So the national press is going bonkers because the House of Representatives seat that has been held by Pat Tiberi for ages unknown (actually first elected in 2000) is up for grabs. Two candidates, Democrat Danny O'Conner and Republican Troy Balderson are in the running. It's neck in neck. Who will win is anyone's guess.
Of course the press's narrative will be that it's all a massive anti-Trump tidal wave that is causing it to be so close. What else could it be? It's a seat in Ohio that's been red for years!
Well, it was red because everyone - Democrat and Republican - liked Pat Tiberi. He was an all around good Joe. Unless there is some unknown pile of skeletons in his closet, he made it through his career relatively unscathed. Likewise, he was what Ohio is - laid back and middle of the road. Sure, he aligned with the GOP most of the time, but he wasn't fire and brimstone. He was willing to listen to other points of view. Whether that's considered an admirable trait nowadays or not, I don't know. But it used to be, and went a long way toward explaining his long tenure here in the Buckeye state.
If O'Conner wins, it will not - repeat, NOT - be the result of an anti-Trump backlash. In fact, one of his flagship commercials features him telling voters that he will work with all sides: Democrats, Republicans and Donald Trump. By name. That's Donald Trump, president. He's assuring the districts he is not going in to be a partisan, but will work with everyone, including Trump. In fact, specifically Trump.
That's not to say he doesn't take shots at Trump. Naturally. But one of the things that has helped his numbers has been his insistence that he's not some Never Trumper going in to overthrow the Don. In fact, he is a bit Trumpish himself, insisting that the whole of Washington is broken, and everyone deserves the blame, including Democrats (and, by name, Nancy Pelosi).
If he wins it will be because of a tendency among Americans to vote against the sitting president in midterm years. Also, because the GOP picked a rather blah, empty suit candidate in Balderson. Balderson is swinging with 'fake news' and 'drain the swamp', but it doesn't appear to resonate. It sounds too partisan. He might swing it of course. Kasich has come out with his endorsement (remember kids, Tiberi replaced Kasich in 2000, who was also stayed a long time by reaching across the aisle - notice a trend?). Believe it or not, despite national opinions from more hard line conservatives, Kasich still caries clout in this neck of the woods. That might help him get pushed over the line.
But if not, it will be because O'Conner promised to shake things up on all sides - including Democrats - while also promising to work with all sides - including Trump. It's not some anti-Trump tsunami with this one.
It also should be mentioned that if Balderson pulls it off, it's not necessarily a big stamp of approval for Trump either. Ultimately, it's more about Washington being broken as a whole that voters here are looking at. Don't let the press fool you into thinking otherwise.
Oh, and one more thing. Don't let the press focus on everything the GOP is doing here. Both sides are throwing everything in plus the kitchen sink.