Hillary Clinton made two stops in my home state of Ohio Monday, visiting usual Democrat strongholds Akron and Toledo:
Hillary’s speaking live in Akron, Ohio. Tune in now: https://t.co/oa4NZ1hEHU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 3, 2016
However, this is her first stop in the Buckeye State since before Labor Day, and media coverage over the past few days has hinted that Clinton may be writing off the long-time political bellwether state.
Notably, left-leaning media appears to be treating the development as sour grapes.
On Monday, one article appeared in TIME magazine and one was published by the AP, both dismissing Hillary’s need for Ohio in her campaign’s electoral college calculus. Things have “changed,” apparently:
How Ohio Has Changed Since Hillary Clinton’s Last Trip https://t.co/O6MlPWMtJV
— Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) October 3, 2016
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 3, 2016
Clinton’s path to victory in presidential election doesn’t require a win in battleground Ohio: https://t.co/UrLTRFpyl2
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 3, 2016
Over the weekend, the New York Times declared that Ohio is now — of course — too white and uneducated to be considered a bellwether state anymore:
“Ohio, like a melting iceberg, has slowly been losing its status as the country’s bellwether” https://t.co/0idottrrcY
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 29, 2016
Ohio has long basked in the presidential spotlight. Every four years, fall would bring frequent candidate visits, ceaseless television commercials and breathless, county-by-county tallies of its voting returns late into election night. Democrats in the state became used to rock-concert-style rallies, like the ones John Kerry staged in Cleveland and Columbus with Bruce Springsteen in 2004 and President Obama held at Ohio State to kick off his 2012 re-election campaign. Mr. Obama held five events over three trips to Ohio in September 2012 alone.
And it was all for good reason: No candidate of either party has won the White House without carrying Ohio since John F. Kennedy in 1960.
But its Rust Belt profile, Mr. Trump’s unyielding anti-trade campaign and Mrs. Clinton’s difficulty energizing Ohio’s young voters have made it a lesser focus for Democrats this year, even as it remains critical to Mr. Trump’s path to the White House. As Mrs. Clinton’s aides privately note, the demographic makeup of Florida, Colorado and North Carolina, which have a greater percentage of educated or nonwhite voters, makes those states more promising for Democrats in a contest in which the electorate is sorted along bright racial and economic lines.
Next Page: So has there been a big demographic shift?
That’s a considerable departure from 2012, when — of course — the New York Times declared that Ohio might be the key to Obama’s reelection.
Ohio is less the bellwether state it once was, and its large contingent of white working-class voters and aging Rust Belt factory towns are making it look more like Trump territory. Swing states like Florida, Nevada and Colorado have fast-growing Hispanic populations, but Ohio’s nonwhite population rose just 1.1% compared with 2.2% for the rest of the country since 2012.
The days when a Democratic candidate needed to win Ohio in order to win the White House may be over. “This is about a speed bump, not a roadblock,” a Clinton ally with Ohio experience said. “She can get to 270 without Ohio. He cannot.”
So, has there been a massive demographic shift in Ohio that has gone unnoticed and unreported until this campaign cycle?
All that has changed in Ohio is its enthusiasm for the Democratic presidential candidate. The media, covering for Hillary, has taken up unabashed bigotry and elitism to explain away her downward trend.
To see how things have changed for Clinton in Ohio, see this Washington Post article from Monday, where a paid Hillary Clinton staffer was unable to secure a single voter registration at Ohio State — the largest one-campus university in the country:
I tagged along w/ Clinton volunteers on a door knocking shift in Columbus yesterday. Read my dispatch in the 202: https://t.co/AEVysaYsPA
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) October 3, 2016
Next Page: No volunteers showed up for a campaign event in Delaware, Ohio.
Two weeks ago, this video taken at the Clinton campaign office in Delaware, Ohio, just outside Columbus, reported that no volunteers showed up for a scheduled Saturday afternoon door-knocking effort:
Despite Trump’s repeated missteps since last week’s presidential debate, Hillary hasn’t been able to convert them into poll numbers:
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) October 4, 2016
A new Quinnipiac University poll taken after last week’s debate shows a six-point jump for Trump in Ohio over the past month. He continues to lead Clinton, 47-42:
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) October 3, 2016
The Quinnipiac poll also shows Trump has a massive 19-point lead over Clinton with Ohio independent voters.
Clinton is losing historically reliable Democrat union voters, too:
— WTOV NEWS9 (@WTOV9) October 4, 2016
Will gains among minorities be able to put Clinton over the top while she loses considerable numbers of white working-class voters in a state that Obama won by 50.6 percent in 2012?
More importantly, will the trend towards Trump in the Buckeye State be confined to the state’s borders, or are these trends spilling over into neighboring Pennsylvania and other Midwest states?
Also, there is evidence that Clinton has to worry about more than just the “too white and uneducated” Rust Belt states:
Democrats distressed about Hillary Clinton’s ground game in Florida https://t.co/1U2PcN3vcs
— Jubal E. Harshaw (@alimhaider) September 30, 2016