Earlier this month, Democratic Governor Steve Beshear won re-election by a resounding 21-point margin in Kentucky. That same night, voters in Ohio rejected the union-busting Issue 2 ballot measure, dealing a major blow to Governor John Kasich. All in all, it was a good night for Democrats. Beshear’s decisive victory, coming just one month after Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s in West Virginia, provided the DGA with key wins in a tough electoral environment in our two top-targeted governors races this year—this despite being outspent by the RGA by a margin of two-to-one.
The races in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio were very different, but they had a common thread running throughout: voters rewarded serious and hardworking leaders like Steve Beshear and Earl Ray Tomblin who maintained a laser focus on job creation and improving the economy. And they punished electeds like John Kasich, who used his first few months in office to demonize police officers, firefighters, and teachers and enact an overreaching partisan agenda.
The debates we saw in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio offer parallels to the one we are seeing playing out nationally between President Obama and Democrats—who are focused on creating jobs, upgrading infrastructure, and improving education—and the do-nothing Republican leadership in Congress that is bending over backwards to cater to the Tea Party and obstruct any and all economic progress.
In every instance, voters sent a clear message that they want job creation to be job one for their elected officials. We’ll see if Republicans get the message.
Jobs. Opportunity. Now.,