Whaley lost to DeWine — even in Montgomery County — by nearly 20 percentage points. Ryan lost Ohio by 7. Nearly all opposed Democrats in Montgomery County lost to their opponents. Ohio Democrats shied away from speaking about “controversial” issues. They failed to craft their own messages and purpose policies that set them apart from Republicans. Instead, they took the “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach. While this might have been effective in the early 90′s as Bill Clinton rose to power with his “triangulation” strategy, this past election made it clear that same strategy will not work in Ohio today.
Donald Trump was the invisible candidate in the November 8 elections. Around the country, votes were cast as an endorsement or attempt to end the era of Trumpism. Unfortunately, Ohioans didn’t have that choice. Ohio Democrats tried too hard to appease Trump supporters and left us with either far-right conservatives or a watered-down version. Now that Trump has re-entered the presidential race, it will be imperative for Ohio Democrats to offer something completely different, a real alternative, that could help bring a definitive end to Trumpism in Ohio and restore our status as a legitimate political battleground.
Ohio Democrats should learn from Angelina Jackson and stand on the values that differentiate themselves from their opponents. Democrat or Republican, no one wants to vote for someone who will not fight for what they believe in.
Jared Grandy is a research and innovation consultant from Dayton.