This is why Jennifer Brunner needs to win tomorrow. Lee Fisher has no chance of winning in November.
If Lee Fisher has proven anything over the last twenty years, it's that the voting public of this state finds him largely unattractive. Lee first won statewide office in 1990. By obtaining 50.0184% of the vote. In a race where 3,360,162 votes were cast, Fisher lucked his way into office by a margin of just 1,234 votes. It would prove to be the only statewide race he won on his own.
In 1994, Fisher decided that he wanted to stick around as Attorney General and ran for re-election. After running what is generally regarded as one of the most negative campaigns in Ohio history, Fisher was defeated by Betty Montgomery by a hundred thousand votes. Not a landslide for Betty, by any means, but Fisher decided to take some time off, to hone his craft. Maybe he'd do better in his next run for office.
No. Absolutely not. In 1998, Fisher ran for Governor. The results were not pretty. Lee ending up getting just 44% of votes. He won just 20 counties -- most notably, Fisher didn't even win Columbus/Franklin County. (For comparison, Jennifer in 2006 won 55% of the vote and won 52 counties) Very appropriately, Lee retired from public service. Never to run for public office again.
Until one day in 2006 when Ted Strickland called. "Hey, babe! Wanna take a ride on my coattails?" Sure! So Fisher joined Strickland's ticket as the Lt. Governor. Of course, Strickland won and Fisher is currently our Lt. Governor. Let's be clear though, the election of Strickland had very little to do with Lee Fisher. That'd be like saying that Obama might not have been elected if it weren't for that Biden boost, those countless people that vote for second name on the ballot.
Fisher decides that being the Lt. Governor is pretty boring and that he could use a change of scenery. To Washington, we go! It's gonna be perfect: he's going to ignore his primary opponent, Jennifer Brunner, while cutting off her fundraising so she doesn't seem like a viable candidate. And then he'll run against Rob Portman on a platform of jobs, and he's totally going to win.
Except it's not going to work. Because when Lee attacks Portman for shipping Ohio jobs overseas as Bush's trade representative, Portman's going to respond that Ohio lost 400,000 jobs while Fisher was Ohio's Director of Development. Now, let's be clear: in a very real and direct way, Portman has hurt Ohio and it's economy. Fisher had very little to do with the state of Ohio's economy, and the job loss that occurred was not his fault. But reason doesn't really matter to the general public. Rhetoric does. So Fisher and Portman will get into a tit-for-tat on the economy and the economy argument will likely be a draw. And in this political climate, I'll give any draw to the Republicans. Fisher will lose yet again.
The Very Near Future:
Tomorrow, to be exact. Voters are going to say: well, Lee, thanks for all of that, uhhh, work that you did as Lt. Governor, and for all of those races you lost, but I think we're gonna go a different direction. It's just that...we just want a candidate that can, ya know, win. That's why we're going to vote for Jennifer Brunner. Because if there is anybody that is 100% certifiably not responsible for the state of Ohio's economy, it's Jennifer Brunner. So what will the rhetoric be if Jennifer wins the primary on Tuesday? "Rob, you traded all of our jobs away!" "Jennifer, you love ACORN!" That is a battle we can, and will, win.
So if you're still undecided, I urge you to vote for the candidate with the only realistic chance of winning this November. Vote Jennifer Brunner, Tuesday, May 4th.