Local and state Democratic candidates and leaders are trying to fire up voters and their base by portraying Tuesday’s election as a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to turn important and major seats blue.
Democrats traditionally have a hard time winning in midterm elections, but this is not a normal election and Democrats have unusually high levels of enthusiasm and motivation to get out the vote, said David Pepper, chair of the Ohio Democratic Party at a rally in Dayton this evening.
Gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray, his running mate Betty Sutton, and a variety of state and county office-seekers attended the rally to try to energize voters and volunteers.
The Montgomery County Democratic Party has been working for almost two years to prepare for tomorrow’s election, which has extremely high stakes for issues Ohioans care deeply about, like health care and workers rights, said Mark Owens, chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party.
Democratic candidates say they expect to be part of a historic moment on Tuesday night.
Montgomery County is the “swingingest” county in the state of Ohio, and swings about five points, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said at tonight’s rally.
“We’re between 47 percent, and you lose, and 53 percent, and you win,” she said. “It is a close, close county.”
But she said the Democratic ticket this time around is stronger than any she’s seen in decades. She said the ticket is strong enough to swing the vote to the left.
Democrats need fired-up voters and high turnout if anything like a “blue wave” really is to sweep across the state and nation, Democratic leaders said. Some Democrats hope the midterms will be referendum on Trump.
Polling for months has showed high enthusiasm among Democrats for the midterms. State races remain tight.
Democratic state candidates up and down the ballot are tied, in the lead or are in the margin of error of polling with one day to go, said Pepper.
Democrats have a remarkable chance to win tomorrow using the “tie-breaker” of voter turnout, he said.
Prominent Democratic leaders and candidates say they don’t know if a “blue wave” is coming, but they claim voters are ready for a change and new leadership for seats currently held by Republicans, including governor, attorney general and the 10th district of Ohio (which is held by GOP Rep. Mike-Turner, D-Dayton).
Speakers at tonight’s rally said the Democrats are committed to working on the issues Ohioans most care about, like civil, workers, women’s and minority rights.
The Montgomery Conty Democratic Party hopes to hold onto what it has: Democrats occupy nine out of the 11 elected non-judicial county positions.
Some of the county seats up for grabs are currently held by Democrats, but the Democratic candidates running for the seats are not incumbents.
Theresa Gapser, who is running against GOP Rep. Mike Turne in the 10th District, said no one knows what to expect on Election Day.
She said she doesn’t have stats showing the likely outcome of the races. But Gasper said the energy at the ground level is intense.
“We’ve been hearing, from knocking doors, on the phones or directly from our friends and total strangers, that a lot of Republicans are voting Democratic in this election or they are switching parties entirely,” Gasper said.
The 2016 election was a fork in the road and the country took the wrong path, but the 2018 election is about “self-correction” and 2020 will be about moving down a new path, Gasper said.
Turner has been in Congress since 2003.
Polls show Cordray and DeWine locked in a close race. Brown has a sizable lead in the polls over GOP challenger, Rep. Jim Renacci.
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