Monday, July 10, 2017


Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor announced at the Cleveland City Club (LINK to podcast of the announcement) on Friday that she is a Republican candidate for governor in 2018.

About five months ago, Governor John Kasich said he would support Mary should she decide to get into the race.

So the immediate question is:  Does a Kasich endorsement harm or hurt Taylor's chances come the Republican primary in the Spring of next year?


It depends on where one sits on the Republican political spectrum these days?

If you are a dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporter, there is no way Mary Taylor accepts Kasich's embrace in any way, shape or form and still gets your vote.

If you are not "a-wedded-to-Trump-Republican, then maybe.

My take on the state of the Ohio Republican Party voter support is that the dyed-in-the-wool variety will dominate the May 8, 2018 Ohio Republican gubernatorial primary election.

It such proves to be the case, then Taylor's announcement for governor on Friday the 7th will likely to turn out to be a futile effort.

Although Kasich handily defeated Donald Trump in the Ohio presidential primary of 2016, a couple of relatively recent polls suggests that a head-on-head between Kasich and Trump may be reversed in Trump's favor.

Ohio's May 8, 2018 primary election will not have President Trump's name on it, but perhaps in a surrogate way his name will be.

Current 16th District Congressman Jim Renacci seems to positioned himself best to be the Trump stand-in next May.

The internals of the People's Pundit Daily poll show that the major categories of voters for a candidate to be aligned with in terms of tapping into Trump core support in terms of Trump approval percentages as of May 3rd are:
  • Republican (91%),
  • Conservative (82%),
  • White (62%)
  • Male (61%)
A less reliable groups in terms of being toss-up categories includes:
  • Female (54%)
While Trump has a 52% rating with "independent" voters, nominal Republican "independent-esque" voters in the May 8th primary likely will be far and few in between come next year's primary.

Moderate Republicans may be a significant factor, but not independent-minded Republicans.

Of course, linking to Trump is a gamble inasmuch as nationally his polls are not doing that well, and, moreover as we approach May, 2018,  there may revelations out in the public domain on what is reportedly an "in process" FBI investigation into whether or not Trump campaign officials colluded with Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and whether or not the FBI assesses that Trump has obstructed justice in the presidential election collusion probe.

Ohio's Republican gubernatorial candidates cannot have it both ways.

For those like Renacci who all-out embrace Trump will be either viable or a bust depending on what happens in the Ohio public's view on approving or disapproving of Trump over the next eight months.

Secretary of State Jon Husted seems to be flirting with an "all-out-for-Trump" position in proudly adopting be deemed a "deplorable;" a term Democrat Hillary Clinton used to describe "core" Trump supporters in the course of the 2016 presidential campaign.

But, recently he was put in a bind when the Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission (PACEI) on Election Integrity and it demanded of secretaries of state that they make available to the commission data including sensitive information such as date of birth and social security numbers of the respective state voter registration databases.

Husted has refused to provide the sensitive information to PACI.

Attorney General Mike DeWine appears to me to be the best positioned on that score.  He certainly has not been anti-Trump but neither has he wholeheartedly cottoned to Trump.

So highly visible local supporters of DeWine (i.e. Stark County commissioner Janet Creighton, Stark County treasurer Alex Zumbar, North Canton mayor David Held and former state Rep/mayor of North Canton Dave Johnson) likely will have hope for success come the primary election even if Trump reverses his polling fortunes nationwide.

Mary Taylor seems to be "between a rock and hard place" politically in the Trump/Kasich feud that has gone on since right before the Republican National Convention in mid-July, 2016 held in Cleveland.

Taylor is definitely waffling on the Kasich endorsement thing.

For her, the Kasich endorsement has to be "bittersweet."

On the one hand she wants to be identified with what she thinks are accomplishments of the Kasich/Taylor administration (without naming Kasich as the prime architect of the successes, LINK) and on the other differing with her governance mate on the desirability of Obamacare and most importantly the continued expansion of Medicare in Ohio which has been a very big deal for Kasich over the past several years.

In January, 2017 when Ohio's Republican leadership met to decide who was going to be the the party's chairperson going forward, Taylor initially sided up with Kasich political protege Matt Borges.

However, as decision time arrived, Taylor switched over to ardent Stark County-based Trump supporter Jane Timken (a key figure in terms of being connected to a Stark County-sited major industrial employer [Timken]) who had the support of then-president-elect Donald Trump.

Taylor may not do all that well statewide come next May, but she should be a major player in Stark County.

She lives right on the northern border of Stark County just over the line in the City of Green which is located in Summit County.  Prior to politically bursting onto the statewide scene, she was involved in City of Green politics and governance.

As State of Ohio Auditor, Taylor played a major role in the political demise of then Stark County Democrat and Stark County treasurer Gary D. Zeigler by virtue of her office issuing a scathing report chastising Zeigler's administration of the office in the wake of an April 1, 2009 revelation that then Chief Deputy Treasurer Vince Frustaci had stolen what turned out ultimately to be nearly $3 million in Stark County taxpayer money from the county treasury.

The-then Democratic county auditor Kim Perez and other "organized" Stark County Democratic officials accused state Auditor Taylor of being "asleep at the switch" in terms of chastising Zeigler only AFTER the April 1st revelations.

Nevertheless, for the general Stark County voting public, the name Taylor is likely to be highly positive when it counts next May.

With Jim Renacci having a toe-hold in north-northeast (with a spur down to the Timken Company complex in the heart of Canton) Stark County, and major Stark County political players being on board the DeWine candidacy, Taylor might eke out a win in Stark, if she stays in the race.

The Stark County Political Report has had doubts that she would enter the race in the first place given her current straggler status in a couple of polls on Republican on 2018 gubernatorial prospects and her personal misfortune of having two sons reported in the media as having opioid addiction problems.

The polls:

It is amazing that Taylor with all her years as state auditor and lieutenant governor only mustered 10% in the January and May 2017 polls.

While Ohioans in general are concerned about the mounting opioid addiction problem statewide and nationwide, it is not issue of the magnitude of healthcare including Medicaid insurance coverage.

Accordingly, dealing with the opioid problem is not likely to be a top issue concern of voters.

Taylor may however, because of her personal closeness to and familiarity with the matter, be able to neutralize a negative chord that the family misfortune might strike with Republican Ohio voters who have not had the experience her family has had.

For Taylor, the main question is:  Can she hang in the race through the Republican primary?

The SCPR thinks it is a tall order for her and she may well be the first if not the only of the four announced so far to drop out early.

It would be a stunning political happening, should she gain the Republican nomination for governor.

And it might be that the Kasich endorsement factor proves to be overall hurtful in the current slanted towards aligning with Trump Republican state of affairs in Ohio.

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