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GOP writes off Ohio Senate race

As the clock winds down, Mike DeWine is tanking in Ohio, so the GOP is yanking precious funds from his race to help save other incumbents from going down the crapper too. Desperation has set in and the “firewall” strategy is in play. (NYT via Raw):

Senior Republican leaders have concluded that Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a pivotal state in this year’s fierce midterm election battles, is likely to be heading for defeat and are moving to reduce financial support for his race and divert party money to other embattled Republican senators, party officials said.

The decision to effectively write off DeWine’s seat, after a series of internal Republican polls showed him falling behind his Democratic challenger, is part of a fluid series of choices by top leaders in both parties as they set the strategic framework of the campaign’s final three weeks — signaling, by where they are spending television money and other resources, the Senate and House races where they believe they have the best chances of success.

Republicans are now pinning their hopes of holding the Senate on three states — Missouri, Tennessee and, with Ohio now off the table, probably Virginia — while trying to hold on to the House by pouring money into districts where Republicans have a strong historical or registration advantage, party officials said Sunday.

I guess they’ll leave matters up to Diebold in Ohio. In Time Magazine, it’s clear the GOP is running scared — and they assume Little Ricky is going down hard as well.

The Mark Foley scandal alone has tossed anywhere from two to six formerly safe Republican House seats into play and increased the likelihood of a Democratic takeover. That has allowed the Democrats to target Senate races with new funds, and forced Republicans to concentrate on defending their 10-seat majority there.

…In private Republicans admit that at least three Senate seats — Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Montana — are likely to switch to the Democrats. The Foley scandal and bad news from Iraq has hurt Republican incumbent Mike DeWine in Ohio. But to make up the remaining two seats, Democrats need to win the toss-up race in Missouri and the open Republican seat in Tennessee, or stage a surprising win in Virginia. At the same time, two seats in Maryland and New Jersey are likely to go to Democrats but are still in play and must be defended.

Virginia, polls show, is virtually a dead heat as Macaca Allen’s self-inflicted wounds have left an opening for Jim Webb. It’s important for Virginians to get out to the polls, not only for this race, but because there is a heinous, highly restrictive marriage amendment on the ballot, which should bring out the fundies.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding