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.”

 
  • dmoore2222

    And where was this message during the campaign? I know Fitzgerald mentioned these facts in his appearances, but there was no media strategy to get this information out on a larger scale. I live in Columbus, now the most populous metro area in the state, and never once got anything in the mail or saw anything on TV that challenged the exaggerations and outright lies Kasich was telling about his economic performance. Why not a video that would have shown a fact check for each Kasich lie? Was this election not important enough for the Democratic leadership to invest money in the necessary media to get the message out that Kasich’s signature issue, jobs, was an abysmal failure? Tying Kasich to failure in job creation had to be the biggest thrust of the campaign and they failed to do it.

    Democrats had a numerical advantage in the electorate to begin with. How that turned out to be a 38% turnout on election day is just pure political malpractice. Before the Democratic Party can even begin to think about the next candidate for governor, they damn well better be absolutely sure that their statewide leadership is awake and aware, and their campaign strategy is the best it’s ever been.

  • Spitfiremk1

    This campaign should have been a cakewalk for anyone who was willing to standup to Kasich but people just rolled over and played dead. We had to go out of our way just to find out who was running against the GOP, it should probably come as no surprise it was so lopsided. It is no surprise that people forget about SB-5, except for PLunderbund the media acted as if it had never happened. It is also no big surprise that Ohio is among the bottom feeders when it comes to real job growth.

  • dmoore2222

    Amen. Ohioans harbor this hope that it will return to it’s heyday of big time manufacturing just because it used to be one of the best places to live and work. And the politicians are happy to feed this fantasy. It’s astounding to me with the awful economic performance of the Kasich administration that people would even think of re-electing him. Of course, when 62% of the electorate doesn’t bother show up to vote it at least says something about their disillusionment.

  • Red Rover

    Or they should sit the next one out before they do anymore damage. Anita Rios managed to get ~100k votes with practically no media presence in an election where mainly conservatives showed up. If the ODP doesn’t want to lead, the other two options are follow or get out of the way.

  • Retrofuturistic

    Kind of makes you wonder if some “dark money” was directed toward the very lackadaisical performance of the Democrats.

  • wetsu

    And of those who did bother I would wager that more than 50% of those affected by SB5 voted for Kasich. If so, inexplicable.

  • sufferingsuccatash

    Kasich’s record on the economy and job growth is well documented by public sources. The Philadelphia FED reported thru its data that Ohio’s economy was one of the two worst in the nation. The US BLS ranked Ohio 46th in overall job growth. From Jan-Aug 2014 Ohio’s economy created 5289 new jobs. All of the nation has regained the lost jobs from when the recession started in 2008 except Ohio which still needs to create 213,000 jobs to return to pre-2008 levels of employment.
    This data is a matter of public record. That the Ohio media outlets simply ignored this data and the woeful story of Kasich’s failure derived from it reflects how the press in Ohio is an advocacy group first and a public service last.

  • Spitfiremk1

    Clearly most Buckeyes never bothered to vote, much less look beyond Kasich ads. Still, while I would like to blame this on Kasich I have to admit that lack of enthusiasm from the ODP just greased the rails for his re-election. The fault is not in our stars…..

  • MKTG

    Why can’t something be done to audit or challenge JobsOhio beyond the state courts? Public revenues from liquor sales provide a steady stream of income for his private, nonprofit, however, despite an INCREASE in liquor sales, it is currently operating at a loss (June 2014 financials): “Capital asset additions to furniture and equipment of $31 and to leasehold improvements of $72 were primarily attributable to the construction of office lobby improvements, office expansion, and furniture. Additions to software of $77 were attributable to the purchase of a project management system. (in thousands)” Other expenses include salaries, benefits and: “Other operating expenses for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014 included professional services, marketing, and administrative and support expenses.” Kasich has become an untouchable with his legislature and judicial appointees, thanks to the voters of Ohio. June 5, 2013, The Columbus Disgrace: “Senate Bill 67 — which will prohibit state Auditor Dave Yost from inspecting the state’s wholesale liquor profits funding JobsOhio — was one of five bills the governor signed in private yesterday.” So, his private, nonprofit, “Component Unit of the State of Ohio” (whatever that means) has raided the public revenue for schools and infrastructure to create jobs for Ohio—what jobs?

  • MKTG

    Also interesting, if my sources are correct–while Gordon Gee was sitting on the board of JobsOhio, OSU leased its parking to QIC Global Infrastructure, an Australian investment firm that manages pensions & invests in infrastructure. QIC created CampusParc and hired LAZ Parking as a subcontractor to manage it. LAZ is owned by LPRI, a realty investors venture property firm, not based in Ohio, that provides a regional manager. So, what Ohio got from this deal is hourly wage jobs? Is this what will happen across the country with the “less government” that is so appealing to voters? Public revenues will be funneled into investments for whoever is the highest bidder regardless of country, rather than opening it to our free enterprise market place (which by the way, the liquor sales was slickly funneled into JobsOhio)? So far we haven’t stepped over the line into an oligarchy, with the top 1% owning everything and it’s still a democracy–but seems voters are manipulated by the tremendous amounts of money poured into media and talking heads that convince them to drink the Kool-aid.

  • missskeptic

    I believe many people who voted Green Party were doing so out of protest against Fitzgerald, not because of strongly held beliefs.

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