the thing: when one party (Republicans) has dominated the state government for 50+ years, the fundamentals of party politics fall apart. We’re living in a single party system and the Democrats are, at best, a very successful minor party and at worst a foil that Republicans play off of to keep people interested. The dynamics of a state legislature election where no one is paying attention and the results are certain make for an amazing opportunity.
The downside of having almost complete control of the government for over half a century is that you really have to take responsibility for the long-term decline of Ohio over the past half century. Yes, the Republicans have done an exceptional job of shifting blame and making it clear that they are the only option. But we’ve reached a point in Ohio where that just isn’t going to stand anymore. After hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs lost, all of our best and brightest abandoning Ohio, and the opioid crisis that has impacted nearly every family in the state; change is in the air.
Voters aren’t looking for Republican-lite, they aren’t looking for an FDR Democrat. The consensus is that we need something new, something no one has seen before. That’s what this campaign offers. A new politics of experimentation and innovation, of acceptance and unity. A politics of contradiction, of bold, pragmatic reforms, of expanding liberty and expanding the safety net, of choice and competition, of wise words from a fresh face.
The vast, vast majority of people are non-partisan and non-voters. They are disinterested in politics because politics does nothing for them. They can barely be bothered to know who the president is, much less who is running to represent them at the state level. And they are the most rational, sensible people in the country. They’re the ones this campaign is for. They’re the ones who are going to power us to victory.