The 2018 midterm elections are critical for President Trump. Our goal as a movement should be to engage in a solid ground game this election cycle. We must primary the cucks while backing the right candidates who will support President Trump’s agenda in Congress. The check powers the Senate has on the presidency make it especially important: the Senate approves cabinet nominations, serves as the jury in impeachment hearings, and has the power to override a veto. Holding on to the Senate is a major key defensive measure in the case of impeachment.
The GOP currently has a 51-to-49 majority in the Senate, so Democrats need to flip a net total of two seats to gain control. However, the GOP is only defending eight Senate seats, two of which appear competitive. Meanwhile, the Democrats have 25 seats to defend, including some in states Trump won in 2016.
Statisticians dispute which party is likely to control the Senate after November. Traditionally, midterm elections favor Republicans, however another trend observed by political scientists is the electorate’s tendency to vote against the party which occupies the White House. It’s anyone’s guess how things will turn out, but I’m pretty whitepilled on the Republican Party’s chances to main control of the Senate.
At Fash the Nation we want to cover the higher profile races this election cycle so in addition to my series on the Indiana Senate race, I will also be covering the 2018 Senate race in Ohio. Much like Indiana, Senator Sherrod Brown’s seat is ranked as the one of the most vulnerable Democratic seats in Congress, and this will be one of the most high-profile races in the country. Ohio is an R+8 state, meaning Trump beat Hillary there by 8 percentage points.
What makes this race interesting is that Ohio features eight congressional districts that intersect with one or more “pivot counties” which voted twice for Obama before flipping to Trump in 2016. There is also the added wrinkle that the anticipated Republican contender, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, backed out of the race due to his wife’s illness; as a result, a Republican Ohio gubernatorial candidate—Congressman Jim Renacci—announced that he would no longer seek election to governor’s office but instead would run for the Senate.
This first installment in my 2018 Ohio Senate series will serve as a basic introduction to the race, introducing the three serious candidates and offering my general assessment of them. The main metrics I’ve used to assess the candidates are the same as I used for evaluating the Indiana Senate candidates:
• Their FiveThirtyEight “Trump Score”—How often they vote with Trump and how likely they are to vote with him in the future
• Their ideologically categorization based on GovTrack’s legislative co-sponsorship tracking
• Their NumbersUSA grade card on immigration
• Some basic measures of their campaign finance operations
Sherrod Brown (D)
The incumbent in this election and one of the most liberal members of Congress, Senator Sherrod Brown has miraculously been able to stay afloat in Ohio, which is ground zero for White working-class voters. Representing a state that is increasingly Republican-leaning, Brown has had to toe the line, falsely presenting himself as a moderate Democrat. However, according to legislative analysis by GovTrack, Brown is a “far-left Democratic leader” and was previously rated as a “far-left Democrat.” I believe this upcoming election cycle will finally be what stretches him too thin and he will not win a third term.
According to Nate Silver’s measurements (which can be found on fivethirtyeight.com), Brown has voted with Trump 28.8% of the time, and due to Trump’s victory in Ohio, is expected to support Trump 69.5% of the time. According to a separate measure tracked by the website OpenCongress, Brown has voted with the Democratic Party 95.6% of the time.
I’d like to take a moment to point out that as an undergraduate student at Yale, Brown majored in Russian Studies. Could he be in cohorts with Putin and Russian election hackers???
Anyway, moving on to immigration we can see that Brown’s record on border security is abysmal. Brown was given a F- on immigration by NumbersUSA. You read that correctly folks: F minus. Here’s how Senator Brown has acted on immigration:
• Voted against amnesty for the so-called “dreamers”
• Voted to protect sanctuary cities
• Voted numerous times for amnesty
• Voted to increase refugee resettlement
• Opposed the travel ban.
If there’s any single metric we should use to determine who to support, it should be immigration and based on that, I’ve concluded Brown has got to go.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Brown has raised an enormous sum of over $56 million between his campaign committee and leadership PAC. For all the money Brown has raised, he certainly spared no expense, spending nearly $47 million. He has no debts and most recently reported $9.8 million in cash on hand. As for campaign contributions, the top industries represented are law firms and health professionals. His number one top contributor is the Ohio State University and I’ll give you one good guess who his number two contributor is. No surprise, it’s the Jewish pro-Israel lobby JStreetPAC, which has donated $190,740 to Brown as of the last filing deadline. Imagine my shock!
Mike Gibbons (R)
An Ohio businessman and lawyer with relatively little political experience, Mike Gibbons is running as the underdog in this race. With a tough primary opponent and low name ID, it is unlikely he will go on to face Senator Brown in the general election. Although his lack of political experience leaves me with little solid information to go on, I will review Gibbons’s candidacy as best I can.
Gibbons hopped on the Trump bandwagon, using his business credentials to brand himself as a political outsider, but just because someone is a successful businessman and so-called “outsider” doesn’t mean we can count on them to behave how we want them to in Congress. Sometimes it is more advantageous to us to support a candidate we can rely on to consistently vote conservative, rather than embrace any wildcard outsider who comes along. But I’ll get more into that later.
Never having held office before, there are no FiveThirtyEight or NumbersUSA metrics to go on, so I’ll attempt to do a more qualitative analysis of Gibbons. Although he claims to support President Trump, there’s little evidence of that in the “issues” section of his campaign website. On immigration, he gives lip service to border security all while praising the great American melting pot, and we’re a nation of immigrants, and yeah, we’ve heard this same old song and dance from all too many Republicans before. There’s not even a mention of a border wall or travel ban anywhere.
According to the most recent numbers provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, Gibbons has raised $1.3 million, spent $862,796 and has $529,271 in cash on hand.
Jim Renacci (R)
Now for a candidate who I think will be a formidable foe to Senator Brown—current Ohio Congressman Jim Renacci, who represents Ohio’s 16th District. A political novice, Renacci is also a businessman and one of the wealthiest members of Congress with an estimated net worth of over $36 million.
Renacci was initially running for governor in Ohio, but when State Treasurer Josh Mandel backed out of the race, it left a wide-open opportunity for Renacci to switch his campaign, whose gubernatorial bid was a longshot. As a candidate for Senate, Renacci has received support from the Ohio Republican Party and he has even conducted campaign events in coordination with Ohio’s favored gubernatorial ticket, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Immediately you can tell Renacci is the kind of candidate we can count on to support Trump and stay strong on immigration. Large segments of his campaign mirror that of Trump’s—he even uses the slogan “Ohio First.” Much of his rhetoric is similar to Trump’s without Trump’s sometimes off-putting, brash demeanor. According to GovTrack’s legislative analysis, Renacci is categorized as a “rank and file Republican” and rated an “average Republican” Congressman, meaning he is likely to vote with the GOP on most legislation. According to OpenCongress, Renacci has voted with the Republican Party 95.7% of the time.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Renacci votes with Trump 93.4% of the time and is projected to vote with Trump in the future 91.2% of the time. And Trump certainly recognizes that he would have an ally in Renacci—Mike Pence recently made an appearance in northeast Ohio and all but outright endorsed his candidacy. It is also notable that Renacci has the endorsement of Ohio’s other Senator, Republican Rob Portman.
NumbersUSA grades Renacci with C, which leaves a lot to be desired. However, some of his recent actions on immigration suggest he may be toughening his tone on the issue. His actions include:
• Voting against DACA amnesty
• Voting against funding sanctuary cities
• Voting in favor of Kate’s Law
Additionally, on his campaign website, he states support for the border wall, nationwide E-Verify, and merit-based immigration. Overall, it appears that recently Renacci has grown more nationalist on immigration, which is good, but we will have to do all in our power to continue pushing him rightward.
Renacci’s finances are a little peculiar. As of the last filing deadline, he has reportedly raised $336,935 (well below the average sum raised by Congressional candidates) and spent a whopping $1.1 million. Despite the discrepancy there, his campaign has no debt and is holding $478,774 in cash on hand. His top two donors are FirstEnergy Corp and NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots.
Hopefully this introductory report was insightful for all the Ohio readers out there. Brown is vulnerable, but if we don’t apply pressure he will win. An Axios/Survey Monkey poll conducted from February 12th to March 5th shows Brown neck and neck with Renacci at 50-45 percent support respectively.
I highly encourage you to be active in the election, not just shitposting all day, but actually volunteering in the field. To be taken seriously as a political movement, we must have boots on the ground this election cycle. It’s going to take an immense grassroots presence made up of countless hours door knocking and robo-dialing, but I know that we’re up for the challenge.
Stay tuned for more articles on the 2018 Ohio Senate Race. Follow me on Twitter and Gab at @populist420. Questions, feedback, or tips can be directed to [email protected]