The political battle over the Buckeye State
By Melissa Carrick
With only weeks left until the election, Trump Jr. visited Findlay on Oct. 24 to campaign for his father outside of the Hancock County Republican’s office. Also on that same Monday, Vice President Joe Biden visited the Lucas County Public Library to rally support for Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. spoke about SCOTUS while Biden urged people to get out and vote early.
Tim Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, came to the Hillary Clinton office on Wednesday afternoon.
Northwest Ohio and specifically Hancock County seem to be a hot-spot for campaigning this fall, but where have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton been?
Jody O’Brien, Republican director of Hancock County Board of Elections said she is wondering the same thing.
“Normally, in past elections, we have had Bush, Romney, and McCain in Findlay. This is the first time I can remember that either party, Trump or Clinton themselves, has not come through Findlay,” said O’Brien.
It is not uncommon for Ohio to host political figures right up until the last minute of the election because of the importance it holds as a swing state. According to the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, Ohio has voted for the winning presidential candidate in 28 of the past 30 elections, dating back to 1896 with exceptions in 1944 and 1960. Ohio has become more reflective of the national average than any other state.
Rachel Rickert, organizer for Hancock County Democrats, affirmed that Ohio really is the true average.
“Ohio is basically a representation of the United States as a whole, numbers wise,” said Rickert.
Though Ohio is a major factor for both parties, Rickert believes demographics of the population and the increasing number of Democrats in Ohio is changing the importance of Ohio.
“This is the first presidential election a candidate can win without Ohio, that being Hillary Clinton,” said Rickert.
According to TIME, Clinton’s strategists see Ohio as a must-win for Trump, but not for Clinton. Clinton can win 270 electoral votes without winning Ohio, but if Trump wants a chance at the White House he must win the state.
O’Brien is unsure of Ohio’s importance in this year’s election, but states their main priority is the importance of running a fair and honest election.
“In the past, Ohio has been an important factor, they say as Ohio goes the presidency goes, but I think this year it will be different,” said O’Brien.
According to Rickert, the focus of the Democrats has been getting the population out to vote in many different ways, like knocking on doors and making phone calls.
“It’s tedious, but it gets the job done,” said Rickert.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8th and both Republicans and Democrats stress the importance of the population getting out and voting, especially in Ohio.
“A lot of young people and college students think their vote is a waste, but that is so not true, in Ohio it is so important,” said Rickert. “I know young people aren’t excited, but the election should be an exciting time to cast a ballot that reflects their views.”