August 02, 2005
Early results look strong in OH-02

I doubt I'll be awake when the final result comes in, but as I type this, Paul Hackett is winning by a 23,957 to 22,846 margin. That's with 305 precincts of 753 reporting. Apparently, turnout is double the projection - 100,000 is likely instead of 50,000.

You can follow the score here and here. For reference tomorrow, when it's time to talk about What It All Means, I refer you to Charlie Cook's analysis from before the race, and Jerome Armstrong's interpretation of Cook's numbers.

UPDATE: Final results are in:

US HOUSE Ohio 2nd Dist
753 precincts of 753 reporting

JEAN SCHMIDT 57,974 52%
PAUL HACKETT 54,401 48%

Just a reminder of what Charlie Cook said before the race:

Bottom line: Schmidt, the Republican, is still favored to win the election, but don't rule out the possibility of an upset, given the vagaries of August special election voter turnout and the problems unique to Ohio this year. But even assuming a GOP win tonight, the margin of victory can give us some insight into just how radioactive the governor's troubles and the "time for a change" sentiment in the state will be for other Republicans in the Buckeye State next year. If Schmidt's victory margin is in double digits, this tells us that there is not much of an anti-GOP wind in Ohio right now. If the margin is say six to nine points for Schmidt, then there is a wind, but certainly no hurricane. A Schmidt win of less than five points should be a very serious warning sign for Ohio Republicans that something is very, very wrong, while a Hackett victory would be a devastating blow to the Ohio GOP.

So we got the "very serious warning" instead of the "devastating blow". No complaints here. Congratulations to Jean Schmidt on her hard-fought victory, and especially to Paul Hackett for his outstanding effort. I'm far from the first person to say this, but I so want to see Hackett run again next year. Cook again:

Special elections in 1993 and early 1994, for example, gave us a sneak preview of the storm clouds Democrats were headed for down the road.

In Kentucky's 2nd District, Republican Ron Lewis easily won a special election in May of 1994 to replace longtime popular Democrat Bill Natcher -- an early sign of the beating Democrats were going to take that November in southern districts across the country.

In Wisconsin, a special election in May of 1993 to replace popular Democratic Rep. Les Aspin -- who had been tapped by President Clinton to serve as secretary of Defense -- proved to be a political canary-in-a-coal-mine as well. Democrat Peter Barca beat Republican Mark Neumann by just 675 votes in a district that Aspin had easily carried for 23 years. Just a few months earlier, Aspin had crushed Neumann with 58 percent of the vote. In 1994, Neumann beat Barca by 1,120 votes.

I got three word before I sign off: Run. Every. Race. More tomorrow.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 02, 2005 to Election 2005 | TrackBack

Please add your thanks to Paul Hackett to the There's a "Thanks Paul" blog up now. I think it'd be great if anyone wanted to add their comments to this.

To be included, you only need to email to bucky [at] brownbagblog [dot] com with the text you want to send to Paul and the name you want to go by there. I guess links are okay too, as they'll add color and more interesting things to the blog. Also I prefer that you also include what state you're from in the thanks, just to show him and his campaigners how broad their support is.


Posted by: Bucky on August 2, 2005 11:34 PM

Good advice, Chuck. One thing I disliked about living in the Boston area were the one-candidate races, and I even find a few of those here in Houston for some of the down-ticket races. I make a habit of voting write-in when I see that, regardless of who the single candidate is.

Posted by: B. K. Oxley (binkley) on August 3, 2005 6:31 AM