When Governor Ted Strickland was inaugurated four years ago on the west lawn of the Ohio Statehouse, the Cincinnati Enquirer at the time estimated that over 5,000 people showed up to watch the free event.
Governor-elect John Kasich returned to the smaller, more private venues past Republican Governors used in announcing that his inauguration ceremony would take place in the Ohio Theater, which seats less than 2,800.
On December 21st, the Governor-elect’s transition committee announced that it was now taking reservations for free tickets to Kasich’s inauguration:
The committee said today that demand for public tickets is expected to exceed availability, so Ohioans who want to attend should reserve their ticket early here or by calling (614) 824-1152.
Of course, the law of supply and demand is that if you create a price point in which demand exceeds available supply, you create a shortage. However, if your price point too much, supply exceeds demand and creates a surplus.
So, surely, a price of $0, demand is outstripping supply for Kasich’s inauguration, right? After all, nothing is more likely to create a shortage of something than making it free, right? Right?
Nope. Nearly two weeks after the inaugural committee predicted that tickets would go fast, I’ve confirmed that a week to the day before the inauguration, and there are still plenty of tickets available for this free event.
In other words, John Kasich can’t even literally give these tickets away. He can’t even get a crowd half the size that attended Governor Strickland’s inauguration. He’s going to have to start paying people to go in order to fill the Ohio Theater. Apparently, there is no real demand in the free market to see John Kasich elected Governor. (Then again, with only a plurality victory, there apparently wasn’t much of a demand for it by the Ohio electorate, either.)
Don’t get me wrong. They’ll eventually fill the theater. They’ll get the lobbying community to get their clients to show up to prevent any chance of news stories about half-empty theaters or anything like that. But it’s funny for me to think that more people may have watched me be inducted into the bar than will come to watch John Kasich become Governor of Ohio.
BTW, the Ohio College Democrats have been saying that they’re planning a protest of Kasich’s inauguration somewhere around Capitol Square at 11 a.m. next Monday. If someone from that organization wouldn’t mind giving us some more details, we’d be happy to pass that along here.