OH-16: Cillizza Reports GOP "Concern" About Schuring (R)
Ooh, this is interesting. Washington Post political prognosticator Chris Cillizza has posted his monthly item "The Line," in which he picks the ten U.S. House seats most likely to change parties. This week he drops OH-15 from 2nd to 7th based on the entry of relatively high-profile candidate State Sen. Steve Stivers (R-Upper Arlington), not a huge surprise.
What's intriguing is that Cillizza also hikes the OH-16 contest between State Sen. John Boccieri (D-New Middletown) and the winner of the GOP primary between State Sen. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Country Commissioner Matt Miller (R-Ashland) from 5th up to OH-15's former 2nd spot, revealing that Ohio Republicans have privately expressed "concern" about Schuring:
This district, which sits due south of Cleveland and includes Canton -- home of the National Football League Hall of Fame, isn't as good on paper for Democrats as the open 15th District near Columbus. But, candidates make a difference and Democrats have one of their best recruits in the country in state Sen. John Boccieri, a conservative lawmaker who has been in the race for months. Republicans privately express concern about state Sen. Kirk Schuring who appears to be their likely standard-bearer. While President Bush carried this district with 54 percent in 2004, its population center in Stark County went strongly for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in 2006.
Whatever the specific "concern" is, it is the only new element in the mix since last month's ranking by Cillizza. It must be significant indeed to persuade him to rate this contest the second most likely in the nation to change parties.
UPDATE: The last House edition of "The Line" was on October 26th. Cillizza added OH-16 to the list for the first time due to the retirement of Ralph Regula (R-Navarre). He didn't describe Schuring as "the likely standard bearer" at that time, and he didn't talk about Stark County going for Strickland and Brown. I wonder who he's been talking to!