Just how important is Ohio in 2012? Very!
September 20th, 2011
06:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Just how important is Ohio in 2012? Very!

(CNN) - How important is Ohio to the Obama White House? Vice President Joe Biden heads there Tuesday, the fourth visit to the crucial battleground state by President Barack Obama or Biden since Labor Day. And Obama will be there again on Thursday to lobby for his jobs package.

Ohio’s 18 electoral votes could again be pivotal to the 2012 presidential election. George W. Bush sealed his 2004 re-election by narrowly winning the state over Sen. John Kerry.

In 2008, Obama and Biden took the state by 5 points. But the GOP won big in last year’s midterm elections, taking back the governor's office and five House seats held by Democrats.

Top strategists from both parties believe that Ohio will again be crucial next year.

"Ohio is ground zero for the jobs debate,” GOP strategist and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos said. “If the president is losing Ohio, he is not just losing a state; he is losing the debate on jobs."

And the state is “a microcosm of American swing voters: Reagan Democrats, suburban soccer-moms, and even Up-Tino's - upwardly mobile Latinos - an increasingly important target for both parties," said Castellanos, who was a top media adviser to the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign and to Romney's 2008 bid but is not taking sides this cycle.

Paul Begala, a top political adviser to former President Bill Clinton and now a Democratic strategist and CNN contributor, agreed on how pivotal the state would be.

"Barack Obama picked up 9 states that George W Bush carried in ‘04. If Obama holds Ohio, he can lose the other 8 and still be re-elected. So the stakes in Ohio are enormous," said Begala, who's also a senior adviser to Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action, two independent groups launched earlier his year to support Obama's re-election bid.

Biden and Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills will visit Wrap-Tite, Inc.., in Solon, Ohio, near Cleveland, a manufacturer and distributor of stretch wrap and other packaging and shipping products. The White House said the firm recently received an SBA loan to assist in the purchase of a new facility that has allowed it to make five new hires and spend $250,000 in equipment purchases over the last year.

Obama on Thursday will use the Brent Spence Bridge as the backdrop for a pitch for his $447 billion jobs bill – a combination of infrastructure spending, tax cuts and aid to state and local governments. The bridge, designated as “functionally obsolete” by the National Bridge Inventory, is on a major trucking route that links the constituencies of the top two Republicans in Congress - House Speaker John Boehner's district in Ohio to Kentucky, home of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Biden was last in Ohio on Labor Day, when he was the main attraction at an AFL-CIO Labor Day event in Cincinnati. Obama was in Columbus last Tuesday to promote his jobs proposals.

Filed under: 2012 • Ohio
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. FM

    Oh! ya! everything is about "doing maths". From the rich to pay high taxes to dealing with battle states. This is why I feel sorry for the other side. No know-how of doing maths, no way of reaching anywhere!

    September 20, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is strange how economic growth is tied to a presidency which has only marginal connection to it. I guess that it goes back to the idea that failure is an orphan; an economic downturn is considered a failure.

    September 20, 2011 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  3. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    Details that have emerged in an ongoing lawsuit have revealed the GOBP installed "man in the middle" servers between the Ohio counties and the Ohio SS voting servers, thus helping Bush steal the election. The real question is whether Ohio has revamped the IT in its voting system. Otherwise, expect another GOBP theft. How come CNN and the rest of the allegedly "liberal" media aren't reporting this?

    September 20, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  4. Squigman

    It's one of fifty. The other 49, are just as important as this one.

    September 20, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    I believe states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and New Jersey have learned their lesson. I just hope the rest of America has been paying attention to lessons that have been learned. All of those states have Republican leaderships that have perpetrated political deceptions to the voters of their respective states.

    September 20, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. don

    If these "swing states" and "undecuided voters" vote GOP in 2012. We deserve exactly what we get.

    September 20, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  7. Twin

    Thanx another hispanic state which is not goin to vote GOP

    September 20, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. Ellen

    Well, THIS Buckeye will be voting for Ron Paul!

    September 20, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. diridi

    GOP and Tea Party will abolish Social Security, and Medicare....o.k,

    September 20, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |