Last updated: August 25. 2013 1:03AM - 25 Views

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You probably can chalk up the huge number of people who turned out Sunday to see and hear Bill Clinton to his being a former U.S. president. One needn’t be a Democrat to want to witness a historic figure who is a Democrat.Something local Republicans might think about, however, is that Democrats keep making these advances in Allen County that need explained away.Bill Clinton draws more than 1,000 people, but he’s a former president. Democratic newcomer Ben Konop took the majority of the Allen County vote in his 2004 campaign against U.S. Rep. Mike Oxley, who won big across the rest of the 4th Congressional District. Konop played to Allen County anger about the closure of Lima Correctional Institution, which Oxley correctly reminded voters was a state, not a federal, issue. And, in the 2006 gubernatorial election, Democrat Ted Strickland’s vote total slipped by Republican Ken Blackwell’s in conservative Allen County. People were unhappy with former Gov. Bob Taft, so they took it out on Blackwell, we were told.All those explanations might be true. But we’d offer one more thing for Republicans to consider: Democrats might be making some progress here.We’re neither Republican nor Democrat, nor are we either conservative or liberal, so this doesn’t help or hurt our political beliefs directly. We favor limited government. So, indirectly at least, we would welcome Allen County becoming more competitive. That might actually force Republicans to return to somewhat limited government beliefs. It also might get more attention here for the personal liberty issues some Democrats champion.Of course, as Republicans will claim, the most recent strong Democratic turnout could be just another blip. But, with a former president just having been here, with another Clinton visit to the area planned this week and with Sen. Barack Obama’s team having had a representative here, the Democrats don’t appear to think winning here again is out of the question.


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