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A Governor With a Lesson for Democrats

Real Clear Politics commentary:

"If you act with respect toward the people who disagree with you," Strickland said over the telephone when we finally got around to talking, "they'll give you a break and won't cut you off."

Strickland's political skill only partly explains Ohio's political transformation. A state that voted narrowly for President Bush in 2000 and 2004 not only elected Strickland as governor in 2006 but also sent Sherrod Brown, an economic populist with a far-more liberal public profile, to the United States Senate.

The conversion rate among Ohio voters in just two years was staggering. According to exit polling, 30 percent of Ohioans who voted for Bush in 2004 voted for Strickland in 2006; 20 percent of Bush's 2004 voters supported Brown.

Why the big change? Scandals involving former Gov. Robert Taft and former Rep. Bob Ney made even loyal Republicans squeamish. Strickland won a fifth of self-identified Republicans and a quarter of conservatives, while holding on to more than 90 percent of liberals and Democrats, and roughly 70 percent of moderates and independents. If national Democrats reached such numbers in 2008, they'd win the presidency decisively.

Ronald Reagan turned the nation from majority Dem to majority Pub by doing exactly this. Don't count ANYBODY out. It's easy to say that you're just expanding political opportunism, but I think that it's really about recognizing that if you get elected, you represent everybody, not just the special interests you happen to be in bed with. There's a lot of anger out there in the Republican constituency, and if the Dems will move beyond their narrow, radical agenda and Bush Derangement Syndrome, there are political fields ripe for harvest.

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Comments (4)

Lee Ward:

Recent poll suggest that the Democrats are doing just fine converting -- as is. The Democrats' lead has been increasing over the last month.

Lee Ward:

Sorry - I meant to include this link.


this demonstrates why the Republicans are going to become irrelevent. Whites are the only portion of the population that will swing between the two parties. President Bush and most of the Republican leadership has managed to destroy any credibility that the Republicans have on any issue.

Thus, in the future, the white suburban middle class voter will vote for Democrats because of President Bush. this will give the Democratic Party control of all portions of the government. That will allow the Democrats to pass a new Fairness Doctrine, another around of campaign finance reform, open border immigration reform, and single payer health insurance. this will give the Democrats an advantage that the Republicans cannot overcome.

what political scientist should be looking at is what will happen when the U.S. becomes a single party state.


Speaking of Democrats and governors, Bill in Az has figured out that Joe Wilson is Richardson's Gift Horse to the Clinton Trojans.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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