Kevin Bacon is a freshman Senator from a district of moderate ticket-splitters. Senate District 3 voted for Obama in 2008 and Strickland in 2010, even as they replaced a term-limited Republican (David Goodman) with Bacon to represent them in the Ohio Senate. It’s a swing district, and Bacon won it in part by beating out his opponent for some key endorsements from labor. In fact, of the 19 endorsements listed on his campaign page, four are from union-affiliated groups.
I was curious, so I emailed the unions that endorsed candidate Bacon, and asked them: if they knew then what they know now, would they endorse him again? These are some of the comments I got back:
“we would not endorse HIM again.”
“I would be inclined to mobilize and remove him from office at the first opportunity.”
“We will hold him responsible for his lack of truthfulness”
And I got a heads-up that one of them would be considering a motion to officially retract that endorsement.
People, including us here at Plunderbund, have looked at heavy labor districts as places where sitting Republicans would be committing political suicide by voting for SB 5, which is why many senators from such districts did not end up voting for it, and some who did tried to distance themselves. Kevin Bacon’s district is not one of those districts, and he never wavered in his support. That shouldn’t fool either party – more than 20% of Bacon’s listed endorsers, specifically key endorsements for swaying swing voters, are no longer on board. This vote has made Bacon vulnerable in 2014, and I don’t expect that to change over the next 4 years.