First of all, regarding the Ohio governor’s race, the primary, Joe Blystone should feel ashamed of himself for staying in the race and splitting the vote the way he did. I may like the platform of Blystone; he might be my kind of guy. But he never had a chance to win in the primary, and he knew it going into election day. Only Jim Renacci had an opportunity to beat DeWine, and everyone knew it. Even Ron Hood should have stepped out of the race and supported Renacci. Mike DeWine, a sitting governor running for his second term, only had 48% of roughly a million Republican primary voters supporting him in this 2022 election. Renacci pulled in around 28%, while Blystone had 21%. A Trump endorsement would have put Renacci over the top, but I can hear Trump saying right now, “Renacci isn’t a closer. Nice guy, but he can’t close.” What should have happened was Renacci’s task, which they tried several times, was to pull the other candidates under the Renacci ticket. Only on a united front were they going to beat Mike DeWine’s establishment machine. And because everyone didn’t unite, now Republicans have a real problem holding the governor’s seat. Nan Whaley, the former gun-grabbing mayor of Dayton, won her race easily and will now go up against DeWine. So we end up with a Democrat and a Democrat, even though DeWine calls himself a Republican. We have seen enough of him to know he’s no Republican, and to all those conservatives who voted for him, you might as well have voted for Nan Whaley. DeWine is a criminal, and he must be punished for what he did to Ohio over Covid. He did not win with any kind of mandate; he had less than half the total vote count for an incumbent, which is horrendous. Like me, many conservatives will never punch a ticket for DeWine. I will leave his space blank when it comes time to vote because I will never vote for the criminal Mike DeWine. And there will be many people like me who will do the same thing, which will only help the treacherous liberal Nan Whaley. If she wins, it’s on all those people who voted for Mike DeWine.
I talked to many people on election day, and I was amazed at how many people were going to the polls uncertain who they were going to vote for in the senate race. Even with Trump’s endorsement of J.D. Vance, I still voted for Josh Mandel. I endorsed him early, and I liked some of the fights he got into. That’s what I think the senate needs, so I stuck with Josh Mandel. I liked J.D. Vance more and more as the race went on. I will have no problem voting for him in the senate race in November, and I’ll enjoy doing it. My wife liked so many of them and personally met the candidates that she struggled with the final decision. I spoke to people that election day who I would say are “extreme” political insiders, who should know their stuff, even if they were last-minute decisions on that race. The critical reason is that come in November, when these same people will have to choose between Mike DeWine, even with a Trump endorsement, they will likely struggle whether or not to actually put a check next to his name or to leave it blank. And I think as high as 20% of the 51% who voted for other people besides DeWine will not cast a decision for governor one way or another. The general convention in politics is that the Republican party will unite behind one candidate. But that is not possible with DeWine. Many of us held our noses and voted for him the first time. But he let us down, and we won’t be suckers again. So, where does that leave the party for that position? In big trouble.
Of course, liberals are happy about this. They now have a real shot at putting a Democrat into an executive seat in an intensely red Trump state. It’s a lot like playing Fortnite’s Battle Royale and waiting in a bush until the end letting everyone else kill each other off. That is how DeWine won in the primary by hiding in a bush while Blystone attacked Renacci. Then Nan Whaley will do the same to DeWine. All she must do is show up; while in the Republican party, there is an obvious civil war, the squishy establishment types up against the MAGA movement. MAGA rallied behind DeWine the first time, but the Club For Growth types assumes that the same will happen again. Well, no, it won’t. The hatred of DeWine is deep. I think his wife makes good cookies; I’ve had a few. I think Mike DeWine is a nice guy. But he’s a criminal, and he must be punished for breaking our constitutional laws and hurting so many people with bad government policy. Nobody of a reasonable mind could vote for Mike DeWine, meaning many will just not vote this November due to their uncertainty about how to behave. If people struggled on who to vote for in the Senate primary, they would undoubtedly struggle over DeWine.
In my mind, Republicans surrendered the governor’s seat in 2022. I don’t think DeWine can win re-election. Not because Nan Whaley is a good candidate, but she will get her 45% by nature. Republicans could have 10% to 20% of their 55% who just leave DeWine blank on the ballot, as many did in this year’s senate race because they couldn’t make up their minds. But even if DeWine did manage to get re-elected, he still governs like a Democrat. So, Republicans lose either way. And if Joe Blystone were such a cowboy hat-wearing patriot, like he says he is, he would have seen what his name on the ballot was going to do to Ohio. By presenting a “rebel” vote, he just managed to get Democrats into a position to run the state. Hey, I’ve been through this before with Ross Perot. I worked on that campaign back in 1992, and I remember how it felt. It was a gut punch I will never forget; that is how the Clinton dynasty started, with less than 50% of the vote electing the president. Joe Blystone knew where his polling was a week before the election. If he wanted to defeat DeWine, he should have joined Renacci.
Renacci should have been able to make that happen with a deal of some kind also. But their failure to unite and beat DeWine essentially just ruined the chance of Republicans running the governor’s seat and the media is loving it. Like the campers in Fortnite, they have just lurked in the bushes waiting for everyone else to kill each other off. And just like that, to the national media, Ohio is a very blue state, when in reality, it’s far from it. That is what happens when a political party is in a civil war and assumes that everyone will unite behind the eventual winner. These are not conventional times. And when there is a MAGA rebellion, failure to join the efforts will elect the establishment every single time.