Election Night: GOP hold VA-01 and OH-05 very convincingly

Most precincts have now reported in OH-05, and Bob Latta is the clear victor, with about 56%. Yes, Democrats should never even have been competitive here; and yes, Democrat Robin Weirauch tightened the race by about 5% since her run in 2006. Certainly, this is not a bad result for them.

But politics does not work like that. The DCCC invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Governor Strickland traveled to the district to campaign for Robin Weirauch. They touted internal polls that had the race all tightened up... and the NRCC responded, through a lot of money, and saved itself. Bob Latta is winning by double-digits, and the GOP will soon claim victory.

Such a scenario appeared very unlikely this morning: Latta looked to be in big trouble, GOP operatives were pounding on him, and while he was still favored to win most people expected him to squeeze by. The GOP has won the psychological warfare here, and that should definitely have some consequences in the morale of troops -- and it could ensure that incumbents like Rep. Chabot in OH-01 who might have been thinking of retiring stay in the race.

Behind the psychological victory, however, the GOP does have reason to worry: They held a heavily conservative district, but they had to spend nearly half-a-million dollars to do that. Democrats are heavily outraising the NRCC this year by about $30 million, and the DCCC forced the GOP to spend precious money this week to defend a seat they should not have trouble winning. If the DCCC starts contesting seats like this next September, it seems certain that the NRCC will not have the resources to respond, phone bank and run ads -- and that could spell trouble for the GOP.

Though on this one, I still think the DCCC should have/could have done more.

Original Post (at 9:17pm)

Republican Rob Wittman has won the special election in VA-01 with more than 60%. All eyes are in OH-05 now, where GOP Bob Latta and Democrat Robin Weirauch are battling for the win in a very conservative district.

As of 9:17pm, with 43% ballots counted, Latta is up 54.5% t0 45.14%. Weirauch could still find her way to victory, but Bob Latta has a strong upper-hand right now. In her 2006 run, Weirauch, so she needs to improve her showing by about 7%:

  • The district's second and third largest county have reported, and she does not do as well as she should: In Seneca, Weirauch got 40% in 2006 and 46% today. In Sandusky, it was 42% in 06 and 47% today.
  • However, Wood County -- the district's biggest county and the one in which Democrats are usually strongest -- has not reported at all yet. If turnout is big enough, Weirauch could find the votes to make a come-back.
But it does not look very good for Democrats at this point.

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