COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Outspent, out-messaged, and once again shut out of statewide office, Democrats in Ohio are licking their wounds, trying to figure out what happened -- and gearing up for an important Senate race in two years.
After her party was swept in the statewide races and saw losses in countywide races, Peg Watkins worked on Wednesday to pack up the Delaware County Democrats’ temporary headquarters on Sandusky Street. The results were not what Watkins wanted, but she said the news was not all dismal.
She pointed to Democrats gaining a higher share of the vote than ever before, continuing a 14-year upward trend.
“Looking at the trend, that makes me a lot more hopeful,” she said.
The chairwoman of the Ohio Democrats agreed and noted that Delaware County holds some promise for the party. But Liz Walters said the state party is working to figure out what happened.
Democrats had no lack of issues to hammer at Republicans with, including abortion, gun control, and the utility bill scandal that cost Larry Householder his position in the Ohio House and could lead to a corruption conviction. But Walters said it was more about money than messaging.
“It's not so much message, but the reality that we were outspent, 10-to-one by outside interests,” she said.
“The other side has so much money,” she said. Watkins said an influx of money would have hyped-up little-known statewide candidates. Statewide, this time we did not have people that had very much name recognition."
One candidate who is well-known is US Senator Sherrod Brown. Walters said reelecting Brown in two years is the Democrats’ top priority. She said that Republicans who run against Brown do so at their own peril.
“Just asked Mike DeWine, Jim Renacci, and Josh Mandel,” she said. “Three Republicans who have never lost a general election race in Ohio except to Sherrod.”