Friday, April 16, 2010


Congressman John Boccieri must be smiling broadly to himself these days.

How's that?

The candidates for the GOP nomination to run against him are "racing to the right" so fast that by the time one of them (probably Matt Miller) wins that battle, he will have damaged himself so much with the political center of the electorate that John Boccieri will have an easier time than he could have expected (given two controversial votes - cap 'n trade, health care) and may come close to replicating his margin of victory over Republican J. Kirk Schuring (about 10%) over either Miller or Renacci.

Jim Renacci, if he loses to Matt Miller, has no one to blame except Jim Renacci.  He has tons more money than Miller and he has most of the established Republican leadership in the 16th behind him.

But in his zeal not to be out-righted by Miller and extreme right winger Paul Schiffer, he (if he survives to be the nominee) will lose some Republican votes, many independent votes and get almost no "disaffected with Boccieri" Democratic votes in the general election.

Miller, if nominated, will - ironically do better than Renacci.  At least Matt Miller is who he is.

Renacci, if nominated, will veer wildly towards the center in the run up to the general election.  But to the Republican right, he will appear (from their perspective) to going left.  Not a place one would want to appear to be going if one wants to keep his political base and add enough independents and disaffected Democrat to eke-out a victory.

If either Miller or Renacci wins in November, it will be by the slimmest of margins; perhaps, at the "re-count" level.

Winning battles and losing wars is what political idealogues do.  But Renacci is no political idealogue and that is why GOP leaders got behind him.  So his rush to the right defeats the notion that he can appeal to a political cross section of voters.

If Renacci wins, it will not be because of his flirtation with the Republican right.  Rather, it will be because Paul Schiffer (who has no chance whatsoever for the nomination) drains away enough votes from Matt Miller to let Renacci slip through.

In any event, this primary, which could have been a spellbinding square-off between the more moderately perceived Jim Renacci versus rightists Miller and Schiffer, has turned out to be very boring.

The ho-hum GOP primary has been advantage to Boccieri too.  He has been grabbing the headlines on the drama of which way he would vote on health care, while Renacci has been battling Miller/Schiffer on who is more right wing.

Most voters get bored to death with ideological battles.  Only the fringers get turned on by puritanical politics.

By putting the great political middle asleep with their ideological battles, the GOP candidates have hurt the Republican effort to win the political war with the Democrats immensely!

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