The Ohio Senate race has been shaping up to be one of the more interesting races in the country for all the wrong reasons. Republican Rob Portman is retiring, and the resulting power vacuum has drawn in all manner of craziness. There was a near fight when Mike Gibbons dismissed candidate Josh Mandel for not understanding how investments work. Mandell, a former marine, squared off with Gibbons and it appeared the two men would come to blows despite their large age difference. It was a scene more becoming a professional match than a political debate.
With the rest of the candidates trying to out conservative each other, Gibbons decided to double down on odd tactics guaranteed to lose voters by claiming that the middle class does not pay its fair share of taxes. I am not taking that out of context, he said it on video.
Although Gibbons’ stats are basically right, his conclusion leaves something to be desired, especially when he is running as a Republican. Last time I checked raising taxes on the middle class was not part of the GOP platform. He is not polling very well so maybe he is trying to game Ohio’s primary system.
Ohio has an open primary, which means you do not need to be registered in the party to vote for its affiliated candidates. You do have to ask for the party primary ballot that you want. The only reason I can think of Gibbons’ statement is some 4d chess move where Democrats vote for him to avoid having either Mandell or Vance as the GOP opponent. Gibbons then figures that once he is the GOP candidate he runs back to the center and wins the conservative states seat. This is an absurd thesis, but after contemplating his statements it is the best I can produce other than he is a moron who is just not good at politics.
Even if he believes it, you do not tell your largest voting bloc that you do not think they are paying their fair share. The United States is experiencing the highest levels of inflation in 40 years. Voters are not really in the mood to hear Gibbons’ message. It is too soon to know who the GOP candidate in Ohio will be, but I would not bet on it being Gibbons.