Can Ohio Candidate Josh Mandel Win the Senate Majority for a Republicans?
Ohio voters may be the ones who decide both the Presidency and whether or not fiscal conservatives have a Senate Majority. Long time Democrat pol Sherrod Brown, running for re-election, has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. He is being opposed by a thirty-five-year-old Tea Party Republican candidate named Josh Mandel, a Marine who served two tours in Iraq.
Josh Mandel made a name for himself by winning as Ohio State Rep in a heavily Democrat district, and then won the position of State Treasurer. He cut his own salary, helped get Ohio's fiscal house in order, and earned the state a triple AAA credit rating. He stands for small government, religious freedom and the 2nd Amendment, and an energy policy that will bring jobs to Ohio and the nation.
Mandel won the backing of a united front of conservative activists in Ohio, who got together in an informal caucus after the GOP primary, to make sure they could immediately start mobilizing a grassroots effort.
This is Josh Mandel:
I'm an American and a conservative before I'm a Republican. When I am in the Senate, I'll stand up to the head of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and the liberal media to do what's best for the people of our country.
Mandel has been fighting for every point in the polls, coming up from behind to take a 2 point lead, then slip back to a 1 point deficit. Rasmussen is showing the Ohio Senate race today at 48-48.
This is a values choice for Ohio voters, mirroring the Presidential race.
What will Ohio choose? Sherrod Brown, like Obama, wants a huge government that will take care of everyone and make the world a fair, equal place - a continent wide France or Sweden or Belgium. He's willing to accept the 11% unemployment rate that is common in Europe, the stagnant economies, the bureaucratic mindset, the ethos of working in a safe little job and living in a safe little apartment and going on a safe little vacation. We'll have a Nanny state permanent underclass that live hopeless lives of dependency and pathology on regular government checks, until the whole system goes bankrupt because the numbers never added up.
They would crush the American soul, and destroy our prosperity, our lavish social safety net, our incredible level of philanthropy, our vibrant innovation, our release of human potential that has the whole world wanting to be American.
Josh Mandel, like Romney, wants something better and bigger for America, and he can add.
You don't have a low unemployment rate and great jobs and lifestyles for the working and middle class when the government gets up above 20% of GDP.
Mandel is serious when it comes to cutting the budget. In an interview with Glenn Beck, he said:
I think we need to make aggressive cuts in our federal government quickly and, you know, there's a lot of Republicans who disagree with some of the things I stand for. For instance, many Republicans will say, you know, we can't touch defense spending as well. I actually believe we need to do a top/bottom review of all of our bases throughout the world and, for instance, in Europe we're not fighting the Nazis anymore, we're not fighting the Cold War anymore. We could probably trim down or shut down some of our installations.
...MANDEL: We have to be very aggressive. We need to do a top/bottom review of the federal government and for every agency administration bureaucracy that is not called for in the United States Constitution, we have to really ask the question what is its purpose, how many people work there, how much does it cost the taxpayers and what is the value to our society.
GLENN: I love you.
This is a very close race. According to Ohio blogger Nick Mascari, who spoke to AT last week, Republicans are ahead in the enthusiasm gap, but not as much as in 2010. The black vote in northeastern Ohio is well organized. The auto unions are well organized. Brown is pretending to be more centrist than his record, in order to woo independents. Brown has the politically corrupt mainstream media behind him, with the Cleveland Plain Dealer using a progressive 'fact checker' to smear Mandel as an untrustworthy liar. It has had an effect.
Which future Ohio chooses will be decided by who gets out the vote. We are told that the Democrat machine is unparalled in Ohio.
But there is another side to the story. Ohio is 40% Catholic and 30% Evangelical. Values voters are motivated and they have a huge GOTV effort in parallel with Romney's that has been underestimated.
Freedomworks is another part of the GOTV effort, providing materials, training and phone banking for activists within Ohio. They have a website through which conservatives across the country can be linked up to a freedomworks computer phone system to make calls for Mandel in Ohio. Try it. You can be part of the GOTV from your own computer or ipad.
Freedomworks has a long-term strategy of supporting constitutional conservatives after they get elected, with money and know how, so they don't get sabotaged by the Beltway establishment. Josh Mandel is one of their strategic candidates, and they are working their hearts out for him. They want him in the Senate to form a critical mass of true conservatives to keep President Romney honest, or to stop a President Obama in his tracks.
Ohio grassroots activists like Ed Bell, who spoke to AT about the Ohio campaign, are even more excited about Mandel than they are about Romney. They have been going out night after night knocking on doors for months, getting his message out to Ohio voters.
Romney's GOTV is a different order of magnitude than McCain's unserious efforts in 2008. The Republicans have made three times more phone calls than in 2004 and knocked on twenty-one times more doors. Josh can use all the coattails he can get.
There's another element. Democrat voters open their mouths and talking points come out. It's rote. An Obama supporter is quoted saying: "Four years isn't long enough to make a complete difference, but I think he's on the right path."
The Republican voter is quoted, and it is genuine, personal and full of emotion: "I've never been involved in Presidential elections before, but this one really scares me. What I've seen over the last four years. My life style has changed. It's scary."
An analysis of the polls on nationalreview.com on October 21 reported another sign that Romney and Mandel may prevail on Tuesday. Although the polls show things neck and neck, the details give this the lie. Romney was leading Obama among independents by 52-33 one week ago. Hurricane Sandy may have given Obama a boost, but such image swings are temporary.
Romney leads Obama by 19 percent among independents, 52-33, and holds 92 percent of his base compared to Obama's 87 percent. Obama is underwater in job approval, 44-50, and independents disapprove of him overwhelmingly, 31-58. And the poll has a Democratic advantage of 9 percent, which is a 4 percent jump from 2008 - no one believes that Democrats can match their 2008 turnout advantage, let alone almost double it.
It is unlikely that Mandel would win if Romney goes down. Ohio could deliver us both our new President and a Republican, fiscally conservative, Senate.