Negative advertising works. The citizens of Northwest Ohio can vouch for that fact. Our TV's have screamed negative, negative, negative at us for the last month. The ultra conservative Republican Bob Latta ran them against his GOP primary candidate, then just changed the name of his opponent and ran them in the special election. Those black and white, grainy photos, the somber voice-over, the fear mongering, labeling and name-calling spelled victory for Latta last night.
He painted himself as an ultra-conservative toady of Bush and the folks in Ohio's 5th Congressional district loved him. He won each of the 16 counties. His TV spots cast his latest opponent as an ungodly abortionist, illegal alien-loving liberal, while he stood in front of a church with his wife and family. The bobblehead voters believed it all.
As the map shows, these 16 counties were not all solid Bush '04 counties, yet his message of strict conservative 'values' swept him to victory.
What that says about the up-coming presidential battle next year is any one's guess. Three factors must be noted about this special election: his opponent was a woman, his father was a well-known politician and the weather was awful. Yet his sweep cannot be overlooked as the state gears up for the '08 election.
One thing is crystal clear: conservative voters do show up at the polling booth come rain or shine.