The nominees for governor in Ohio met in their final debate of the race last night, and according to reports from the ground, the narrow gap in the polls made for some fireworks. Republican nominee John Kasich leads incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) by a margin of 48.9-42.2 in the TPM Poll Average, but Democrats say the momentum is with them and predict they'll win in the end. Polls suggest that's something of a Pollyannaesque view of the situation, perhaps, but it seems the numbers were good enough to provoke some jabs from Strickland last night.
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The chief issue is the economy, and that was the focus of much of the back-and-forth at the debate, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
"The free-fall has been stopped and all you and your friends want to do is just criticize and say no, no, no," Strickland said, addressing Kasich and attempting to tie him to national GOP rhetoric. "While we have been working here in Ohio to create jobs, you were working on Wall Street to outsource our jobs. I think the people of Ohio can tell the difference between the two of us."
Kasich's jabs came on the issue of tax increases, the subject all GOP pols likely fantasize about debating when they dream at night.
"You actually have been asleep at the wheel," Kasich said to Strickland, according to the Plain Dealer. "If you had come out of the box when you were elected governor and did what you promised, which was turn Ohio around, you would have created a government that is more effective and efficient and dealt with the tax situation."