Jim Renacci is Winning Big over Governor DeWine, 46% to 30%: Greatness in Ohio is poised to make a comeback

It’s pretty late in the game for such a poll to come out in The Ohio Star that showed Jim Renacci is up 49% to DeWine’s 30. That is good news. The other candidates’ Joe Blystone, came in at 20%, with Ron Hood at 4%, with the May primary coming up fast. There is a chance that the date for the primary might move to August due to district mapping Supreme Court decisions, but for a snapshot of where things are in the spring of 2022, things are looking very good for Jim Renacci. And Renacci’s own people confirm that this sampling of 1,342 likely primary voters is consistent with their internal polling. I would caution that such sampling could still run hot or cold depending on what part of the State the polling is done. For instance, in Cuyahoga County, Renacci is from that region and will naturally perform well, whereas DeWine is better known in the south of the State by default. But that is a pretty good lead and is consistent with the temperature of Ohio after a disastrous four years of Mike DeWine. Even at his recent State of the State speech, where all the focus was on him, with no Renacci to compete for attention, DeWine could not escape the cascade of blunders born out of his reaction to Covid-19. DeWine will always be known as the first governor in all the country that started the lockdowns, and for that, we can never forgive him. 

But I would caution everyone not to get too cocky just yet. While this poll shows a big lead, you can bet everything that DeWine’s 30% will show up to vote for him on a primary day. They might hold their nose to doing it, but they will because they are probably tied to him somehow. So his 30% is real, and it is active. Really at no point in this whole process has Mike DeWine cracked the 40% threshold, so his support has always been a fringe portion of the old establishment type of Republican voter.   It says quite a lot about the strength of the Renacci campaign that he can poll as high as he can against an established Republican, even with competition from two other challengers. But voter turnout will be vital to sustaining this polling lead. There is a reason that establishment candidates tend always to win, and that’s because their base participates in elections on primary day while most everyone else talks about who they’ll vote for but forget about the importance of primaries. That makes it very hard for Central Committees to pick against an incumbent no matter how much they’d like to see different results. This election is different for many reasons, so we are dealing with lots of uncharted new conditions. But once the votes are counted for this primary, the winner will be the candidate with the most active base. 

Yes, it was very embarrassing for Governor DeWine, granted it was on Renacci’s home turf in Cuyahoga County. The Republican Party recently voted to endorse Mike DeWine with a 123-75 margin. It wasn’t even close, and they aren’t delusional. That kind of comprehensive win for an establishment party is great no matter where it comes from. Other parts of the State have supported Mike DeWine, but they risk looking like fools in picking a loser, which is tricky because so many people are just holding their nose for DeWine just to get along in their local parties. But the truth is, Renacci has done an excellent job in creating an option for DeWine, and people have not forgotten what DeWine did to them with Covid-19. Mike DeWine is Ohio’s, Dr. Fauci. When everyone thought they would die over Covid, DeWine’s strategy of exploiting authoritarian rule over all of Ohio, shutting down businesses, church services, and putting an abortion activist in charge of health, DeWine was polling well among Democrats. But not with Republicans. And even though DeWine had tried to be more Republican since the summer of 2021, when the lockdowns and mask mandates finally were removed, the public has not forgiven him. We know a lot more about Covid-19 than we did in 2020, and it’s quite clear that Governor DeWine overreacted and led the nation into a destructive course of action that was reprehensible. He cost the lives of many Ohioans, destroyed businesses, violated the Constitution multiple times with grave consequences, and it will take decades for many of those memories to alleviate. A few months isn’t enough to help DeWine in an election where there is stiff competition like there is in this 2022 primary.

The good news isn’t just one stand-off poll; there is evidence everywhere that Jim Renacci is poised to beat Mike DeWine in the 2022 primary comfortably. Renacci is the Trump candidate in the race, so given where Ohio is in relation to the President, that enthusiasm shows up in support of the Ohio governor race. Renacci has promised to be the Ron DeSantis of Ohio, and the world is watching great government coming out of Florida as an example for everyone to see. It’s a real opportunity for Ohio to really do some great things if they had a governor like Renacci, who I think could be better than Ron DeSantis. It was President Trump who opened up this new kind of political playbook. DeSantis didn’t start on such sure footing. By adopting the Trump management style, he has been able to really put Florida on the map of leadership. His success has given him the political clout to take on the wokeness of Disney when any other governor would be crawling through broken glass to kiss up to the biggest employers of Florida with appeasement. What’s good for Disney obviously isn’t good for the rest of the State, and DeSantis has done well to stick up to the big bully for the benefit of Florida, and people see that.

Renacci is the same type of person; he could be a great governor in Ohio. Better than DeSantis. And with a month to go before the primary, obviously, people are feeling it. Just remember, while all this is wonderful to see and hear, it still takes showing up to vote for Renacci on election day. It would be good if Blystone and Hood would rally behind Renacci to ensure a victory against DeWine. They aren’t going to gain any more of the vote at this point, and if they really wanted to help Ohio, they would find a home under the Renacci umbrella. There’s plenty of room. It would also be an excellent time to get a Trump endorsement, officially. For President Trump, that would be a low-risk endorsement that could really engage voters and ensure that they do show up for the primary. But with just a little bit to go, Jim Renacci is looking good. There is a lot of hope that we may just get to see how great Ohio can be and that we can put these dark days of DeWine behind us. As bad as the last several years have been, the years before us could be many times better. Perhaps, just perhaps, we will see it. We certainly deserve it. Ohio is a great state, and it deserves a great Governor to represent the people who make it so great. DeWine is undoubtedly not that guy. Jim Renacci is, and everything is pointing in the right direction for greatness to make a comeback.    

Rich Hoffman

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