COLUMBUS, OHIO — There could not be two better examples of what President Obama and the Democrats want the fall elections to be about than Ohio Republicans Rob Portman and John Kasich.
Portman, who is running for the Senate, was the chief trade officer and White House budget director for President George W. Bush. Kasich, a former congressman who is running for governor, spent a decade working for Lehman Brothers, the Wall Street firm whose collapse helped trigger the massive economic retraction.
Together, their races may provide the nation’s clearest test of whether the Democrats’ strategy of running against Bush and Wall Street can overcome a political climate tilted clearly toward the Republicans.
Economic issues overwhelm everything else in Ohio, and Republicans are, at the moment, capitalizing on voter unhappiness. By November, Democrats must shift the focus of the debate if they are to hold down their losses here and across the country. Whether they can do so is the crucial question.
EXPERTS EXAMINE THE ECONOMY