What Ohio Daily Blog reports as unsourced rumor, we can report as fact.

On Sunday, the Cincy Enquirer reported concerns in the Ohio GOP that ’06 State Treasurer Candidate Sandra O’Brien might doing it again and knock off party favorite, former Speaker/former Kettering resident Jon Husted:

Republicans are concerned that the primaries will force candidates to spend money that could otherwise be saved for the general election in the fall, or that the results could cost them the election in close races.

O’Brien of Ashtabula County in Northeast Ohio has two of the Ohio Republican Party’s most important constituencies – tea party activists and social conservatives – lining up behind her bid for secretary of state, Ohio’s chief elections officer.

You’d be hard pressed to look at the Secretary of State’s race and not see a parallel to O’Brien’s stunning upset against incumbent Republican Treasurer Jeanette Bradley, except this time O’Brien is the candidate with statewide campaign experience and she has a tailored-made constituency with the Tea Party/9-12 activists base that is repelled by establishment moderate Republicans like Jon Husted.? For his part, Husted’s campaign website tries to appeal to the Tea Party movement (they get their own webpage!), but his case makes for some weak tea.? He actually boasts an accomplishment that is, in reality, supporting Governor Strickland’s first budget.

And we have been told from reliable sources that the Ohio Republican Party has conducted a poll on the GOP primary for Secretary of State and found that Husted is losing to O’Brien beyond the margin of error just weeks before the primary election voting ends.? The margin was reportedly roughly six points.

The Ohio Democratic Party has confirmed that they have heard the same story about a poll showing Husted losing.

A lot has been made of how Jon Husted was a “lock” for the GOP nomination based on his enormous fundraising advantage.? However, money in the bank is useless if it’s never spent to get voters to the polls for you.? We’ll see come May if Husted may have taken the primary for granted (or if you start seeing some major expenditures on his behalf.)

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