The vote counting is over. Gov. John Kasich, the petulant, rude and childish chief executive, won a big share of maybe Ohio’s lowest voter turnout in memory. The inspiration governor, who enjoys playing silly psychological games like pretending he had no challengers this year, and intentionally ignoring them when he sat next to them in the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial interview room just days before Election Day, appears to have inspired more than 800,000 fewer Ohioans to vote this year. Four years ago, not even half of registered voters bothered to vote. This year, about 38 percent exercised their civic duty. More than 60 percent had other things to do this past Tuesday.
Gov. Kasich, who said he was all about lifting everyone up no matter their circumstances, was given four more years to be unaccountable to Ohioans as he runs for president on the public’s dime. Kasich loves to say how much Ohio has recovered under his watch. But Ohio was actually roaring back under former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who not only took the worst the Great Recession could throw at Ohio but put the state back on the road to recovery that significantly outpaced national growth. But the economy stalled under Gov. Kasich, who privatized the state’s formerly-public job creation department, saying Ohio needed to work “at the speed of business.” Well, for the Kasich Administration, the speed of business slowed to a crawl, so much so that Ohio under Kasich has underperformed the national growth average by a considerable amount.
Maybe the governor’s media team didn’t read The Wall Street Journal [pay wall] article last week on how many governors running for re-election are touting their economic records, and on how many voters aren’t buying their claims of progress. Incumbent 2010 Tea Party governors like Kasich touted big declines in their states’ unemployment rates, but unemployment is way down nationally, too, WSJ noted. “What voters really need to know about their governors’ economic performance is not, ‘How is my state doing?’ but rather, ‘How is my state doing relative to the national economy?'”
For Ohio, the unofficial but widely respected chief scoreboard keeper offers numbers that show Kasich is full of hot air. Cleveland economic analyst George Zeller offers a clear statistical picture of just how weak Kasich’s job creation record really has been.
“The actual job growth rate in Ohio year over year for September was 0.6%,” Zeller told OhioNewsBureau recently. “The USA growth rate was 2.0%. The gap between Ohio and the USA widened in September once again, unfortunately. So, we are in recovery in Ohio, which is the good news. The bad news is that it continues to be continuously too slow and well below the national average.”
Zeller added, “Of course, this means that we desperately need to speed up the recovery to recover the jobs that we lost since 2007 and since 2000. Commenting on October’s jobs report, Zeller said, “This is not a one month data fluke. It has happened every month for the last 23 months consecutively.”