Monday, March 30, 2009

OH-17: How Much Of A Battle Should There Be Over a Two Year Gig?

As I said last week, if the 2010 reapportionment were performed based on 2007 census estimates, the Ohio 17th would be the 432nd seat awarded in Congress. Meaning, that unless Ohio starts gaining population at a rapid clip between now and April 1, 2010, the Ohio 17th will almost certainly be gone when the reapportionment is done, reducing Ohio to 16 congressional seats and 18 electoral votes.
Today's report on The Fix that Tim Ryan will leave the Ohio 17th behind and instead be Ted Strickland's running mate in 2010, thus becoming the front runner for the Democratic nomination in 2014 left me thinking this: how much of a battle should their really be over a two year gig?
The Ohio 17th will almost certainly be eliminated when Ohio's new congressional map takes effect in 2012. This super democratic district (Ohio's second most heavily Democratic after the Ohio 11th) was drawn combining Akron and Youngstown together for the sole purpose of making the neighboring 14th district GOP leaning enough for Steve "Mr. Sphincter" LaTourette to hang onto his seat. 
Since Ohio Democrats most likely will not be completely shut out of the process of drawing congressional districts as they were in 2001, chances are pretty good that a more rational alignment will take place. Even so, with John Boicceri, Zack Space, and Charlie Wilson, it would appear that there could be more Democratic congressmen then seats available in eastern Ohio. I'm sure that this figured in Tim Ryan's decision to bolt the House. 
Given that fact, however, how much of a battle should their really be for a seat that is all but certain to be elimnated in 2012? How many dollars should be spent in a Democratic primary for a two year gig? My answer is: not that many. And we as a party had better think rationally on this one. 2010 is going to be a tough election year, we'll have a knock-down, drag-out primary for the U.S. Senate and possibly Secretary of State. We don't need another in this safe-for-Democrats but endangered congressional district.

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