March 4th, 2008
06:49 PM ET
10 years ago

Schneider: Texas v. Ohio on NAFTA

Two Texans cast their ballots in Austin.

Two Texans cast their ballots in Austin.

(CNN) - You may have noticed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton talked a lot more about NAFTA in Ohio then they did in Texas. In TV spots, in mailers, and on the stump, both candidates criticized the trade agreement constantly in Ohio, but didn't mention it nearly to the same degree in Texas.

Why? Well, the trade agreement is undeniably unpopular in Ohio: according to the exit polls, 81 percent of Democratic primary voters there said the trade agreement was responsible for job loss in the state. Only 10 percent said it led to job creation.

But in Texas, voters don’t seem nearly as negative in their views of the trade agreement: 58 percent of today’s Texas Democratic primary voters think NAFTA has caused jobs to be lost, while 24 percent say it's created jobs - a more mixed opinion than in Ohio.

Most Texas Democrats may hold an unfavorable view of NAFTA, but nearly a quarter of them give it positive marks - which means it’s a lot safer to criticize the measure in Ohio than it is there.

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Jen

    CNN! Shame on you !

    You are just too biased

    March 4, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Disenfanchised

    I don't think NAFTA is the trade agreement Amercans should be looking at. I think what ever trade agreement we have with China is the problem. For every one item I see on the shelf in a store from Mexico ther are a thousand from China. What can you buy in a store besides food that is NOT from China.

    March 4, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. ross

    Obama may not have talked about NAFTA as much in Texas as he did in Ohio. But his message has been consistent before and during the campaign. Hillary certainly can't say this, which is why she's jumping on the NAFTA rumors about Obama that have already been discredited by Canadian officials.

    March 4, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Jason

    Clinton has tries to portray Obama as saying one thing and doing anoher on the NAFTA issue. Its a lie
    The fact is that the Canadien government already denounced this, yet Clinton will continue to cast doubt on Obama and his integrity.

    March 4, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Vince

    And of course, the primaries are still going but here comes CNN with their influence.

    March 4, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. Joe

    People need to realize that corporations make decisions on Plant closes and shifting jobs to other markets LONG LONG LONG in advance. NAFTA had very little influence on jobs leaving Ohio ... I am not defending any Candidates position on this. But blaming job shifts on NAFTA shows a very large misunderstanding in the shift toward a Global Economy and what exactly that means.

    American's HAVE TO adapt and stop placing blame. We cannot ignore the fact that global dynamics have shifted the game. 80 percent of those jobs that left Ohio DID NOT move to Canada or Mexico which would be NAFTA many of those jobs left for Asian markets ... so then WHY can you even bring NAFTA into play here it should be a NON-Issue.

    Globalization is to blame for this shift .... so blame all the nerdy people who have made the Internet a viable media for the global marketplace. I do not want to see our jobs shift either .. however more jobs can be created based on this global shift .. we just have to capture the new possibilities and not let those as well shift to other nations.

    March 4, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Jen

    Hillary!!2008 GOGOGO!

    We know you will win for TX and OH for sure!

    March 4, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. zeitgeist

    No comment. You wouldn't post it anyway.

    March 4, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. ohio Republican voter

    Well, I did it. Crossed party lines. It is not whom I voted for but, who I voted against. Oh yes and by the way CNN where is the link on top of your page to Obama and Huckabee. Seems like you are more and more giving Hillary what she wants and that is sad to see.

    Go Obama!!!! Please if there is any justice in the world let this be OVER tonight.

    March 4, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. charles akinbola

    If Obama does not win texas and ohio, he still should be considered as our man who can bring back the glory of america.

    March 4, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Suzanne


    March 4, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Ben

    It's "talked a lot more about NAFTA in Ohio THAN they did in Texas" not "then." And CNN is supposed to be quality journalism.

    March 4, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. student copy editor

    "You may have noticed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton talked a lot more about NAFTA in Ohio THAN they did in Texas."

    March 4, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Gee, maybe that's why the Clinton campaign was so intent on spreading misinformation in Ohio about this Canada meeting. Fake news reports–that's how you run a political campaign nowadays?

    Shame on you, Hillary Clinton! Shame on you!

    March 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Chris Austin Texas

    It happened. The memo was sent from the Obama campaign. They are merely trying to tone it down. They can deny all they want. It was premature for Obama's campaign to send that memo, and I don't hold anything against Canada for not wanting anything to do with it. This lies on the Obama campaign alone.

    Obama is nothing more than another Politician trying to portray himself as something people can relate too. People need to wise up, read the issues, do a little research, and make an educated decision, instead of taking the glitter and fame at face value, and making a judgement based on pep rallies.

    March 4, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. Jon Holdaway


    Your turning a sow's ear into a silk purse. If 58% of Texas Democrats think NAFTA has cost jobs, they're certainly not happy about it.

    March 4, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. Jason


    How is this biased? This is not biased in any way. Schneider is just listing exit polls.These are facts. Facts aren't biased. The fact (based from a Times research piece) that Clinton gets 25% of the national media election coverage and Obama gets 16% is also a fact.

    I hope you realize that it not only makes you look dumb, also Clinton supporters in general when you say things without backing them up.

    March 4, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. bimmer

    I was watching News Hour on PBS last night. The news coverage of the primaries was very fair. Perhaps CNN can try to emulate PBS to get its credibility back.

    I was so impressed I called the toll free number to make a pledge for the station.

    On the other hand, as I surf through channels and momentarily stop at CNN, a sense of revulsion for unfair coverage of Hillary and very biased coverage of Obama overwhelms me and I immediately switch to another channel.

    It will take quite an effort to get my viewership back CNN. And I bet I am not only one.

    March 4, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  19. Jeff Morgan

    "talked a lot more about NAFTA in Ohio then they did in Texas."

    You should have used "than" instead of "then" in the sentence quoted above, sir...

    March 4, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. Republicus

    Give us the exit polls!

    March 4, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. ashlee


    March 4, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. Chris Custer

    Well, the real concern is Barak's repeated fraudulent flyers being sent around, even after they were shot down by both and by Hillary during their Ohio debate. It is such an emotional issue for Ohioans, that the flyers will surely play a huge part in the primary. Barack has always been good at making short-term promises and warrantless attacks. But, for those who believe that Hillary is the only one toughe and sure-minded enough to make the needed changes to NAFTA, they will want her championing their cause.

    March 4, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. Keith Hunter

    This entire issue of NAFTA and the way the both candidates have discussed it is a very distorted debate. By that I mean that many of the manufacturing sector jobs have not gone to Mexico or to Canada (which are the parties to NAFTA) but to places like China, India, Korea, Viet Nam, Phillipines, etc

    While employment/labour standards and environmental standards are applicable to Mexico, that is hardly the case with Canada. I contend that the candidates (with the blind eye lack of "keeping them honest" by the lack of fact checking of the media) has distorted the discussion.

    For example, in one debate Clinton stated that the US Government deficit was partly due to the Government borrowing money from China to buy oil from Saudi Arabia. If this were true, how is it that the oil companies operate? Don't they buy the oil and import this commodity to the refineries for processing and distribution? How does the debt bonds the Government sells to China play into the free market of oil industries? Quite simply it doesn't and yet this is allowed to go unchallenged by the media.

    Barack Obama spoke of lead in toys. This is not due to NAFTA but due to China products. Why does the media allow these distortions of the actual trade agreements in question to go unclarified?

    I personally think in the situation with the trade agreement debates that the candidates and those covering the candidates need to educate yourselves more on what the actual trade agreements are and which ones are and are not attributable to NAFTA.

    March 4, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. Michelle

    This baby is going to the CONVENTION!!! We're just getting started, friends!!

    March 4, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. JERRY


    March 4, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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