As my co-bloggers have been reminding me lately, I’ve not been blogging much here at the ol’ PB, lately.  Sorry!  Being Candidate Man is beginning to take over my life almost entirely.  Most of my blogging is now at the campaign site (thoughts on sharing a last name with Frank Russo here, on Harvey Pekar’s death here, and Plain Dealer stupidity here).  We’ve got about a month and a half to go before the primary, I feel pretty confident, so the blogging will be even lighter.  People have been asking me my thoughts on stuff, though, so here are a few quick takes before I disappear again.  Click through for fun!

Will Republicans take the US House?

No.  Modern has been writing a lot lately about the conversations he and I have had on the phone over the last few months.  If you go seat by seat through Ohio’s target races, it’s hard to see how the GOP does anything other than pick up the obvious seats – Driehaus and Kilroy.  In addition, I was in California recently on business, ran into a top Dem consultant at a meeting, and asked how many House seats in CA would be targeted for takeover by Republicans, and he said the consensus is at most 3.  That’s out of the entire state of California.

Which is why I think the White House move to raise expectations that the GOP has a shot to take the House was genius.  If the GOP can’t take one house of Congress in this environment, well…’ll be a long 2011 for them.  We now have a full summer and fall to expect them to do something that they probably won’t do.  Good.

How’s Ted Strickland doing?

Fine.  In fact, I didn’t think Ted had this kind of campaign in him.  He’s taking it straight to John Kasich, and Kasich ain’t handling it well.  The fundraising is fine, his campaign staff is doing great, and I’m increasingly confident Ted will win going away by the time early vote starts.  The economy has upticked just enough to stop a panic among independent voters to throw him out.  And Kaisch’s campaign is a tired, sad, joke.  By October, the teabaggers will abandon Kasich.

Speaking of Teabaggers…..thoughts?

Poor teabaggers.  It’s so hard being a self-loathing prostitute with your political support when the tricks you turn for the last 20 years just keep tossing you aside like yesterday’s news.  That’s what’s going on right now, especially with the NRA and Buckeye Firearms.  When you take culture war issues away from Republicans, there’s nothing left.  I had these conversations with Tim Ryan in 2002 about the gun toters….yeah, whatever, here’s your gun kiddies, go ahead and pop off a few rounds in Jethro’s clearing, see if we care….bingo.  They vote Democrat.

The main problem with the NRA and BFA endorsements of Strickland, for the GOP, is that a great majority of that membership is teabagger gold.  And those teabaggers just got told to vote for the Democrat at the top of the ticket.  Once again, Republicans are proven to be nothing but shameless panderers to their base, who then never deliver.  This will have an effect down ticket, no matter what Kasich’s mouthpiece suckling of the government teat wants to claim.  (BTW, who will we beat up on when Keeling disappears from the blogosphere forever after Kasich loses?)

Speaking of down ticket…..?

I’m increasingly confident that Democrats will control the apportionment board after this election, largely because of Ted’s campaign and ODP’s ability to translate that down ticket.  David Pepper has recently gotten the attention of moronic pimping of completely fabricated poll numbers…which is a sign Pepper is making some headway.  Kevin Boyce is running a fairly visible campaign, his win or loss is completely a function of Ted’s performance.  Maryellen O’Shaughessy has the base fired up because she replaced Jennifer Garrison.  Rich Cordray is getting gun toters, too, that will be a huge help.  Plus, I think we may hold onto the Ohio House.  Bottom line, if we can get Ted to win by anything more than 5 points, the rest of the ticket rolls in.

Things could change, the economy could suddenly nose dive, but at the moment, I feel pretty good about ODP’s ticket.

Um…dude.  You missed one race, and you know it.

I am hearby recusing myself from any discussion of the US Senate race.  Nothing I write will be taken as it’s intended, I’ll be accused of cheap shot sour grapes, and I’m on the ballot in Cuyahoga County on September 7, hopefully as the Democratic nominee in November.  I do not want Rob Portman as my Senator, especially if I’m holding a seat in a brand new legislature in Cuyahoga County.  But at this point, I’m not going to blog about the US Senate race.  It’s going to be difficult to keep that promise.  Boy, is it going to be difficult.  Especially for a guy who LOVES to say “I told you so.”  But I shall persist.  I am recused!

What about your race, Tim?

Glad you asked!  I’m currently in a round of endorsement screenings, none of which I expect to get.  Awesome!  But they’re fun exercises, helps you sharpen your chops, and introduces you to top folks who you might be able to sway, if not institutionally, at least personally.  Yard sign wars have begun – don’t ask.  I’ve got a ton of them out there, especially in Tremont, and well….let’s just say mine are an endangered species. But we replace them fast!

The support I’ve received from all over the place, but especially in my district, has been heartwarming.  It’s been a hell of a ride I’ve been on these last 7 months.  I’ll be glad when it’s over.  On the nitty gritty….with the election the day after Labor Day, this may be the lowest turnout in Cuyahoga County in recent memory.  With 9 people on the Democratic ballot in District 7, that means I feel pretty damn good right now.  I will note that ODP’s voter file is FANTASTIC.  Great work, Mr. Chairman – we’ve got one hell of a tool for grassroots politics, and it’s because ODP has done the heavy lifting over the long term to keep our voter file the most accurate I’ve ever worked with.

And that’s all I have to say about that!  I will be writing more about my race after it’s over, but in the meantime, I think ya’ll want to stay tuned.

Bottom line?

This environment is not as bad for Democrats as it seemed it could be a year ago, Republicans are beginning to realize this, and they are panicking.  Meanwhile, ODP has trudged along, stayed focused, and stands poised to deliver a decade long death blow to the Ohio Republican Party.  So let’s go, fellow Democrats – strap on those gloves, wind up, and deliver that knock out punch over the next 4 months so we can watch Ohio Republicans roll around on the mat begging for mercy for 10 years.  You know how good that’s gonna feel.