Cracking the suburbs
Jerome Armstrong brings up an interesting point that has been lost in all the post-race analysis of the OH-02 race: Paul Hacket, Democrat, trounced the Republicans in the rural areas of the county. Indeed, the victory margins for Hacket in the rural half of OH-02 was in the 60-40 range. It was in the suburban and ex-urban areas of Hamilton and Clermont counties that Schmidt managed to eek out the necessary votes for her victory.
But isn't this a contradiction of the myth that Republicans play better in rural areas? Maybe a tough talking Democrat really can play well in the farm communities?
From this race, it looks like the real battleground, the real stronghold for Republican power, is not in the countryside but in the suburban beltways around major cities. Democrats, generally, own the inner-cities. Hackett has demonstrated that Democrats, as long as they talk unapologetically about their views, can own the farmlands. It is only in that middle region that Republicans remain competitive.
If we can crack the code on the suburbs then the Republicans will be routed.