So, moving on; my fellow Coloradan, PJMedia’s Stephen Green, thinks that the Democrats can kiss Ohio goodbye. I’m not so sure. Excerpt:
The first hint that Ohio might have lost its bellwether status came in 2016. If you’ll recall from my Wargaming the Electoral College series for the presidential election, Ohio was never in play for Hillary Clinton. While that should have been a coal mine canary that Trump’s chances of winning were far better than the polls indicated, most every expert (and Yours Truly) glossed over that indicator as we pored over our 270toWin maps.
Previously, Barack Obama won Ohio handily in 2008 and 2012. George Bush’s electoral mastermind, Karl Rove, bet big on Ohio twice — and won twice, too. In fact, as Roll Call’s Ben Peters reminds us, “Going back to 1896, the Buckeye State has backed the winning candidate in all but two elections — the best record for any state in recent history.” Looking ahead, he writes, “Election handicappers largely put Ohio in the GOP column for 2020 — Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the state’s presidential race Likely Republican.”
You have to go all the way back to 1960 and JFK to find a president who got elected without Ohio. If I could pick football teams the way Ohio picks presidents, I’d be a very wealthy man.
Ohio hasn’t elected a Democrat to state office since Obama took the state by a solid three points (50.6% to 47.6%) over Mitt Romney. And yet Donald Trump, for all his supposed unelectability, scored nearly 52%, beating Hillary Clinton by a whopping eight points. Current Republican Governor Mike DeWine might not be anyone’s idea of an exciting campaigner, but he beat Democrat Richard Cordray with ease last year, by an almost four-point spread. The Ohio House has a GOP supermajority of 61-38. And — get this — an even more lopsided supermajority of 24-9 in the state Senate.
As stated, I’m not so sure. Barack Obama won Ohio twice, easily. Like with most things, it depends on who the Dems nominate. Ohio is very heavy on blue-collar Truman Democrats; while old Groper Joe Biden, with his folksy ways and busy hands, may appeal to some of them, he won’t appeal to liberals in Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland. The daffy old Socialist from Vermont will appeal to urban millennial but not to union Blue Dogs.
Ohio’s a tough nut to crack for the Dems. But then, it’s a hard nut to crack for the GOP as well. That’s why it’s a swing state. But President Trump is a marketing guy, and watch for him to be spreading word of his brand all over Ohio and the Rust Belt next year. If the Dems are smart, they’ll do the same.