It is never too early to speculate about the next elections. Some early polling has been released for the Ohio 2006 elections here
. Zogby/WSJ has Blackwell leading Rep Ted Strickland 44.5-43.4 obviously well within the margin. On the Senate side, Paul Hackett-fresh off his 2nd district loss-is leading Senator DeWine 44.2-35.9!
This is certainly some concerning news for Ohio Republicans. Blackwell is the obvious primary leader thus far for the GOP as Strickland is for the Dems as reported today
. Blackwell has a significant lead (which could change, especially if an opponent drops out, Betty Montgomery anyone?). Strickland's is much smaller. The concern is that this race is so close, likely a reflection of Taft's 15% approval rating. Blackwell has much higher statewide ID than Rep. Strickland. Can Blackwell separate himself from Taft or is Taft going to bring down the Ohio GOP ship in 2006?
Even more surprising is DeWine's lack of showing against Hackett. This poll was taken before Rep Sherrod Brown announced his candidacy
...After previously backing out (wanna bet this poll had something to do with it?). Brown is a favorite with liberal activists across the country, particularly with his Grow Ohio
campaign. Word has it, Hackett is now being pressured by the Democratic Senatorial Committee to step aside in order to prevent a primary (much to his chagrin). Brown is the probably the stronger primary candidate but perhaps to liberal in the general election.
Of course many are upset with DeWine's Gang of 14 work as well as particular stands on other issues. However I am surprised he is polling this
low. How much is the Ohio GOP's troubles pulling down DeWine or is it DeWine himself pulling down his own candidacy. Brown and Hackett's name ID's have to be considerably lower than DeWine.
Other rumors floating around:
Former Congressman Bob McEwen challenging Mike DeWine.
The aforementioned McEwen challenging newly elected Congresswoman Schmidt or perhaps a challenge from State Rep Tom Brinkman.
So mixed news here. Some troubling, some good (Blackwell's primary numbers in my opinion). Will John Kasich ever enter into the fray? Any early speculation out there?