Mike DeWine wins Ohio Republican nomination for governor: primary election results
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine won the Republican nomination in the Ohio gubernatorial race, beating Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and establishing himself as the small favorite for November.
DeWine, the mainstream candidate and alleged frontrunner for most of the campaign, beat Taylor, who hugged President Trump and criticized DeWine as opposed to Trump on fundamental issues like immigration and trade.
He will face Democrat Richard Cordray. Election prognosticators so far have viewed it as almost a blow, perhaps with a slight Republican bent in a state where unnamed Democrats Sherrod Brown or Barack Obama have struggled to win statewide.
Establishment stigma doesn’t mean DeWine is a moderate: he’s a vocal abortion opponent who worked with Kasich to try to defund Family Planning and said he reportedly signed a bill banning abortion once a heartbeat was detected, which Kasich had vetoed.
But Taylor made it a race with his aggressive tactics. “If you like President Trump, you won’t like Mike DeWine” narration of a recent pro-Taylor PAC publicity begins, citing DeWine’s alleged heresies on immigration, guns and trade.
Ohio looked heavily at Trump in the 2016 election, but he could be competitive in 2018. Some unknowns include how much of the governor’s race is about Trump’s struggling approval ratings and whether Brown’s popularity on the ballot could have an effect on the governor’s race.
There is one more thing Ohio politicians are watching. Ohio House President Cliff Rosenberger announced last week that he was stepping down as part of an FBI investigation. From Dayton Daily News:
Sources close to the FBI investigation say investigators are planning a four-day trip to London in August 2017, sponsored by the GOPAC Education Fund. On the trip were at least two lobbyists for the payday loan industry. For more than a year, factions in the industry have tried to block or water down Bill 123, which calls for a crackdown on abusive practices.
Republicans have ruled Ohio since 2010. A high-profile ethics scandal for one of their leaders, in an environment already favorable to Democrats, could give Democrats the boost they need to get to the governor’s mansion to replace Limited Term Governor John Kasich.
“Kasich is doing his party a favor in that he tries to hand over the baton without any kind of ethical problem. But there may be an ethical problem – not with the governor but with the Republican brand, ”said Kyle Kondik of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “Democrats have at times been aided in big elections in Ohio by GOP ethics and corruption issues.”
Kasich hovers over the entire race. He’s relatively popular overall, but has discouraged many on the Republican base with his anti-Trump rhetoric – and he continues to publicly fuel speculation that he might try to topple Trump. in the 2020 GOP presidential primary.
Here’s the catch for DeWine as he shows up to replace Kasich: he could indeed be widely popular – 51% approval, per Morning consultation – but the base of the GOP turns against him. A recent poll found that only 44% of Republicans approve of their governor, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, while 77% approve of Trump.
“They’re running as fast as they can get away from,” Kasich, an Ohio Republican told me.