Rumor has it that Jerry Springer, host of the rowdy, raunchy, and infamous Jerry Springer Show, is planning a foray into politics. Specifically, the unflappable Springer is said to be considering a run for Congress. As the Cincinnati Inquirer reports, Jerry Springer is rumored to be considering a 2018 run for Ohio’s 2nd congressional district.
Political insiders reportedly believe that Jerry Springer, a life-long Democrat who has specialized in announcing paternity test result and exposing cheating spouses and secret love children for 17 seasons on The Jerry Springer Show, could appeal to rural and working class voters in the district. In fact, some even think that Springer could target the same voters that helped Trump take Ohio during the 2016 election.
That is, if there is any truth to the rumors that Springer is in the market for a seat in Congress.
According to chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party Tim Burke, a phone poll took place locally this week to test the waters and determine if Jerry Springer could really have a fighting chance in the district. Burke, also a close personal friend of Springer, claimed to know no further details about the region-wide phone poll.
If Jerry Springer does jump into the Ohio’s 2nd congressional district race, his opponent will be incumbent Republican Ben Wenstrup.
Since Donald Trump took office, Jerry Springer has publicly addressed several political subjects, most recently criticizing #TrumpCare and calling it “an act of war on Americans.”
While many Americans are most familiar with Jerry Springer as nothing more than a tabloid talk show host, the truth of the matter is that politics are Springer’s first calling. The Jerry Springer Show hit the airwaves in 1991, years after Springer’s tenure as mayor of Cincinnati in the late 1970s. Despite longstanding rumors that Springer might run for Ohio governor, he has always sworn he would never give up his entertainment gig and life in the private sector to return to politics.
Even so, Springer has been showing up at Democratic fundraisers for Ohio’s 2nd district, even headlining a few, and those closest to the politician-turned-TV-personality believe he’s making plans to defeat three-term Republican Wenstrup in 2018.
“A lot of people believe he has stepped up the amount of doing that this year. I think that’s just his own personal reaction to Donald Trump. I think he’s feeling if Donald Trump can do it, why can’t I?”
According to Hamilton County Democratic Party Chairman Burke, who confirmed he’d heard about the Jerry Springer phone poll on Wednesday, he doesn’t have any further details about who may have been behind the poll or who paid for it. Jerry Springer’s spokespeople aren’t commenting on the rumors that Springer is dusting off his old political cap, either.
While Jerry Springer’s people are staying mum on the 2nd district rumors, his potential opponent’s campaign does have something to say about the TV personality’s rumored congressional ambitions. Mark Weaver, campaign spokesman for incumbent Representative Ben Wenstrup, confirmed that the Wenstrup campaign was aware of the Jerry Springer phone poll.
According to Weaver, Springer isn’t someone who can be “ignored” as a political rival. However, he doesn’t believe that Jerry Springer can fill Wenstrup’s shoes when it comes to connecting with constituents, despite his familiar name.
“You can’t ignore anybody who is well known, but it would be a surprise to us if Jerry Springer has even been to all the counties in the 2nd District. Brad Wenstrup has deep ties and strong relationships with people in every corner in this district. It’s going to take more than a talk show to replace that type of connection.”
If Jerry Springer does end up running for Ohio’s 2nd district congressional seat, he would be the first serious Democratic opponent Wenstrup has ever faced. However, pulling off a win could prove to be a tall order for Springer. Ohio’s 2nd congressional district is largely working class and rural, and in the 2016 presidential election Donald Trump roundly swept the traditional Republican stronghold.
[Featured Image by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]