GOP Gleeful Over Democrats’ Woes in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -

Democrats appear poised to lose every statewide election in battleground Ohio this fall — most of them badly.

Republicans are counting on solid wins in the run up to their 2016 presidential nominating convention in Cleveland, the bluest city in a politically purple state. Republican incumbents running for re-election for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor all appear headed for victory, as does GOP Gov. John Kasich over Democrat Ed FitzGerald.

“I want to see them re-elected by a substantial margin, because it would send a strong message across America about the way we want to see our leaders govern,” said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a man with a substantial stake in Ohio’s political landscape as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a potential presidential candidate.

But two years is an eternity in politics. And in the recent past, President Barack Obama won the state twice. So did Democrat Bill Clinton. And Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, leads early presidential polls in the state. Democrats say any losses this year are merely an aberration.

No Republican has been elected president without carrying Ohio. The last Democrat to win without the state was John F. Kennedy in 1960. Presidential races in Ohio usually are very close, adding to the campaign intensity.