With apologies to Thomas Suddes, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s and Columbus Dispatch’s fine columnist and who is considered to be an expert on Ohio politics, I will go out on a limb at this point and make a prediction.
Mitt Romney will win Ohio.
Suddes wrote last week that he believed President Barack Obama could take Ohio with strong showings in Franklin County and in counties that are home to our major universities. He noted that Catholics might not be as enamored with Obama as they were four years ago but figures that blue collar and union voters are in Obama’s court because of his defense of the American automobile business.
That gives Obama northern Ohio but not necessarily central Ohio where Romney and Obama have spent and will spend considerable time during the campaign.
Suddes also pointed out that Obama defeated John McCain by 262,000 votes in 2008 and that George Bush beat John Kerry by 119,000 votes in 2004.
When you’re talking about roughly 5.5 million voters in Ohio, those aren’t big numbers. And consider this: Ohioans gave Jimmy Carter the boot in favor of Ronald Reagan by 454,131 votes in 1980.
I have no science behind my thinking, but I do have my hearing aids turned up. And the general sense I get from talking to the folks who last time voted for Obama is that they’re plenty disappointed in the current state of things.
No, they don’t want to play golf with Romney or drink a beer with him. He’s not Reagan, or Bill Clinton for that matter. But he does offer the alternative along with a promise to fire the Treasury Secretary Ben Bernanke and do away with what has come to be known as Obamacare.
And business people, health care administrators and physicians hate – and I mean hate – Obamacare. A couple of friends who serve on hospital boards in Ohio and elsewhere contend that Obamacare will be a big factor in the demise of small, locally controlled hospitals.
So, I contend the final county-by-county map will be colored red and blue in almost the identical way the Bush-Kerry map was in 2004. That means Tuscarawas County moves to Romney in 2012 after giving the nod to Obama in 2008. Holmes County remains a solid Republican stronghold.
(Disclaimer: I withdraw my prediction if Romney continues to say dumb things on the campaign trail. He has enough time to overcome September gaffes, but his October musings might do him in.)
Suddes, incidentally, labeled Tuscarawas County a “Catholic county.” I’m not sure where he got that. The county has a significant number of Catholics, but certainly they do not represent a majority of churchgoers.
Life is full of unintended consequences. One of them is the proliferation of political yard signs that have been planted in lawns and fields throughout the Tuscarawas Valley.
I’m told we are seeing the signs earlier and earlier because of early voting.
Do you get it? The election is no longer in November. It’s in October now. All of October.
So the signs – because they are more important to a campaign than anything else – have to be in the yards early so they can convince people to vote for a particular candidate. You know, I’ve always voted for the candidate with the most political yard signs. How about you?
Who said fall is the most beautiful time of year?
Speaking of proliferation, how about all those robo calls to the Do-Not-Call landline phone line?
Here is a list of calls I received one day last week, according to my caller ID: Toll Free 866-611-4385; Lower Interest 360-474-3901; Lower Interest 971-220-1787; Wireless Caller 330-289-3307.
Those calls were received in a 10-hour period and do not include two unlisted number calls. Four of those calls came while I was trying to write this commentary.
By the way, I answered the wireless caller call because of the familiar area code and it turned out to be someone from the Sherrod Brown campaign. Now, I can’t even trust wireless callers, so be forewarned.
More from Dick Farrell is at TuscBargainHunter.com