Expatriated Ohioan blogger Dennis The Peasant is bullish on Blackwell:
Ken Blackwell is by no means an “underdog” against Ted Strickland. Blackwell has advantages in name recognition, money and party organization. As an African-American, he will carve off a substantial slice of the traditionally Democratic African-American vote. On the other hand, Strickland isn’t nearly as well known throughout the state, will not be able to raise the sort of cash Blackwell will, and will have to cope with the notoriously incompetent Ohio Democratic Party apparatus. Believe me, Ted Strickland has a hard, uphill slog against Ken Blackwell, and anyone saying differently doesn’t know Ohio.
The last thing Ohio’s Republican Party and the Republicans in Ohio’s House and Senate wanted was Ken Blackwell beating Jim Petro. Bob Taft may have been a moron, but he didn’t make waves for the Republicans in Ohio’s House and Senate, and those boys are pigs at the trough. Had the Ohio Republican establishment had a choice in the matter, they’d have gone for Petro, a standard Republican Party big-government apparatchik.
What non-Ohio Republicans need to understand is that Ken Blackwell is one of the few Republicans today who has always taken the tenants of Reagan Republicanism completely seriously… And therefore, if elected, he will cause Republicans at both the state and national level a fair amount of discomfort: This is not a man who will compromise his principles to “get along” with either Republicans or Democrats.
If Blackwell gets elected, watch Ohio closely.