To: Dettelbach for Ohio Allies
Fr: Ian Moskowitz, Dettelbach for Ohio Campaign Manager
Re: Filing Deadline and What’s Next
Da: February 8, 2018
With the candidate filing period closed as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, the race for Ohio Attorney General is set. Steve Dettelbach will be the Democratic nominee running against Republican Dave Yost, the Ohio State Auditor.
Unlike the vast majority of top-ticket races around the country this cycle, we were able to stave off any primary challenge. Steve’s qualifications as a 20-year career federal prosecutor, and his ability to build an organization with an impressive war-chest quickly made it clear that he was the best candidate to take back this seat.
Looking ahead, there are a number of reasons to be optimistic about Steve chances this November, but as we flip the page and look ahead to November, we have work to do.
Steve has continued to demonstrate his strength as a prodigious fundraiser. For the second filing period in a row, Steve, a first-time candidate, out-raised Dave Yost, a sitting statewide office holder with plenty of experience hitting up special interests for cash. With more than $2 million raised as of today and $1.5 million on hand, Dettelbach for Ohio is on track to tighten the money gap and spend competitively on paid communication across 88 counties.
Dave Yost’s ECOT Problem
As the Columbus Dispatch recently noted, our Republican opponent Dave Yost has shown he is “particularly vulnerable,” on the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow over-billing scandal. That’s because when Yost should have been looking out for Ohioans, he was enabling ECOT’s scam by giving them clean audits, speaking at their graduation, and handing out three awards for bookkeeping – all while he was cashing their nearly $30,000 in political contributions. Now that the online school is out of business, 12,000 kids are stuck without a school and $80 million in taxpayer dollars are gone. The costs of Yost’s incompetence and decision to put his campaign donors over Ohio kids and taxpayers has never been more clear, and the contrast between Yost and Steve’s record could not be more stark.
Across the country, Democrats have won elections that would have been unthinkable last cycle. In Ohio, public polling has Donald Trump’s favorability rating underwater. In one poll, 13% of respondents who voted for Trump in 2016 now say have an unfavorable view of the President, showing that his own voters are souring on him. In addition, there are top tier races with first-rate Democratic candidates with Steve on the ticket. This means that Ohio will be competitive up-and-down the ballot and attract national investment.
MOVING FORWARD: We are in a strong position, but we cannot take anything for granted. We a need to keep working and keep building our warchest so we have the resources we need to communicate the campaign’s message across all 88 counties and stay on the path to victory.
Even with so many trends moving in the right direction, we are in for a dogfight. Demographic and political trends have made Ohio a tough state for a Democrat to win, and with two competitive races ahead of us on the ticket, it’s going to take significant spending to break through the noise.
The other side is going to throw everything at us and have all the dark-money in the world behind them. The same day Steve announced he bested Dave Yost in fundraising, Yost’s campaign and a Koch Brothers-aligned organization launched false attacks at Steve. While they are evidently feeling the pressure, we are going to need to keep it up from now until Election Day to win.
BOTTOM LINE: We should celebrate the success we have had so far, maintain our optimism and double down on our efforts to elect Steve Dettelbach the next Ohio Attorney General.