The Great American Bore (and why it matters)

In the first installment of The Middle, a look into why the midterm elections in Ohio matter.

By Alex Kamczyc / Edited by Julie Riedel

It wasn’t too long ago when Cleveland was flooded with news pundits, politicians, provocateurs, and protesters for the Republican National Convention. I knew to stay away from the city during that time or risk getting caught in the flurry of protests, rallies and general madness that engulfed the city. Despite the fact that the convention lead to Donald Trump’s nomination and eventual election as our president, the drama of it all was kind of

Keeping up to date on the latest bit of political drama became the most important thing to many Americans, in part because we had such polarizing figures running in the presidential campaign. The he said she said of the campaign was literally all anyone that I knew could talk about (ironically, my former roommate and I barely spoke for months because of it). It was like an Emmy winning drama unfolding in front of you that actually affected you in some way.

Two years later, Trump is in office and the midterms are right around the corner. The Democrats are positioning themselves to take back the house and Senate this November in the 2018 Midterm elections.

States like Texas where Senator Ted Cruz, up for re-election, only has a small lead over Democratic contender Beto O’Rourke, who raised over 38 million dollars for his campaign in only a few months. In Georgia, Brian Kemp, the GOP nomination for Governor has come under fire for blocking 53,000 potential voters from registering to vote in the midterm.

The thing is, that Democrats really need a win in the number of states holding elections this November. As it stands, in my mind President Trump is right:

There is no Blue Wave.

In a poll conducted by the Upshot and Sienna College in states holding elections for the house next month, Democratic candidates sometimes trail behind Republican opponents anywhere between 5–11 points.

In the senate there’s not much of a difference, in a poll conducted by RealClearPolitics, Republicans still have majority control over the Senate. Even the most promising candidates like Beto O’Rourke trail behind Ted Cruz by eight points in the polls.

Ohio is a surprisingly different story though, there hasn’t been any thing extremely eventful surrounding one of the most important elections in the midterm. In fact most republicans have surprisingly already written off Ohio’s and Pennsylvania’s elections.

It’s not sexy, it’s un-glamorous; however, Ohio is one of the most important states for the presidential election in 2020, with whoever previously winning the state always winning the election.

There are a few other reasons this election is extremely important. Who ever wins the governance of Ohio and Senate seats will be able to redraw district lines for voting however they like it. Ohio has come under question for being gerrymandered, so this could turn the state blue next presidential election.

This election also matters because it gives Democrats the chance to retake the Senate and solidify control over Trump and his actions until next election. This could lead to a thorough investigation into the questionable actions of the Trump administration, which is limited under current republican control in Congress.

This could ultimately decide how the next two years of the Trump presidency will handle things. If you hate the Trump administration and the republicans that are protecting him, now is your chance to go out and do something about it. If you like what Trump and his party are doing, now is your chance to make sure it keeps running.

Look, this isn’t going to be something you can talk about around the water cooler with your co-workers. It’s not an ice breaker you can use at the bars to pick up men or women and it damn sure won’t make you seem more interesting being up to date with what’s going on in Ohio. Quite frankly it’s boring.

However, just because the Ohio midterm’s feel like a slog of information and no character drama, it doesn’t mean it’s not important. In the weeks leading up to the election I will do my best to cover every race, every issue and every candidate working to win elections in November so that you can base your opinions in fact and hopefully vote.

It’s not pretty, but it’s necessary.

Alex Kamczyc is an award winning journalist covering politics and culture in Cleveland. He studied at Kent State University under Connie Schultz.

Alex Kamczyc is an award winning journalist covering politics and culture in Cleveland. He studied at Kent State University under Connie Schultz.