A poll released August 23rd by Public Policy Polling reveals just how formidable a presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is and just how bad the GOP brand has become in the Buckeye State. Ohio, the quintessential swing state that went for George W Bush twice and then delivered narrow margins of victory for Barack Obama twice, is poised to become solid blue in 2016. If an election were held today in Ohio, Hillary Clinton would trounce Rand Paul 51-36 and crush Paul Ryan 52-36. Even Chris Christie would have trouble keeping from losing by double digits managing to lose to Clinton by a still decisive 45-36 margin. In fact, not a single GOP presidential hopeful polls better than 36 percent versus Clinton in Ohio, the ultimate must win state in presidential contests. Most amusingly, the Buckeye State’s Governor, John Kasich fares worst of all, losing by an epic 18 point margin to Clinton 53-35.
Apparently there is nothing like having a Republican Governor and legislature to help voters see the folly of voting GOP. Ohio voters oppose the recently signed restrictions on abortion rights 40-34. Furthermore, the state’s voters also now favor gay marriage 48-42, a 29 point reversal from just two years ago when voters opposed same sex marriage by a 55-32 spread. The state that John Boehner calls home and that once gave George W. Bush the necessary electoral votes to eke out an electoral college victory over John Kerry is in danger of being hopelessly lost for the GOP.
The Republican Party apparently learned nothing from the national drubbing Mitt Romney took in the 2012 election. Even in that contest Ohio was regarded as a toss up and Barack Obama’s margin of victory was less than three points, 50.58-47.6. To put the poll results in perspective, if Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul became their party’s respective nominees in 2016, and Clinton held her 15 point advantage, Ohio would deliver a bigger margin for the Democrats in 2016 than Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alaska or Montana did for the Republicans in 2012. The Republican Party has veered so far to the dysfunctional hard right that they run the risk of getting annihilated in the pivotal state of Ohio.
If the Republican Party cannot regain a sense of pragmatism and reason they are headed for humiliation in Ohio. The drubbing will be so thorough that even Karl Rove will not question Megyn Kelly’s judgement when FOX News calls Ohio for Hillary Clinton less than thirty minutes after the polls close. If the GOP does not reinvent itself and renounce some of their extreme positions on social and economic issues, they are headed for political disaster in the Buckeye State. Luckily for the Democrats, at this stage, the Republicans neither seem to notice nor care. If that apathy continues, Ohio will be colored a very deep shade of blue in 2016.