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Ohio Democratic candidates distance themselves from Biden

President Joe Biden speaks with Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, as he arrives at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden speaks with Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, as he arrives at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Cleveland.

It’s a tradition in party politics that goes back generations—candidates forsake the extreme elements of their parties and distance themselves from popularity-challenged party members.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss why candidates "race to the middle" in general elections.

Joe who?

Tim Ryan is running ads basically saying he’s the Trump Democrat running for U.S. Senate.

And now Marcy Kaptur is joining him. She finds herself running for re-election in a much more competitive district in Northwest Ohio. Her Republican opponent is Trump-endorsed JR Majewski. The Republican won Trump’s endorsement by turning his lawn into a huge Trump 2020 sign.

In her latest ad, Kaptur said she is not running against Trump. She’s running against someone else.

The ad's narrator states, "Marcy Kaptur...She doesn’t work for Joe Biden. She works for you."

The New York Times featured a picture of Kaptur greeting Joe Biden in Cleveland in July. She has a huge smile on her face. The president is clutching her handed and kissing her fingers.

Kaptur had a very safe district for the past 10 years known as the "snake on the lake," a wafer-thin district that stretches along Lake Erie from Toledo to Cleveland. Now her new district is gerrymandered the other way, giving her Republican opponent a much better chance.

What the polls say

We have some new polling on Ohio’s two biggest races this fall, though we don’t know how much faith we can put in these polls.

Let’s start with the governor’s race. Ohio Democrats put out an internal poll that shows Nan Whaley is basically tied with Gov. Mike DeWine. That would mean she has closed a 15-point gap in the race over the summer.

Emerson College also released a poll that shows DeWine up by 16 points

That Emerson poll shows a much tighter in Ohio's U.S. Senate Race with J.D. Vance leading Tim Ryan by 3 percentage points, 45% to 42%—just within the margin of error.

Also, a Trafalgar poll has Vance up by five points.

Snollygoster of the week

Ron DeSantis, who easily won the Florida Republican Primary for governor because he had no opponent. But for some reason, he was running ads on Fox News on primary day. Maybe it is because he is shrewdly looking beyond Florida.

The other Snollygoster of the week—or victim of a snollygoster—is Abby Kovacs. She thought she was going to run for State Rep in Ashtabula, but she lives too far, 20 feet too far, from the district she was running in.

As reported by WEWS TV in Cleveland, her family’s home was in the 99th district, but the new district maps drew the line across her property and her mailbox is on the wrong side of the district line. So, she was forced to withdraw from the race.

If you have a suggestion for next week's Snollygoster of the Week award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.

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