Sunday, October 17, 2010


The Stark County Political Report projects that first-term congressman John Boccieri will defeat Republican Jim Renacci "by a nose" on November 2nd.

However, if Libertarian Jeffrey Blevins were not in the race, Renacci would ride the Republican tidal wave into Congress.

The Renacci forces are so worried about "the Blevins factor" that Renacci refused to participate in the October 12, 2010 16th Congressional District Debate sponsored by the Canton Jaycees and The Palace Theater.

Well, what is the worry?

That Blevins will convince independents and Republicans that he is a man to vote for those who are dissatisfied about the way things are going in the country under both Democratic and Republican leadership.

And they are probably correct.

Blevins of Wadsworth (interesting, Renacci is from Wadsworth) is a former Republican turned Libertarian.

Implicit in Blevins' presentations is the recognition that he cannot win on November 2nd, but over time 16th District Libertarians will build up the capacity to challenge the Democrats and Republicans for this seat.

If the Libertarians can be identified as the reason Boccieri wins (assuming he does win), then they can and will build upon being significant to turn significance into being competitive with a real chance of winning.

There are very few Libertarians in the 16th, however, there are more and more voters who are disgusted with the Republicans and Democrats, and are looking for an alternative.  Most such voters are on the conservative side of the political spectrum and would likely find Libertarian candidates attractive.

The Report believes that there will be enough of alternative thinking voters to cause Republican Jim Renacci to lose by an eyelash.

Another factor that will weigh in favor of a Boccieri victory is the opportunity that the Boccieri campaign "to get out the vote" for wards that exist in Canton, Alliance and Massillon where there is very little question on who the voters will vote for - if Boccieri campaigners can get them to the polls.

We hear much from the cable talking heads about "the enthusiasm gap" between Democrats and Republicans these days.  The Report believes that if Boccieri works his "automatic" wards, he will end up with some breathing room to win this contest.  If he does not or if he fails to generate excitement among his "sure to vote John Boccieri" part of the electorate, then his win will be scant indeed; perhaps, within the automatic "recount" margin - if not in the single digits.

In his 2008 race, the SCPR predicted a Boccieri win by 10 percentage points way early in the race and turned out to be pretty much on the money.

The Report believes that Renacci did the politically correct thing for his electoral fortunes by refusing to appear with Libertarian Blevins on October 12th.  The mystery is:  why did it take his advisers to figure this out?  Blevins came across as a highly credible alternative in the Wooster debate (September 30th).  Could that blunder have caused Renacci the election?

Here is a video of Boccieri and Blevins doing their opening statements at The Palace Theater on October 12th.

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