I received the VERY helpfully explanatory e-mail below from Jon Keeling, in response to my comments on Kasich in today's column. It is worth sharing, with Jon's permission:
I saw your "Things I think..." article in the Spectator and wanted to give you a bit more background on the Kasich victory and how it compares to Portman's.
Some info on me, I write for Third Base Politics, a conservative blog that is arguably the most widely read political blog in Ohio about Ohio politics.
Unfortunately, comparing the Kasich and Portman victories is truly an apples to oranges comparison.
Portman was able to enjoy a primary without an opponent and build his war chest while two Democrats duked it out. Lee Fisher came out the primary bruised and completely broke. This hindered his ability to raise cash from the very beginning of the general election season. Portman ran an efficient and safe campaign while Fisher was unable to widely communicate any message and had absolutely zero outside help from special interests and the DSCC. Without any money to defend himself, Fisher was unable to bat down Portman's efforts to label the Democrat as Ohio's jobs czar, an entirely unwantedbut accurate label in a state with 18 months of double digit unemployment.
Meanwhile, Kasich had to do something that hadn't been done in Ohio in 36 years - beat an incumbent Governor. More money was spent against John Kasich than in any race in the country. Strickland, the DGA, and big Labor came at him en masse. Their goal? To tear him to shreds. And it almost worked. The problem? Strickland's brand was too far damaged to mobilize the base, despite what many across the country call the best ground game in the nation in the Ohio Democratic Party.
Hope that helps clarifies things for you. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
Third Base Politics
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