Blackwell Splits the Democrat Coalition

Writing in the Akron Beacon Journal, Steve Hoffman says Ken Blackwell can split the traditional Democrat coalition by garnering the support of Black voters.

"The irony for Strickland, who comes from the 6th U.S. House District in Appalachia, is that his campaign is grounded in his ability to bring just such voters into the Democratic fold. The pro-gun Methodist minister has the right stuff to move swing voters back into the Democratic column.

"Trouble is, Strickland appears to be struggling mightily to build strong ties to black voters in Ohio’s big cities, also vital to the Democratic coalition. That is just where Blackwell hopes to make inroads with strong anti-gay, anti-abortion positions, which will resonate in the black church congregations so important to turnout on Election Day

"In his book (Politics Lost), (Joe) Klein is critical of past Democratic leaders (and consultants) who counseled artful evasion of issues with racial overtones. Blackwell’s unique candidacy means that Strickland can’t adopt that tactic. He must make every effort to connect with black voters in the months ahead."