Tag Archives: Hamilton County

What Voter Fraud? Ohio 2012

Nothing to see here, keep moving. More voter fraud in all-important Hamilton County, Ohio:

Margaret Allen, 65, Ernestine Strickland, 75, and Andre Wilson, 50, are all indicted on 1 count of Illegal Voting (Felony 4) in violation of Ohio voting laws. If convicted of the charge, they face the possibility of 18 months in prison. Allen is charged with attempting to vote in the 2012 Ohio General Election by requesting an Absentee Voter Ballot even though she is a resident of Florida. She has not been an Ohio resident since 2009.

Strickland is charged with registering to vote and voting by Absentee Voter Ballot in the 2012 Ohio General Election even though she is a resident of Tennessee and has never lived in Ohio. Wilson is charged with registering to vote and voting by Absentee Voter Ballot in the 2012 Ohio General Election by using a fictitious Ohio address.

8 Battleground Counties to Decide the Election

Addendum:  This is a re-post from September 20 that I think has held up pretty well.  The biggest difference I’d say is Florida is almost certainly out of reach for Obama so look at Scott County, Iowa as a good one tonight.  You can also scroll through the numerous posts on various Battleground Counties across the county.

[Begin Original Post] That headline is a bit of a stretch but reader Roland Tilden sends a link to a story by Smart Media Group’s Chris Palko who breaks down 10 counties he believes Romney must win to carry the election.   And since we love Battleground Counties almost as much as we love Battleground States, this was right up our alley. What is consistent about the counties selected is each is a big population center so that understandably impacts election outcomes and each was a Bush 2004 and an Obama 2008 county. Not coincidentally Mitt Romney’s original bus tour in June hit a great many of these counties and will almost certainly do so again this time.

The only thing I don’t like about the list is 2 counties are in North Carolina which is not a Battleground in my opinion. In Palko’s defense, this story was originally published in April so his choices are really excellent so far out. As for North Carolina, it’s a state Romney will win by 5-10%. And until President Obama actually campaigns in the state (he hasn’t in all of 2012 outside of his Convention), it’s very likely a GOP pickup with minimal effort from this point forward and not worthy of much attention beyond that acknowledgement.

We have profiled a number of these counties whose links I provide below.  Where there is a battlegroundwatch.com post specifically on one of the cities he mentions, I provided the link as well in addition to my “Battle for [State]” series for each state. With that said, here are the eight Battleground Counties (in reverse order of impact according to Palko) that will go a long way to deciding the election: Hillsborough County, N.H. , Prince William County, Va., Chester County, Pa., Jefferson County, Colo., Arapahoe County, Colo., Hamilton County, Ohio, Pinellas County, Fla., Hillsborough County, Fla.

#8: Hillsborough County  New Hampshire
2004: Bush 51 – 48 2008: Obama 51 – 48
Population: 400,721 Largest city: Manchester

Palko: Most of New Hampshire’s population is close to the Massachusetts state line, which Hillsborough County straddles. It contains a vital grouping of towns and cities including Manchester and Nashua, the two largest cities in the state. Both are swing communities, in the electoral sense.

Battlegroundwatch: This is the location of Mitt Romney’s summer home, the place where he launched his Presidential bid and where he kicked off his June bus tour. They have spent money on the air, these voters are Mitt Romney kind of Republicans and the state has had a Republican resurregence.  Ripe for the plucking but it will be a battle to the end.

#7: Prince William County Virginia
2004: Bush 53 – 47 2008: Obama 58-42
Population: 402,002 Largest community: Dale City

Palko: Prince William County is an exurban county about 25 miles southwest of Washington D.C. It’s on the edge between the traditional, conservative Virginia, and the more progressive suburbs outside the capital. Prince William has become very diverse in recent years, particularly in the I-95 corridor. A hard swing towards Obama was key for him winning Virginia.

Battlegroundwatch: I would have ranked this much higher and definitely in the top 3. This is Obama’s bread-basket: upwardly mobile suburban moderates who trended strongly for Obama in 2008 but whose support has softened in the difficult economic environment. This is where Romney will need to make his mark if he is going to stem the tide of Northern Virginia dominance by Democrats.

  #6 Chester County Pennsylvania
2004: Bush 52 – 47.5 2008: Obama 54 – 45
Population: 498,886 Largest city: West Chester

Palko: Of the four suburban Philly counties, Chester was the only one that Bush won in 2004. The tail end of the prestigious Main Line is in the county, but so is the disadvantaged city of Coatesville. In between, there are plenty of middle-class suburbs, and even still some farmland. This is one of the few counties in Pennsylvania showing substantial population growth, so its importance is increasing.

Battlegroundwatch: It was no accident that the “youthful” Paul Ryan (early-40s is still youthful, right?) and the Romney sons have hit this area hard .  Similar to the suburban growth outside of DC in Virginia, this area outside Pennsylvania is full of persuadable Romney voters.  To win the state, Republicans must begin performing well here and in neighboring counties and they’ll never crack this nut.

#5 Jefferson County Colorado 
2004: Bush 52 – 47 2008: Obama 54 – 45
Population: 534,543 Largest city: Lakewood

Palko: Colorado is a heavily polarized state divided between very liberal Dems in Denver and Boulder, and very conservative Reps in Colorado Springs and the rural areas. The balance of power is held by the handful of counties in suburban Denver. Jefferson County to the west of the city is truly a purple county closely mirroring Colorado’s overall results in the last two presidential contests.

Battlegroundwatch: Filled with one of my favorite stories this cycle about battleground Precinct 7202330176 in Lakewood, a neighborhood who has called all but one statewide race correct since 2000. The swingiest of swing voters, Jefferson has been a regular stop for both sides all election season. Crowd sizes have been huge for Romney and flipping suburban white voters will be the key like they were in 2008 when they flipped for Obama.

#4  Arapahoe County Colorado
2004: Bush 51 – 48 2008: Obama 56 – 43
Population: 572,003 Largest city: Aurora

Palko: Arapahoe County is to the southeast of Denver and, like Jefferson, it’s a purple county that determines which party wins CO. It contains most of Aurora, the second biggest city in the Denver area. The county, and Aurora in particular, has seen a major increase in its Hispanic population in the past decade. This development has made the county a bit more Democratic than its neighbors.

Battlegroundwatch: The key here are the unaffiliated voters who much like Jefferson County swung for Obama in 2008.  Economy is the key.  These are upper middle income workers who often commute to Denver but fall into the pure suburban stereo-type.  Issues like taxes and jobs resonate strongly with this crowd who has unfortunately seen its fair share of recent tragedies.

#3 Hamilton County Ohio
2004: Bush 52.5 – 47 2008: Obama 53 – 46
Population: 802,374 Largest city: Cincinnati

Palko: Cincinnati is one of the most Republican metro areas outside of the South, but the central city county of Hamilton is a swing county. Hamilton County is worth watching, in part, because African-American turnout will be crucial. Sustaining high African-American turnout can make or break Obama’s reelection hopes. [Obama was] the first Democrat since Lyndon Johnson to carry the county.

Battlegroundwatch: A great boon for Obama in 2008 in a state where he underperformed national margins, his win in Hamilton was a shocker.  This is Rob Portman country so look for the debate prep partner and VP short-lister to be featured prominently in efforts to flip this back. This once reliable GOP region must flip if Romney is to have any chance in Ohio.

#2 Pinellas County Florida
2004: Bush 49.6 – 49.5 2008: Obama 54 – 45
Population: 916,542 Largest city: St. Petersburg

Palko: The top counties are both part of Florida’s I-4 Corridor, which runs through the Daytona Beach, Orlando and Tampa areas. The I-4 is the most important region in this presidential election. In Pinellas County, St. Petersburg has some neighborhoods that are solidly Democratic, but most of the territory is split 50/50. Every precinct could make the difference between winning and losing.

Battlegroundwatch: I would have inserted Henrico Couty, VA here (bigger Battleground, Florida trending GOP). But Pinellas is an interesting county w/a lot of conflicting politics.  It was a strong Romney county in the primaries where he doubled his nearest competitor. Unsurprisingly Ann Romney has been featured prominently in this county next door to the Republican Convention.

#1 Hillsborough County Florida
2004: Bush 53 – 46 2008: Obama 53 – 46
Population: 1,229,226 Largest city: Tampa

Palko: The most crucial county this fall is on the other side of Tampa Bay from Pinellas, the runner-up. Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa and its immediate suburbs, is the only county listed with more than one million residents. Still, it’s a fairly accurate small-scale version of America. It has a solidly Democratic central city that includes large African-American and Hispanic populations, and some outlying areas that are heavily Republican. The immediate suburbs are closely split. Whoever wins Hillsborough County in November is most likely the next occupant of the White House.

Battlegroundwatch: If Mitt Romney doesn’t win Florida, he probably doesn’t win the election.  And if he doesn’t win Hillsborough County, he probably doesn’t win Florida. Home of the Republican Convention and probably more campaign attention than any in the state.  This target rich county at the base of the I-4 corridor, this county is as closely contested as any in the country.  Of the 1.95 million votes cast in presidential elections since 1992, Republican nominees won only about 14,000 more than Democratic nominees. The outcome in the Tampa Bay market has run within 2 percentage points of the statewide result in every presidential election since 1992.

Romney “All In” on Ohio

Ohio is equally important to both candidates despite the media focus on how important it is to Romney alone so both campaigns are pouring everything they have into the state.  The Wall Street Journal takes a fair look at the relentless campaign stops across the state from both Romney and Ryan as they hope to replicate George Bush’s 2004 turnout that shocked political observers:

Mitt Romney is making a full-court press to win Ohio and taking a page from George W. Bush’s playbook to do so. Signaling the state is a must-have part of his strategy to win the White House, Mr. Romney and his running mate are returning again and again—Mr. Romney crammed in three appearances Thursday. Romney forces this week are spending more on advertisements in Ohio than in any other state. And they are deploying multiple messages in a state as diverse as the nation.

2004 Redux

Romney aides believe Mr. Bush’s 2004 victory in Ohio gives them a road map to winning the state’s 18 Electoral College votes. One big factor is raw turnout and enthusiasm among the Buckeye State’s rural areas and social conservatives. The Romney team sees President Barack Obama’s win in 2008 as having more to do with depressed GOP enthusiasm for Sen. John McCain than it did a surge of enthusiasm for Mr. Obama. “In county after county, we’re looking to reactivate voters who were turned off by McCain but are now excited about Mitt Romney,” said Scott Jennings, the Romney campaign manager for Ohio. “If we can do that, we can win the state.”

“Game on” from Team Obama

Mr. Obama, who leads narrowly in most Ohio polls, is ceding no ground, continuing to highlight his rescue plan for the auto industry, a backbone of the local economy. His campaign has organizers in all 88 counties and is making a big push to take advantage of the state’s early-voting program. He traveled to the state Thursday for his 22nd political event there year.

The first debate turn

Mr. Obama’s lead has narrowed substantially since the first debate, with the president holding a 2.1 percentage point margin in the average of recent Ohio polls combined by Real Clear Politics, a nonpartisan website. Republicans say the state is in for a photo finish. Mr. Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, have crisscrossed the state several times over, with Mr. Romney holding 39 campaign events in Ohio during the general election and Mr. Ryan appearing at 22 events there.

The money wars

As Mr. Romney’s prospects in Ohio have improved, Republicans have poured more money into the state for advertising, according to a Republican official tracking the race. Mr. Romney and his allies will spend more than $12 million combined in the Buckeye State this week, more than any other state, compared to $7.9 million spent by the Obama campaign and its allies. During the last week of September, when Mr. Obama still led in nearly all public polls, Republicans were spending $6.2 million in Ohio, compared to $5.5 million for Democrats.

Different region, different theme

For both campaigns, the fight for Ohio amounts to a multi-front battle. The state’s industrial Northeast, especially Cleveland, is a Democratic stronghold. The rural counties in the south and west are solidly conservative. The auto industry dominates the northern tier of the state; the coal industry rules in the southeast. In northern Ohio, the debate over the auto-industry rescue is seen by Obama forces as a gift. It is an issue where the two candidates have clear differences, with powerful local impact. In southeastern Ohio, the Romney campaign is telling voters that Mr. Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is hostile to the coal industry that some of them depend on. The Obama campaign has said that Mr. Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, tried to close a coal plant.

Battleground Counties

In other battlegrounds in the state, Mr. Jennings said the Romney campaign hopes to win back several key counties, such as Hamilton in the southwest and Lake in the northeast, that tipped Democratic in 2008 after previously being reliably Republican. It’s also pushing turnout in the conservative band of counties between Toledo and Dayton, where turnout for Mr. McCain was weak. Mr. Ryan plans to campaign there over the weekend. Perhaps most important, the Romney campaign needs to do well in heavily populated counties Mr. Obama is certain to win but where the GOP must narrow his margins, including Cuyahoga, home to Cleveland. Mr. Ryan traveled to that part of the state on Wednesday to give a speech on upward mobility.

Ryan Rally in Cincinnati, Ohio Monday (Oct 15) 12:00pm

The next big Presidential debate in Tuesday and ahead of that Paul Ryan is whipping up the crowd in all-important Hamilton County, Ohio:

Victory Rally with Paul Ryan And The Republican Team!

When: Monday, October 15, 2012

Doors Open 10:00 AM | Event Begins 12:00 PM

Where: Landmark Aviation South, Cincinnati Lunken Field, 358 Wilmer Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226

To register for the event: click here.

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

For questions, contact us at: OHEvents@mittromney.com | (614) 547-2290
For Important Campaign Updates: Text OH to GOMITT (466488)

Battleground County: Hamilton County, Ohio

Note: This is a blog post from July 16 that never got published.  No clue why.  But when I went looking for Hamilton County info for the earlier Ohio poll I knew something was missing.  Well, here it is:

We’ve had this county show up in a few posts — both in the Ohio battleground Map post as well as in the voter registration post.  The Cincinnati Enquirer takes a look at this county that may be the home of Romney’s Vice President, but may also be the county that decides our next President:

Hamilton County is in play. After going Democratic in 2008 for the first time in a presidential race since 1964, Democrats hope to build on Barack Obama’s historic win here while Republicans hope to prove it was an anomaly. Obama visits today [Monday] for the first time in 10 months, but it certainly won’t be the last time he’ll be here before Election Day on Nov. 6, said county Democratic Chairman Tim Burke.

“I think everybody concedes that Mitt Romney can’t win the White House without winning Ohio,” Burke said, “and he can’t win Ohio without winning Hamilton County.” Burke and county Republican Chairman Alex Triantafilou don’t agree on a lot, but they agree Hamilton County will be critical this year. “We can push (the election) over the edge because we are a critical corner of the state,” Triantafilou said. “Electorally, at the end of the day (2008) wasn’t a close election. We feel like this one will be close.”

Swing county in a swing state

Ohio is one of the largest swing states, and in 2008 Hamilton County voted slightly more for Obama than the state as a whole at 53 percent vs. 51.5 percent. “We are the local representatives of the national brand,” said Triantafilou. “In 2008, I would argue, the brand was a little tarnished, and 2010 was the beginning of our comeback” with the elections of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park.

Reservations for the Fall

Obama has made several trips to northern and central Ohio in recent months – that’s because the first priority in a campaign is always to shore up the areas of strongest support, said Herb Asher, professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State University. Despite the increasingly Democratic leanings of Hamilton County, neighboring Butler, Clermont and Warren counties remain firmly Republican. “You always take care of your base,” Asher said. “We know northeast Ohio is going to be very Democratic. Turnout there is going to make all the difference in the world.” At the same time, Asher noted, in a close election every vote counts, and they count equally regardless of which part of the state they come from.

Until 2008, Republican presidential candidates could count on Hamilton County, although margins have shrunk dramatically since 1996, when losing candidate Bob Dole took 50.1 percent of the county vote. Now Hamilton is one of three counties nationwide that the national media is following as a bellwether of the election. The Romney campaign, which raised $3 million during a stop here last month, is conceding nothing. “Absolutely, Hamilton County is winnable,” said Christopher Maloney, Ohio campaign spokesman. “It has traditionally been a stronghold for Republicans … and we’re counting on it to put us over the top in November.”

How Hamilton County Has Voted

 2008 Obama McCain
Hamilton County 53.0 46.0
Ohio result 51.5 46.9
2004 Kerry Bush
Hamilton County 47.1 52.5
Ohio result 48.7 50.8
2000  Gore  Bush
Hamilton County 42.8 54.0
Ohio result 46.5 50.0
1996  Clinton Dole
Hamilton County 43.1 50.1
Ohio result 47.4 41.0

Obama +1 in Ohio — SurveyUSA

More polling out of SuveyUSA who gives readers the raw data to sift through which is quite awesome.  The latest in Ohio shows the President holding to a 1-point lead  45 to 44 over Mitt Romney with 8% Undecided.  It’s clear Ohio is tough terrain for both candidates right now with plenty of voters on the fence.  This is where ground game, message momentum and debate performances going forward are pretty much the whole enchilada from here on out.

In an election for Ohio’s 18 vital electoral votes today, 10/09/12, one week after Buckeye voting began and 4 weeks till votes are counted, Barack Obama is at 45% to Mitt Romney’s 44%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WCMH-TV, NBC4 in Columbus. Obama’s advantage is within the survey’s possible sources of error and may or may not be significant.

Highlights:

  • Greater Dayton and greater Cincinnati favor Romney. Greater Columbus, greater Toledo and greater Cleveland favor Obama
  • Obama support among Whites @ 40%
  • Obama support among Blacks @ 82%
  • Independents break for Romney 44 to 35
  • Ohio voters, narrowly, say Romney would do a better job balancing the federal budget
  • Ohio voters split on who would do better at keeping America safe

That first bulletis huge since that is Hamilton County which swung Barack Obama’s way in 2008 but used to be a hotbed of Republican voters.  Without Hamilton Barack Obama will have an exceedingly difficult climb over 50% statewide. The party ID was D +6 (Dem 39, Rep 33, Ind 25). This compares to 2008 of D +8 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 30) and 2004 when it was R +5 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25).  So with an oversampling of Democrats by 4-5% Obama’s support among Whites is at 40%?  Bad, bad, bad for Obama.  Also Romney with a 9-point lead among Independents and Obama support among Blacks drifting down to 82%?  Obama made lead the top-line but this isn’t a good poll for the Chicago Team.

For President Percent
Barack Obama 45
Mitt Romney 44
Other 3
Undecided 8

The Battle for Iowa: Battleground Counties — Today’s Must Read

Normally in any given state we like to focus on a handful of the key populous counties that will swing this year’s election.  The Des Moines Register lays out all 12 counties in Iowa that are Battlegrounds this year including this super-cool interactive map with voting results of every county in Iowa:

 The Des Moines Register examined a dozen swing counties that have seesawed from Republican to Democratic, home to ticket-splitting voters that both presidential campaigns desperately want to win over this fall. Polling data for Iowa is scarce, but a rolling average shows a stubborn tie between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney. Such a tight race means a cache of votes here or there will save or kill a campaign. Both sides see opportunity in Iowa’s rural counties this cycle — Democrats in independent female voters and Republicans in white men without college degrees. The unemployment rate in Iowa’s 12 hottest swing counties ranges from 3.7 percent (Carroll) to 7.5 percent (Hamilton). Across the board, county leaders agree, the shaky state of the national economy is Obama’s biggest vulnerability.

And as Iowa looks at a stunted crop this fall, if not crop failure, voters will be focused on the drought’s impact on their local economies, and the government’s response.
This cycle, the GOP feels confident Mitt Romney will win many 2008 Obama counties — such as those he won by 1 point or less, including Warren, Hamilton, Iowa, Hardin and Franklin. Democratic strategists see gold in Muscatine, Wapello, Clinton and Des Moines counties — all fervently Democratic. The Democrats have opened offices there this cycle, as well as in all the bigger urban counties, where Obama will need to pile up huge surpluses to offset less favorable counties. Not every county in purple Iowa is competitive. Some could be called right now: Johnson, Des Moines and Lee will be safely in Obama’s column on Nov. 6, and Sioux, Lyon and Osceola will be safely in Romney’s. But some, like the dozen key “swingers” featured here, shift from D to R depending on the candidate, pet issues, hot local races and attention from the campaigns.

Although each county listed is hotly contested, not everyone would be considered a Battleground county under the auspices by which I refer to them.  Battleground counties, for our purposes, are both hotly contested counties and are heavily populated enough to swing the electoral balance in the state. For example, Scott County alone had nearly the same aggregate vote total in 2008 (85,292 votes cast for both Obama and McCain) as the bottom 9 counties combined (84,904 votes cast). So Scott County is clearly a Battleground County for our purposes while Greene County (4,720 votes cast) would not be. But even though not every county fits my definition, in this closely contested election, each is clearly a 2012 battleground as Jennifer Jacobs tremendously demonstrates. Here is the county by county breakdown reordered by aggregate vote total:

Scott — 85,292 total votes for Obama/McCain in 2008

  • Trend in last four presidential races: Dem by 9 points, Dem by 4 points, Dem by 3 points, Dem by 15 points.
  • Scott is a Democratic county and a big union county. But Branstad has never lost here, and Romney beat his GOP rivals here in the caucuses.
  • Iowa’s east coast counties — Scott, Muscatine, Clinton and Jackson among them — figured prominently in the Bush-Gore contest. Scott is an expensive battleground, where campaigns are forced by the border-state TV market to spend money advertising to already-decided Illinois.
  • Obama is amassing a battalion here, made up of neighborhood team leaders and support volunteers, who are called “core team members.”
  • Scott is more competitive than Democratic strategists might like to admit. The county government has a GOP lean. Four of the five countywide supervisors are Republicans, and so are two of the three state senators.
  • Scott is also GOP congressional challenger John Archer’s best bet for a strong showing. And Romney’s state chairman lives in Scott, where he’s leading a strong organization.

Woodbury — 44, 202 total votes for Obama/McCain in 2008

  • Trend in last four presidential races: Dem by 2 points, GOP by 3 points, GOP by 2 points, GOP by 1 point.
  • This is an urban river county where three states come together, and voters worry about competing with neighbors for jobs. Both Nebraska and South Dakota have lower income taxes, but Iowa has a more favorable sales tax.
  • It’s in the heart of Iowa’s red west, but unlike Pottawattamie to the south, it’s an outpost of urban Democrats.
  • Democrats recently opened a campaign headquarters here — in a Hispanic neighborhood in Sioux City. Woodbury Republicans opened theirs with Sam Clovis, a popular conservative radio host, officiating.
  • If congressional challenger Christie Vilsack can make a run of it here, her influence will energize the Democrats, politics watchers said.
  • Independent voters — a third of the electorate — will be the deciders this year, said Linda Holub, co-chair of the Woodbury GOP. Health care and federal debt top the issues list.

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Battleground Counties: Hamilton County, Ohio

Note: This is based on an article published April 30, 2012

With Battleground counties gaining such prominence, I decided to go back and see what The Wall Street Journal published in their Swing Nation coverage.  Below is their look at Hamilton County, Ohio shortly after Romney locked up the GOP nomination:

As the 2012 race intensifies between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the political backdrop in this pivotal swing state is being shaped by events that roiled Ohio a year ago. The fight over the bargaining rights of public-employee unions energized partisans on both sides, and amounted to a trial run for the general election that each party is now trying to use to its advantage. Neither party has a decisive edge, and Ohio figures to be a pivotal as well as closely fought state in the presidential race. Both parties have targeted Ohio as a battleground state, and the two candidates plan to spend a lot of time there. Mr. Obama will be in Ohio this week during his official campaign kickoff. Mr. Romney paid a visit Friday.  And while the union fight and its aftermath will affect the November campaign, including Ohio’s congressional elections, it will hardly be the only issue. A recent survey by the Quinnipiac University Poll showed nine in 10 Ohioans rated the economy as “extremely important” or “very important.”

Public employee unions and collective bargaining rights

Last year’s fight over public-employee unions was waged when Ohio’s unemployment rate was around 9%. Since then, though, it has dropped to 7.5%. One political debate will be whether the Republican Gov. John Kasich—the man at the center of the union fight—or the Democratic president, Mr. Obama, gets credit if the state’s jobless rate continues to fall. Democrats think the fracas reopened the door for supporters who have slipped away in recent years: white, working-class, Republican-leaning voters who disliked the GOP move to shrink the power of public-sector unions, to which many remain loyal. During the fight last year, Mr. Obama lashed out against Ohio’s collective-bargaining law and a similar law in Wisconsin. Republicans, however, are optimistic the core debate over the size of government—including pay and pensions of public employees—will energize their base and pull financially pressed swing voters in their direction. Mr. Romney had backed the law, writing on his Facebook page last year that he fully supported Ohio Republicans’ efforts “to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low.” Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a potential GOP running mate, tried to stay on the sidelines during the fight, but he has supported collective-bargaining rights for police in the past.

Battleground county

Hamilton County is an important swing county in what may be the most important swing state. It is closely watched because its evenly divided electorate has so accurately reflected Ohio’s in the past. Vote tallies here almost precisely mirrored the state’s overall results when Ohio went for Mr. Obama in 2008, 52% to 47%, and then for Mr. Kasich in 2010, 49% to 47%. Ohio gives an ideal vantage point to see how the two parties are battling. Democratic campaign workers are poring over the 1.3 million voter signatures collected to repeal the collective-bargaining law, in hopes of pinpointing swing voters: Democrats say 10% of the signatures came from registered Republicans, 24% were Democrats and independents accounted for 65%. Hamilton generated more signatures per resident than any other county against three GOP-backed laws last year, including the collective-bargaining law. Its rich trove of votes has prompted the Obama campaign to open two of its 18 Ohio offices here. Volunteers began knocking on doors across the state two weeks ago.

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Flooding the Zone: Ohio Wednesday

Mitt Romney stumps in Ohio tomorrow with a few friends:

In addition to Mitt Romney and John Kasich, the following Republican shoguns will be campaigning in Ohio Wednesday:

  • Bobby Jindal (Columbus)
  • Jeb Bush (Hamilton)

The Ohio Battleground Map

Larry Sabatos’ Crystal ball troop do some of the best work every election season.  Today Kyle Kondik writes up the Battlegroup map of Ohio, complete with battleground counties we love so much. Despite its decreasing electoral value (much like it’s neighbor to the East — Pennsylvania), Ohio remains all-important to the 2012 election:

Ohio, the great maker of presidents, remains vitally important in presidential elections because it is one of the biggest of the 10-15 truly competitive states in the Electoral College. But it does not pack the electoral punch it once did. On one hand, the Buckeye State does have the seventh-most electoral votes of any state (only California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania have more). Of those states, only it and Florida have voted for the winning presidential candidate in each of the past five elections. On the other hand is this sobering fact for lovers of the Birthplace of Aviation — the last time Ohio cast less than 18 electoral votes for president (its new total after losing two votes following the 2010 census), Andrew Jackson was carrying it on his way to his first presidential win in 1828. That was 184 years ago.

In President Barack Obama’s Ohio victory, more than his whole winning margin came from Northeast Ohio, which provided about two-fifths of all votes cast for either Obama or Republican John McCain (for the purposes of this analysis, third party votes were removed). As is shown on the chart below, Obama won 59% of the two-party vote in Northeast Ohio’s 20 counties. In the state’s other 68 counties, McCain received close to 52% of the two-party vote, to Obama’s 48%.

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Battleground State Voter Registration Concerns for Obama — Today’s Must Read

Shortly after the Wisconsin recall Karl Rove slipped some important data into a discussion about how Scott Walker carried the state. In short, Rove identified that Democrats were losing the voter registration drive in eight Battleground states. Dante Chinni in the Wall Street Journal picks up on this development and confirms that a decided strength for Obama in 2008 is a cause for concern in November:

Comparing the registration numbers in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado now to where they were in November 2008 shows they are up in Colorado and Virginia, flat in Florida, and down in Ohio. By themselves those figures are somewhat surprising. Florida and Ohio arguably had the more important Republican nominating contests this spring, yet their registration numbers seem to indicate less interest. But looking at those registration numbers using Patchwork Nation’s geographic/demographic breakdown of county types, there is a bigger story in them – and one that should give President Barack  Obama some concerns about the voter pool he might be facing in November. There look to be problems for the Democrats in some key places.

Major problems for Obama in Ohio:

Of the four states we examined, registrations in Ohio may present the biggest challenge for Mr. Obama. There’s been a seven percent drop in registrations across the state since November of 2008, but the fall has been particularly steep in the state’s three Industrial Metropolis counties: Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton, the homes of Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati respectively. Mr. Obama won Ohio largely on the strength of the vote coming out of those counties – he carried them by 24 percentage points – and at this point voter registrations in the three have dropped by more than 370,000 voters. In Cuyahoga alone, the drop is more than 220,000 voters. The Ohio presidential vote is often a nail-biter with Democrats pinning their hopes on Cleveland’s late-arriving tally. If these numbers don’t change that long wait could bring disappointment for the Obama team.

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