Monday, October 09, 2006

National Republican Organization ditches Blackwell

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Openers blog, the Republican Governors Association, the national Republican Party organization dedicated to electing Republican Governors, is no longer focusing their efforts in Ohio.

In other words, the RGA has decided that Ken Blackwell's campaign is a lost cause. He's not turning the corner, but like a true Bushite, he's stayed the course to defeat.

In recent email to supporters, RGA chairman and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney urges volunteers to work in critical battleground states in the final four to six days before the election.

“The lesson of the 2002 and 2004 Republican victories is that volunteer efforts the weekend prior to election day will make the difference between winning and losing close elections,” Romney writes.

Romney, who helped Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell with his health-care plan, recommends six states.

And Ohio is not one of them.

Strickland has consistently led Blackwell by double-digit leads. In a Rasmussen poll published last week -- the most favorable of the recent surveys -- Blackwell trails by 12 points.

About the six states – Iowa, Maine, Oregon, Illinois, Arkansas, and Michigan – Romney writes: “All of them are states where a strong Republican '72 Hour' get-out-the-vote effort can make the difference between winning and losing.”

So it would appear that as far as the RGA is concerned, the Republicans '72 Hour' GOTV effort is not the difference between winning and losing.

This is an embarassment to the conservative wing of the party. Ken Blackwell was supposed to be a sign of a new kind of conservative Republican emerging on the national scene. As one of only three African-American Republicans running in statewide contests, Blackwell was supposed to symbolize a turning point in Republican racial politics. During the primaries, Blackwell supporters crowed about how Blackwell was a national figure in the Republican Party of such influence that he would automatically be on the short list for running mate of any serious Republican contender in the 2008 Presidential election.

In the end, Ken Blackwell will be remembered like T.O. was this weekend in Philly: All mouth, no real delivery.

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