Kasich leads GOP victories across Ohio

Republican John Kasich coasted to re-election as Ohio’s governor on Tuesday by defeating Cleveland
Democrat Ed FitzGerald amid early indications turnout was low across the state.
Tuesday’s victory was expected after campaign missteps by FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, left
him seriously behind in polls and fundraising.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential 2016 presidential contender who chairs the Republican
Governors Association, called Kasich’s victory "commanding" and said it meant "four more
years of jobs, growth and prosperity are in store for the Buckeye State." The RGA spent $4 million
in the race.
In a tweet, Kasich thanked the state, saying, "We did it! It’s only halftime, Ohio, and the best is
yet to come."
FitzGerald’s troubles and the lack of a U.S. Senate race or any statewide ballot issues were among
factors that kept people from the polls.
The 62-year-old Kasich’s approval ratings dropped after he lost a 2011 collective-bargaining battle
against public employee unions, but FitzGerald’s weakened campaign was unable to serve as an effective
mouthpiece to remind voters of that and push other Democratic issues.
Ultimately, Kasich’s message that he had added jobs after a punishing national recession and made efforts
to rein in Ohio government spending and cut taxes won the day.
There was also evidence that Kasich’s decisions to support moderate political positions such as
supporting Medicaid expansion allowed under the federal health care overhaul resonated with voters. In
early unofficial returns, Kasich had more than 62 percent of the vote, to 35 percent for FitzGerald and
very close to 3 percent for Green Party contender Anita Rios.
Kasich not only won most among most demographic groups, but he also did better than four years ago among
blacks, moderates, voters without a college degree and even Democrats, according to the preliminary
results of an exit poll conducted for the AP and the television networks.
The poll of 1,680 Ohio voters found FitzGerald’s support was mainly limited to reliably Democratic
voters. But even in the Democratic stronghold of the Cleveland area where he calls home, the Cuyahoga
County executive only managed to split the vote with Kasich
There were few bright spots left for Democrats as vote totals began to roll in across the state, where
Republicans dominate state politics.
Three other Republican statewide officeholders joined Kasich in clinching re-election. Secretary of State
Jon Husted beat state Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland, Attorney General Mike DeWine beat back an
aggressive challenge by Cincinnati lawyer David Pepper and Auditor Dave Yost won a second term over
Democratic state Rep. John Patrick Carney.
Ohio Republican Chairman Matt Borges said Kasich’s victory sent a signal about Republican support among
"When you look back at the jobs created and the lives lifted over his first term, there is little
doubt that Gov. Kasich delivered for Ohio and earned the mandate he received tonight," Borges said
in a statement.
In a joint statement, four abortion rights groups issued a statement challenging the idea voters
delivered Kasich a mandate.
"We are disappointed at the outcome of the election, but we are clear that the results do not signal
a statewide endorsement of Governor Kasich’s anti-choice policies," said NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, New
Voices Cleveland, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio and the clinic Preterm. They said, "By no
means is the fight over."