News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Democrats worry about Trump popularity in Ohio, starting with ground zero Mahoning, 7/27/16

7/27/16, "Because of Trump, Democrats worry swing-state Ohio slipping into 'Valley',", and , Philadelphia

"When Mark Munroe arrived at work Wednesday morning (7/27), he was greeted by nearly a dozen people lined up waiting to get into his office near Youngstown, Ohio.

"I've never seen a line waiting to get into my office," Munroe, head of the Mahoning County Republican Party, told The Enquirer. The reason? Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. "They all wanted Trump signs and stickers and wanted to know how they could volunteer," Munroe added.

Hillary Clinton had received the Democratic nomination for president at the party's national convention the previous night, a nomination she is scheduled to accept Thursday. But in typically deep-blue northeast Ohio, Republicans were gathering to work against her, a sign of Trump's popularity.

In 2016, the Mahoning Valley has become an unusual battleground in swing-state Ohio.

Working-class families across the Mahoning Valley have long been looking for a hero, and Trump has promised to bring back their manufacturing jobs. His message worries Democrats, who fear enough of their own will switch their allegiance to cost Clinton the election.

It's no accident Youngstown will be Clinton's first post-convention stop in Ohio on Saturday.

"The Mahoning Valley is ground zero of ground zero," said Dave Betras, chair of the Mahoning County Democratic Party. "If she can’t win the Valley big, I don’t know if she can win the state." And winning Ohio is crucial to winning the White House: Since 1960, no candidate has become president without the swing-state's electoral votes.

As many as 6,171 Democrats in Mahoning County voted in the Republican primary, Betras told The Enquirer, a high number for an area that has long thumped its chest about having deep pro-union roots.

Overall, including voters who had sat out in the 2014 primary, Mahoning County gained almost 21,000 new registered Republicans this year, Munroe said. That fueled Trump to a 50.6 percent to 37.4 percent victory there over Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who won the state primary.

"Mr. Trump is the first modern Republican candidate that is competitive in the Mahoning Valley, because he will fix bad trade deals and fight for Ohio working families," said Bob Paduchik, Trump's Ohio campaign manager.

Trump won Trumbull County – Mahoning's northern neighbor – with 52.6 percent of the votes. It was the billionaire real estate mogul's biggest margin of victory among the 33 counties he won. Most of those victories took place in a continuous strip of counties spanning from Clermont County east along the Ohio River and north along the West Virginia and Pennsylvania borders.

Four years ago, Obama easily defeated Republican candidate Mitt Romney in both Mahoning and Trumbull counties – garnering over 60 percent of the vote."...

[9/25/2012, AP: Romney is "having mixed success with his chief target: white, working-class voters...A generation ago they were called "Reagan Democrats.""...Romney "is having trouble connecting with middle-class Ohioans."...

(continuing): ""They absolutely should be scared," said Alex Triantafilou, Hamilton County GOP chairman. "That area has lost a lot of jobs, and Trump is speaking to those people in a way that Mitt Romney did not four years ago. We honestly, in good faith, believe Trump is going to win Ohio for that reason."...

Economic sentiments motivate many of the voters in the Mahoning Valley. The economy there mostly has reeled ever since Sept. 17, 1977, known in the Youngstown area as "Black Monday." A steelmaker, the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company, announced it would close a plant, starting the wave of layoffs and factory closures in the area.

By 1982, the Youngstown area's unemployment rate had reached 21 percent.  The rate is now at about 6 percent, compared with just under 5 percent nationally....

Despite Democrats' efforts, more Democrats could defect to Trump in Mahoning and Trumbull counties and throughout Appalachia, said Kyle Kondik, who wrote "The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President."

But focusing solely on the Mahoning Valley doesn't capture the full picture of the battle for Ohio. Look to central Ohio, Kondik said. Trump may not do as well among Delaware County's wealthy Republican voters as Romney did there in 2012. In March, Trump finished a distant second in Delaware County to Kasich, who won the county with 63.9 percent of the votes.

“The question is: Will Trump do as well as Romney did in rich, educated suburban Ohio?" Kondik said.

Still, Kondik said: “If Trump can improve on Romney in Mahoning and Trumbull counties and hold on to Delaware County, he could win Ohio.""


Ohio, 2012 election: Romney v Obama:

Above, Nov. 2012 final Ohio results Romney v Obama, Real Clear Politics chart 

Sept. 2012 article

Romney is "having mixed success with his chief target: white, working-class voters who are socially conservative and often have union backgrounds. A generation ago they were called "Reagan Democrats.""...Romney "is having trouble connecting with middle-class Ohioans."...  

9/25/2012, "Romney, Obama zero in on Ohio, a GOP must-win," AP, Charles Babington, Kasie Hunt

VANDALIA, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has emerged as the presidential race's undisputed focus. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are making multiple stops this week alone in a state that's trending toward the president, endangering Romney's White House hopes.

The popularity of Obama's auto industry bailout and a better-than-average local economy are undermining Romney's call for Ohioans to return to their GOP-leaning ways, which were crucial to George W. Bush's two elections. Ohio has 18 electoral votes, seventh most in the nation, and no Republican has won the White House without carrying it....

Not even Florida has seen as many presidential TV campaign ads as Ohio, and neither nominee goes very long without visiting or talking about the state. When Obama touted his "decision to save the auto industry" on CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday, he mentioned not the major car-making state of Michigan but Ohio, which focuses more on car parts. "One in eight jobs in Ohio is dependent on the auto industry," Obama said.

Four new polls underscore Romney's serious problems in Ohio. Surveys by NBC and Fox News found Obama ahead by 7 percentage points. A poll by a group of Ohio newspapers showed him leading by 5. And a Washington Post poll released Tuesday found the president leading Romney by 8 points. All of Obama's leads were outside the polls' margins of error.

One problem for Romney is that Ohio's 7.2 percent unemployment rate is below the national average, as the Republican governor, John Kasich, often reminds residents....

House Speaker John Boehner, from the Cincinnati area, told reporters last week in Washington: "One of the things that probably works against Romney in Ohio is the fact that Gov. Kasich has done such a good job of fixing government regulations in the state, attracting new businesses to the state."

"People are still concerned about jobs in Ohio," Boehner said, "but it certainly isn't like you see in some other states."

Still, the Fox News poll suggests there's room for Romney to advance. Nearly one in three Ohio voters said they are "not at all satisfied" with the way things are going in the country, and an additional 26 percent are "not very satisfied." Only 7 percent are "very satisfied," and 34 percent are "somewhat satisfied."

Romney is trying to tap that discontent. But he's having mixed success with his chief target: white, working-class voters who are socially conservative and often have union backgrounds. A generation ago they were called "Reagan Democrats."

In 2009, Obama's administration used billions of taxpayer dollars to keep General Motors and Chrysler afloat while they reorganized through bankruptcy. Romney said the companies should have been allowed to enter bankruptcy without government help. But an array of officials at the time said the automakers would have gone under without it.

GM still owes the government about $25 billion. But many workers in Ohio and elsewhere consider the auto bailout a success.

It affected thousands of businesses, some of them fairly small, that make products that go into vehicles, new and used. Jeff Gase, a UAW union member who introduced Obama at a Columbus rally last week, credited the president with saving the paint company where he works. "Mom and pop body shops" buy the paint, Gase said, and now his plant is running "full steam ahead."

Romney notes that many Ohio car dealerships went out of business during the industry reorganization.

But he is having trouble connecting with middle-class Ohioans, said Tony Tenorio, who hears political conversations in his job as an Applebee's restaurant manager. In June, when he worked in Elyria, Tenorio said many Ohio residents seemed ready to bail on Obama. Now, working at an Applebee's in the more affluent town of West Lake, Tenorio says those same people seem unmoved by Romney.

The Washington Post poll showed that 36 percent of all Ohio voters said they had been contacted by the Obama campaign, and 29 percent said they had heard from Romney's camp.

Romney campaign political director Rich Beeson told reporters Tuesday that Romney's campaign has 40 offices in Ohio to Obama's 100, but he said Republicans are keeping pace....

Beeson said Romney has one pitch for all of Ohio's voters: America can't afford four more years of Obama. "We don't have to go in and package a message to different groups," Beeson said....

Ohio working-class voters are courted in GOP ads saying Obama hasn't been tough enough on China's protection of its exporters. Obama is airing ads disputing both claims."


Sept. 2012 article: "The main criticism that emerged, though, is that Romney is man without a message."...

9/26/2012, "Why Romney is losing must-win Ohio," CNN, Peter Hamby 
"Polls show Mitt Romney trailing President Barack Obama in just about every one of the swing states where the 2012 campaign is being waged. 

So why exactly is Romney trailing? Two surveys released in recent days, one from the Ohio Newspaper Association and another from The Washington Post, crystallized the challenge facing Romney as he embarks on his second straight day of campaigning in the Buckeye State.

The topline numbers-Obama led by 5 points among likely voters in the Ohio poll, and a startling 8 points in the Post poll -- only tell part of the story.

Romney's favorable rating is underwater. Almost two-thirds of voters approve of Obama's decision to bail out the auto industry, a staple of Ohio's manufacturing economy. The president leads Romney by a wide margin on the question of who would do more to help the middle class.

Some pointed to the Obama campaign's aggressive effort to hang Romney's opposition to the federal bailout of Chrysler and General Motors around his neck. Others said a hangover remains from the divisive 2011 battle over collective bargaining rights that hurt the GOP's standing with working class voters....

Still others cited Romney's lackluster political skills and said his stiff CEO demeanor as a turnoff for Ohioans....The main criticism that emerged, though, is that Romney is man without a message."...


Below, Trump in Youngstown, Ohio, Mahoning County, on primary election eve, March 14, 2016, Reuters

Trump, 3/14/16, Youngstown, Ohio

Image caption: "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Winner Aviation in Youngstown, Ohio, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein"


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