Taft win [in Lucas County] noticed by Bush advisers
National Republicans enjoyed unprecedented success in the Nov. 5 midterm congressional elections, but as President Bush scans the Midwestern political landscape for sitting governors who can help his 2004 re-election bid, Ohio’s Bob Taft is the last man standing.
Mr. Taft easily won re-election, in part on the strength of a big victory in Lucas County that top White House and gubernatorial aides hope will translate into substantial local support for Mr. Bush in two years.
Mr. Taft defeated Democrat Tim Hagan in Lucas County, winning 59 percent of the vote. Four years ago, he won just 37 percent here against Democrat Lee Fisher.
White House political advisers have taken note and have conveyed their interest in Mr. Taft’s performance in Lucas County this fall to local GOP leaders. Compared to four years ago, the governor improved his finish here by 22 percentage points - one of the best Republican turnarounds in an urban county anywhere in the country.