Battleground States: Ohio
by findingDulcinea Staff
Ohio takes center stage as findingDulcinea analyzes its constituency and the concerns the candidates face campaigning there for the presidential election. The outcome of the November election hangs in the balance as races at the state and local levels influence voters.
If John Kerry had won Ohio in 2004, instead of losing it by 2 percentage points to George W. Bush, he would be our President right now. In this election, Ohio retains the significance it had four years earlier. The candidates will campaign hard through November to win over the Buckeye State’s diverse electorate. Like elsewhere in the country, Obama hopes for high turnout among key constituencies such as labor, young voters and African-Americans. John McCain hopes to harness and mobilize the impressive socially conservative political organization left in the wake of George W. Bush’s 2004 efforts.
Many analysts credit President Bush’s 2004 Ohio victory to an effective field organization that rallied Bush supporters to the polls. With Ohio seemingly just as close this year, winning the state may hinge on organization. It is helpful then, to look at who will be running the statewide campaigns from “behind the scenes.” Barack Obama’s Ohio campaign will be led by Aaron Pickrell, who led Ted Strickland’s successful bid for Ohio’s governorship, Strickland performed surprisingly well in Republican strongholds. Jon Seaton, a former deputy under Karl Rove for the 2004 elections, will run Ohio for McCain.
Although McCain has the advantage of Bush’s 2004 electoral legacy, Obama has already built the organizational groundwork for the general election during his primary contest with Hillary Clinton. Both have some serious legwork to do: McCain needs to activate social conservatives who have been hesitant to his candidacy, and Obama must attract wary Clinton supporters to his.