Monday, October 10, 2022

Big Buckeye Battleground Blitz

Republicans know that with Herschel Walker's campaign in Georgia capsizing and Sen. Raphael Warnock increasing his lead in what was a tight race that f Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan knocks out Hillbilly Racist J.D. Vance next month, they lose any shot at the Senate. The GOP is going all out, dropping tens of millions in Ohio to defend Rob Portman's seat in the final weeks, and that means Ryan is pretty much on his own as he heads into this week's debate with Vance.

Democrats are increasingly fearful that they are squandering a chance to flip a Senate seat in Ohio — a state that once seemed off the map but, according to polls, remains close four weeks from Election Day.

Although the Republican, “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, has struggled to raise money, national groups have propped up his campaign by pouring in more than $30 million worth of advertising.

Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee, has been a more prolific fundraiser. But because national Democratic groups have provided comparatively little help on the airwaves, Ryan has had to spend cash as fast as it comes in just to keep up with the GOP onslaught.

The lopsided funding has unnerved Democrats in Ohio and across the country, according to interviews with a dozen party leaders and operatives. Many worry that Democrats will regret not doing more to try to pull Ryan ahead of Vance, a right-wing ally of former President Donald Trump.

“Tim Ryan is running the best Senate race in the country and having to do it all by his lonesome,” said Irene Lin, an Ohio-based Democratic strategist who managed Tom Nelson’s Senate primary campaign in Wisconsin this year. “If we lose this race by a few points, and the Senate majority, blame should squarely fall on the D.C. forces who unfairly wrote off Ohio.”

In an interview with NBC News after a campaign appearance Saturday in Cleveland, Ryan sounded resigned to going it alone.

“The national Democrats … trying to talk them into a working-class candidate, it’s like pulling teeth sometimes,” Ryan said as he tossed a football with his 8-year-old son in a parking lot behind an Irish pub. “We’re in Ohio and we got a candidate running around with a tinfoil hat on. We’re out here fighting on our own. I mean, it’s David against Goliath.”

Ryan and Vance are running to succeed Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican who is not seeking re-election. Independent polls suggest the race is a toss-up, with slim leads by either candidate falling within the margin of error. The candidates will meet Monday night in Cleveland for the first of two televised debates.

After losing two presidential campaigns and a race for governor in the state since 2016, national Democrats are wary about spending in Ohio, once a quintessential battleground. Republicans are treating it as a state they can't afford to lose.

Trump’s super PAC was the latest group to jump into the race, reserving more than $1 million in ads last week. The barrage includes a spot attacking Ryan, who has portrayed himself as a moderate, as a party-line voter beholden to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. But even the Schumer-aligned Senate Majority PAC, a major presence in other states key to determining partisan control of the chamber, has been largely absent from Ohio.

Through Monday, Republicans had spent or reserved at least $37.9 million worth of advertising on the general election, according to AdImpact, an ad tracking firm. Only $3.7 million of that had come directly from Vance’s campaign, with another $1.6 million split between the campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee through coordinated advertising.

I'm a bit baffled that anyone is surprised that Ryan is being cut off at the knees here in the eleventh hour. How quickly people forget that Ryan declared war on Nancy Pelosi after the 2018 midterms.
Ryan, who hails from post-industrial Youngstown, was blunt in his assessment of the Democratic Party this week: “We need a brand change.” He tells Rolling Stone that he wants a less coastal Democratic Party, pointing out the lack of House leaders from the middle of the country. “It’s a pretty large swath of the country to completely ignore,” he says. “How in God’s name do we expect to win the House, have a significant majority, hold it, have a party brand that’s connecting to people, and have nobody in the Midwest at all?”

In past interviews, Ryan has lamented his party’s turn toward political correctness. “We can’t have these purity tests,” he said, before listing a few key characteristics all Democrats should have. “You can’t be racist. You can’t be sexist. You can’t be homophobic — you’ve got to check those boxes — and then be economically progressive,” he said. “Other than that, we’ve got to be a big-tent party.” Ryan said he wants Democrats to come up with an umbrella economic agenda that can unify the party’s diverse coalition: “A robust economic message that all of those different groups could hear and go, ‘Yeah, you know, That’s me. I’m in on that.’”
So here you go, Tim. Here's your change to prove that "all working-class voters matter" can win you the race as a Dem, and you have a uniquely terrible faux working-class populist power to win against.

Off you go, chmap, and good luck. We're pulling for you. I want to see J.D. Vance crash into the ground like a meteor and blow up as much as anyone, but I also remember what Ryan has said nationally about the "coastal elites".

I know I've said in the past that you have to match the candidate to the electorate and Blue no matter who. Both remain true here.

But it's also true that when you come for the queen, you best not miss, and Ryan wasn't even in the same time zone. He's held on with no national support as it is, and even won a primary. He's a smart guy. Maybe he's got what it takes to win this seat.

Vote for Ryan if you're in Ohio, surely.

Just don't expect a national flood of cash at the end.

The GOP's Race To The Bottom, Con't

I know that the Senate GOP is terrified of losing control of the upper chamber for another two years and that they believe they are going to fail to get to 51 seats, because nobody stopped Alabama GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville from screeching racist garbage at a Trump rally just 3 1/2 weeks from the midterms.  Will Bunch:

“They want to take over what you’ve got,” Tuberville warmed up the pro-Trump crowd — “they” his amorphous term that could have meant Democrats, or Black people, or the Washoe People, or some other “Other” — in what the journalist Matthew Chapman noted is a literal echo of language used by the KKK to rile up Southerners in the 1960s.

The Alabama senator made his pitch for Nevadans to elect Republican Adam Laxalt, the challenger with 2022′s best shot at unseating a Democratic incumbent in Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, by echoing the new party line that Democrats are “pro-crime,” in a year when voters are more alarmed than usual about that issue. But then he took it next-level by leaving no doubt who he wants his audience to see as the criminals.

“They want to control what you have!” Tuberville told the assembled Trumpists. “They want crime because they want to take over what you’ve got! They want to have reparations because they think the people that do the crime are owed that. Bullshit!” The crowd roared. “They’re not owed that.”

Suddenly, the ambiguity surrounding “they” was all cleared up, since the main (although not only) group that’s made a case for reparations are African Americans, once enslaved and then subject to racial apartheid, especially in Tuberville’s Alabama and the rest of the Deep South. A U.S. senator was openly equating Blackness with criminality, layering on the outrageous claim that “they” have the nerve to demand reparations while taking your stuff.

‘I mean, I’ve watched and listened to A LOT of old George Wallace speeches,” Tom Moon, a columnist for Alabama Political Reporter, wrote on Twitter. “You’d be hard pressed to find many that were worse than this. In 2022. Just disgusting.”

Tuberville’s Minden speech was so blatantly racist that — just a few short years ago — it’s easy to imagine at least a few Republican Party elders condemning it. But on this Sunday morning in October 2022, the silence so far has been as loud as that Minden fire siren. A political party that weeks ago was in full panic mode after its overreaches on the Supreme Court and abortion rights had energized young and women Democrats has now found its footing with the same appeal to white supremacy as the “nostalgia” for an era of “sundown” laws. 


If anything, Republicans are defending Tuberville's racism, because the entire party agrees with his racism. It's not a dealbreaker.

It's a requirement.

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