Campaigns fighting for votes in battleground Ohio
Posted September 08, 2012 in Press Releases
It’s no mystery why Ohio is the perennial presidential campaign prize.
With 18 electoral votes, it’s a big state and it’s fickle. In the last six presidential elections, Republicans have won Ohio three times and Democrats three times.
That’s why the candidate committees and big name Super PACs have spent more than $74 million in Ohio since May 1, more than in any other state, according to the National Journal database of advertising data.
But winning Ohio involves more than spending huge gobs of money on media advertising. It means setting up campaign offices, organizing get-out-the-vote efforts, coordinating volunteers, and blanketing every corner of the state with appearances from the candidates or their surrogates.
It’s a political truism that no Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. It’s also a political fact of life that no Republican or Democrat can take the state for granted.
Beginning today and continuing through the next three Sundays, the Dayton Daily News will examine why Ohio is such a battleground and what it will take to win a state that will likely crown the next president.
It starts with knowing the state.
While the money is more than ever, the dynamics of winning Ohio haven’t changed much, said Paul Beck, a political scientist at Ohio State University.
“People may say they know how they would vote today but there are still events that have to take place,” Beck said.
And Ohio has a front row seat for campaign twists and turns in the final two months.
One state, many regions
There’s a fairly standard formula for presidential campaigns trying to win Ohio, according to John Green, director of the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron.
He said that formula is based on the differences in political ideology in different parts of the state.
“The Democratic candidate needs to get as big a margin in northeast Ohio as possible,” Green said. “The Republican cannot ignore northeast Ohio because that’s where the most people live, and there are a lot of potential Republican votes there. … And then of course southwest Ohio is the Republican stronghold.”
In the past two presidential elections