Monday, December 3, 2007

OH-05: Are Republicans Worried?

There's two special elections occurring next Tuesday. One is in the Ohio 5th District, vacant since it's Representative, Paul Gilmor, died in early September. The district leans Republican. It has been in Republican hands since 1939. President Bush won over 60% of the vote in this district.

OH-05 is centered in Northwestern Ohio, including Fremont, Tiffin, Norwalk and Bowling Green, as well as the southern suburbs of Toledo.

The Republican nominee is Bob Latta, an Ohio State Senator and the son of Del Latta, who held the seat for 30 years. The Democratic nominee is Robin Weirauch, who got 43% of the vote against Paul Gilmor last year. As of late, Republicans are pouring a lot of money into the special election campaign, raising flags that perhaps they believe Weirauch to be stronger than they think. An internal poll showed Latta 14 points up, but only at 50%. In response, Democrats appear to have poured a lot of their resources hoping to pull off an upset. Some insiders say the race is likely to be close, reminiscent of the 2005 race in the similarly-conservative Ohio-2 district near Cincinatti where Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war vet, won 48% of the vote against Republican Jean Schmidt, an Ohio state legislature. The closeness of the race (Schmidt's predecessor, Rob Portman, had consistently gotten 70% of the vote in earlier elections) was seen as a harbinger for 2006, when Democrats won both houses of Congress.

Election Day in the Ohio-5 is December 11th

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