The Columbus Dispatch released their final round-up of state races in Ohio yesterday, and the Democrats are poised to sweep all state offices. The Republicans have a series of self-inflicted wounds here in the buckeye state, from a convicted Governor to Tom Noe's coingate scandal. Add to that the corruption of Bob Ney, and Ohioans are ready for a change.
Not only is this good for the state, but we are also seeing more House races close up. Oh-1, a district that fell victim to heavy gerrymandering to protect Republican incumbent Steve Chabot (for proof of that, come to my street where you go from one house to the next and change between Boehner and Chabot), and was considered a Republican safe seat, is now leaning more towards John Cranley, the Democratic challenger. That isn't the only seat though. We also have these:
- OH-18: Democrat Zack Space has a comfortable 9 point lead over Republican Joy Padgett. This is the race for convicted Bob Ney's seat.
- OH-15: Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy is now up to a 12 point lead over incumbent Republican Deborah Pryce.
- OH-2: The Victoria Wulsin(D)/Jean Schmidt(R) race is in a statistical dead heat. There hasn't been any polls conducted since Schmidt saying she wanted to explore the option of storing nuclear waste in her district, so the impact of that little comment is not yet known.
This means that four of the 15 seats the Democrats need to win could come from Ohio.
Even locally we are seeing races close up even more. Here in Butler County, Ohio we have a race for county auditor, in which the Democratic challenger Jack Zettler is looking more like he could take the job from Republican incumbent Kay Rogers. Rogers has held on to the job for 10 years and the seat has been traditionally Republican.
I bring this up, because we keep hearing that all politics are local. Well using that cliché, we can see how Republican fiscal policy plays a significant role into what can become a larger surge of Democratic victory. This graphic is one that has accompanied Jack's mailings and turned more voters away from Republicans.
Basically the lower and middle class residents have found their property taxes increasing by as much as 27%, while the more affluent neighborhoods receive tax breaks averaging 9%. While this is a local issue, it also resonates the larger scale tax philosophies of the GOP as a whole. The Republicans love to taunt their tax cuts to the voters, but in the end we all know this is nothing but pure spin.
While federal taxes may have decreased (by a small amount for lower and middle class), we have seen increases in our taxes on a local level. Those increases are due in part to a decrease in federal funding and states and local governments struggling to survive more (just think of what increased fuel costs have done to schools, police, fire and public works). It isn't that our taxes are decreased, the recipient has just changed hands. While that has happened, our nation's infrastructure has been deteriorating.