The contest between Paul Hackett, the Marine Corps Democrat, and Jean Schmidt, the all-abortion-is-murder Republican, in the special election today in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District has more variables than a quadratic equation. But check this one out: a conservative anti-tax group, Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, is running radio spots urging Republican voters to stay home today and not vote, because Schmidt isn't as anti-tax as she is anti-abortion. Best part? The ad is paid for by a liberal political action committee in Oregon.
On Sunday, Hackett seemed to catch Schmidt in a lie. She claimed that she had "never met" and "wouldn't recognize" Thomas Noe, the Republican campaign contributor at the heart of the state GOP's "Coingate" scandal (about which I've heard plenty at a distance but about which I know nothing specific). Hackett produced minutes of a March 2002 Ohio Board of Regents meeting that indicates that then-state representative Schmidt had met with the regents, whose membership at the time included Noe. Hackett made this revelation in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse. "When reporters asked for copies of the minutes, Hackett and an aide raced two blocks down Court Street to his law office in the Kroger building to run off copies."
I like that in a candidate ... somebody willing to make his own copies.
What I can't find is any polling numbers. But if it's true that Schmidt is relying on TV ads and Hackett on shoe-leather -- old-fashioned one-on-one contact by thousands of volunteers, not to mention his running to the Xerox -- then Hackett might just pull off the upset of the year. Especially if a lot of Republicans stay home.
Now, wouldn't that be something!
LATE UPDATE: Going on 9:30 p.m., & Hackett is leading -- last I looked -- 52% to Schmidt's 49%. Still many precincts uncounted.