The late decision to devote financial resources into such a GOP-heavy seat suggests that they believe they have at least an outside chance at winning. The race features GOP state Rep. Bob Latta, who emerged from a nasty Republican primary last month against the Democratic nominee Robin Weirauch, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in the last two elections.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is planning to respond with an ad of its own, even as it lags well behind the DCCC in cash on hand. (Earlier this week, the committee spent money to produce an ad in a Virginia special election on the same date, but hasn’t expended any money yet for the Ohio race.)
Meanwhile, Ohio Democrats are deploying one of their strongest assets to help Weirauch on the stump.
This weekend, popular Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) campaigned with Weirauch, highlighting a populist message criticizing Latta for supporting free trade agreements. One of her main campaign themes has been fighting against manufacturing job losses.
The district, centered in Bowling Green, gave President Bush 61 percent of the vote in the 2004 presidential election; Gillmor won 57 percent of the vote against Weirauch in last year’s election. It has a sizable industrial economic base, housing the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and Whirlpool Washing Machine plants with many blue-collar voters.