Barring some unforeseen event, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell will win today’s primary election — and become the GOP nominee for governor of Ohio.
However, the immediate spin coming from the left will be that Blackwell’s victory may not be worth having. That’s because (they will argue) the polls show Ohio voters now prefer Democrats.
Of course, these nabobs of negativity choose to discount the fact that Blackwell is anything but a traditional Ohio Republican.
It is flawed logic to assume voter anger toward liberal Republicans like Taft would translate to a conservative outsider like Blackwell. In fact, the argument actually buttresses Blackwell’s case that he is uniquely qualified to be the nominee.
Aside from winning conservative votes, Blackwell is also positioned to garner the support of many African-American voters — a traditionally Democrat block of votes no other traditional Republican in Ohio could even potentially put in play.
According to Phillip Morris, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Last week on WJMO AM/1490, an urban-formatted gospel station, a Blackwell advertisement aired that encouraged listeners to ask for the "Blackwell ballot" in today’s election. The ad contained not only a subtle appeal to racial pride, but a clear indication of his aim to get minority voters in the habit of voting Republican."
It is likely Blackwell’s campaign will put even more emphasis on this in the general election.
"If Strickland can’t hold his own," writes Morris, "Blackwell would be more than happy to take their ballots off his hands. Strickland can’t cut into Blackwell’s GOP core, but Blackwell seems capable of pinching into his Democratic base. Somewhere, Reagan must be smiling."
My prediction: Democrats won’t allow Blackwell to celebrate today’s victory. Instead, the media will focus on voter discontentment with the GOP. Of course, the truth (that they won’t tell you) is that Blackwell has the potential to transcend traditional partisan politics.