“As far as Cincinnati goes, for a conservative like me, he is about as good as we’re going to get,” former Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, a Republican, said of Cranley.And this:
After tough election losses in November, Triantafilou said he would spend much of 2017 prepping candidates for future countywide office runs.Add this to the big money Cranley has received from GOP donors and it is more than clear that he is the GOP backed candidate. They won't directly endorse him because he can't accept that, but it is clear that Cranley needs the GOP vote to win. Excluding the denials from Cranley's campaign staff and supporters out there, everyone who can casually review voting results knows that in 2013 Cranley ONLY won because he got the overwhelming support of all types of Republicans in the city: Far Right-Wing COASTers, main stream Republicans like Hartmann, moderates, and the Winburn/Smitherman backers.
Cranley needs their money almost as much as he needs their vote. He will being doing a ton of Arafat-type of communications. When talking to Democratic audiences, he'll invoke his support of Hillary, but behind closed doors at his Westside and Hyde Park fundraisers he'll tout his support of the Police Union, Fire Fighters, and city neighborhoods with suburban type homes.
For as much as the GOP likes Cranley, John far more cares about them. He needs them. He even needs those who can't vote in the City but can give him money or the clout he desires. Political Parties are far less important in City elections, but they do make for a clearer understanding of what one believes. With Cranley the only thing you know he believes is that the support of the suburbanite Republicans is more important than developing the Urban core. Having a partisan primary would solve some of that, since Cranley would lose that race badly, but with the lack of Republicans actually caring about the city, Cranley could run in a GOP primary and repeat his 2013 coalition with the same type of turnout.
The only way to defeat Cranley is to have a ground game that gets out the vote. If only 29.52% turns out in November, Cranley will win. If 40% turns out, I think Cranley loses big. Getting closer to 40% than 30% is the answer and there is no party structure helping make this happen. Non-partisan elections help and hurt and right now it is hurting.