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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Ohio 

Some guy at the National Review writes why Ohio is not a swing state:

OHIO: NOT A SWING STATE [Peter W. Schramm 10/27 10:43 AM]

This is a brief response and note to Kathryn's bringing to our attention Jay Costs points (below). I also think that Bush is doing much better in Ohio than the MSM gives him credit for; the MSM are spinning. And this explains why Bush was able to stay away from the state for ten days; he has a chance to take Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and still hold Ohio. Rove isn't an idiot and they haven't given up on Ohio. Jay mentions many good reasons for thinking this and he is essentially correct. I want to emphasize a few things, only some of which he mentions. First, as he mentions, Ohio is very much of a GOP state, it is not a swing state; the Democratic party is hardly to be found; and there is no interesting state-wide Demo candidate running for any position that in any way will help Kerry; Voinovich will be re-elected with about 63% of the vote. Second, the social-moral issues (gay marriage, abortion) and security concerns have a huge impact in Ohio, especially among women and African-Americans. This is even reflected in nation-wide polls. Kerry cannot break even with Bush with female voters; he needs to get at least 10% more of them than Bush and Bush will pick up about 13% of the black vote. Third, only fools will think that the roughly 800,000 newly registered voters are all going for Kerry; they will end up breaking about 50-50; pay attention to the large number of voters the GOP has registered, these guys have not been napping for the last five months; there are new voters in rural counties too, they're not all up in Cuyahoga County. Fourth, Bush will get a much larger percentage of Independents than some folks think. Fifth, there is no enthusiasm for Kerry, even among his supporters. Nobody likes this guy, and his wife seems to justify the worst tendencies of the French Revolution; it is impossible for people to envision her in the White House as first lady. I will predict that Bush will win the state by one or two points less than "Issue 1" (no gay marriage) will pass with: "Issue 1" will pass by about 6%, and Bush will take Ohio by 4 or 5 percent. It is my considered opinion that the Democrats and the Kerry campaign are extremely desperate in Ohio. And I understand why.

Now, neither Guthrie nor I still live in Ohio, but we have relatives there. My mom is going to poll-watch in Cuyahoga County for Kerry, and my parents are hosting three college student volunteers this weekend who will be doing some GOTV stuff. I think I have a pretty strong idea of what is going on in Ohio.

Now, I don't know who will win Ohio, although I think and hope Kerry will. But I do want to go throught this guy's list one by one, and see if we can't figure out some things:

  1. First, he claims that Ohio is very much a GOP state and that Voinovich will be re-elected in a landslide. Alas, this is pretty much true; the Ohio Democratic Party is not terribly effective (although it's no Illinois GOP). However, the Ohio GOP has it's own problems, including some scandals and an unpopular governor.
  2. Second, he claims social issues will bring Af-Am's and women around to Bush. Bullshit. This is simply not true, no matter how much Republicans wish it to be. See Steve Gillard's post here on the African-American vote. He writes
    What non-black people need to understand is the divide between black people's feeling about homosexuality and their politics. While a lot of black people may not like the idea of gay marriage, they aren't going to vote that way. You would have to be a total wingnut to do so. When Floyd Flake, a former Congressman and minister from Queens, tried to support Giuliani, his church ignored him. When Calvin Butts, the minister of Abyssinian Baptist Church, was being set up as a foil to Sharpton, that effort died still born. A minister can talk about homosexuality as a sin all he wants on Sunday, but if he thinks he can get his congregation to vote for Bush, he might well lose them and his job.So while some folks say "oh we need to stop gay marriage", the reply would be, pretty much "nigger, have you lost your goddamn mind? You not gonna give a shit about that when they send your kids to Iraq."
    Sorry for the use of the n-word--it's in Steve's original, and I didn't feel like censoring him.
  3. Third, this guy claims that these new registrants won't really help Kerry. Well, maybe if the GOP can successfully disenfranchise them, but otherwise, no. It's been reported that the vast majority of these new registrants are Democrats, and that the GOP tactics seem to be to issue blanket challenges.
  4. Fourth, Bush will get a much larger percentage of independents than most people think. Umm, he offers no evidence for this, so do I even need to refute it? Well, the American Research Group poll of Ohio from October 26 has Kerry beating Bush among Independents 51-45.
  5. Fifth, he trots out the "nobody likes John Kerry" line. Well, judging from the crowds at Kerry rallies, this is clearly false. This guy's been reading too much Howard Fineman, me thinks.

So, out of this guy's five reasons, only the first even passes the smell test, and that one has problems of its own. I'm convinced Kerry's doomed in Ohio, aren't you?

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