Less a horse race than a bizarre dog and pony show, the gubernatorial campaign now plays out in snarky headlines (see archives from Scene, NEOMG, the Plain Dealer, 19 Action News, your neighbor with the goofy blog, your son's high school newspaper, the coloring book scribbles your toddler churned out last week) and plain, old-fashioned numerical dissonance.
The latest sign of comfort for the incumbent governor comes by way of candidates' September fundraising. Here's Henry Gomez with the breakdown
Gov. John Kasich's fundraising dominance continued in September, with the Republican adding $1.5 million to his war chest at a time when his opponent's collapse was paving a way for a easy road to re-election.
Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald, who streamlined his strategy in August after persistent fundraising challenges and personal missteps, managed only $54,472.
Those two paragraphs are the fulcrum of this race's descent into inanity.
This is how political narratives unfold: through money. Ed FitzGerald's campaign's shortcomings, entrenched profoundly as his own party shoves a 29-and-a-half-foot pole in between itself and him, have guaranteed that any policy discussion will be drowned out entirely. There's simply no support/funding for FitzGerald's self-sabotage.
With Gov. John Kasich spending several years easing into a moderate stance and working to erase memories of, say, SB 5 and the creation of JobsOhio, the time is ripe for a genuine challenger — a politician who can aptly and clearly maintain a true debate over Ohio's political and economic course. FitzGerald let skeletons and ineptitude wreak havoc over the moment and damn-near guarantee four more years of (a likely more conservative) Kasich.
FitzGerald's Oct. 22 debate against Green Party candidate Anita Rios will be an interesting shot into the void, though the only noteworthy observation will probably be the foregone conclusion that Kasich ain't gonna show.