Inside the Mind of the Ohio Voter
|So, why didn't Obama fare better in Ohio?|
I think it is worthy to note a long standing trend in Ohio politics.
With little exception, Ohio voters do not favor candidates in statewide races that they have not run statewide before. Ohio voters seem to need the comfort of familiarity.
Voinovich, DeWine, Brown, Metzenbaum, Glenn, Celeste -- all had to lose statewide races before they won statewide.
Strickland was an exception, but his running mate, Lee Fisher, and both lost and won statewide previous races. Plus there was a lot of ill will toward Taft, Blackwell, and the state GOP itself when Strickland ran for governor.
Hillary Clinton had never run statewide in Ohio before, but she was a far more familiar quantity. Ohioans have known her for years, warts and all.
So here is the upside to the Obama loss yesterday: if Obama is the Democratic nominee, he already has his Ohio statewide loss under his belt.
And while Hillary can crow about how she was won the "big" states, many of which tend to vote Democratic for president -- the fact that Obama has done well in so many other swing states that makes him attractive on the basis of electoral math. Polls show that Obama (unlike Clinton) would contend in Kansas. Kansas! Sure, it isn't a major electoral vote stronghold -- but what would it say about McCain's chances if he has to dump resources and effort just to secure Kansas?
Still, the electoral math is interesting and worthy of analysis and consideration. But the overriding consideration remains: who would be the best president? McCain, Clinton, or Obama? You know my answer.