Sunday, October 12, 2008


IT NOW APPEARS that Ohio will be among those states that might contribute to an increase in newly recruited  Democrats in the U.S. Congress.  National projections by analysts who are following the numbers closely are forecasting  Democratic gains of 20 to 30 members.   (You might want to check the experts' projections on election night.)  The current count in the House is 233 Democrats, 202 Republicans. In Ohio,  the first district seat, currently occupied by Republican Steve Chabot - and second district, represented by Republican Jean Schmidt,  are now said to be "tossups".  Tossups?  In the Cincinnati area where polls show McCain with a comfortable lead? And where Republicans have a hefty long-standing base camp to tilt the whole state to their column?  

Schmidt, you may recall, launched her career in the House in 2005 (filling an unexpired term)   when she stupidly  slammed Rep. John Murtha with an awfully personal  quote from a colonel that supposed, "Cowards cut and run. Marines never do."  Schmidt, known around town  as "Mean Jean", backed up a half-inch or so by saying she didn't know that  Murtha was a Marine who had served in Vietnam.   She does now. 

The 15th  district (Columbus) is also a 50-50 proposition to fill the seat held by Debra Pryce, who is not running this year.  And another cliffhanger could be the 16th District seat (Canton, Stark Co.) occupied by retiring 18-term  Rep. Ralph Regula, a Republican.   The combatants for the seat are State Sens. John Boccieri (D) and Kirk Schuring (R).  Both candidates are getting a lot of attention from the national parties.  If you want to know more about them, they'll be debating at the The University of Akron Medina County University Center at 8 Thursday evening  The prime  sponsor is the UA Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.  

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