Ohio: Vote is crucial - but who are your voters?

Tommie Jo Marsilio is a former union shop steward. She's a single mom. And she's a Mitt Romney voter.
Associated Press
Oct 30, 2012

"It's not my job to shatter stereotypes," she says. But she is. Two years ago she became the first Republican elected to the local county commission as part of a Republican wave in an Ohio county that Barack Obama won in 2008.

From the candidates' campaign headquarters in Boston and Chicago, the electorate looks like a series of demographic groups. Voters become bar charts — women and union members for Obama, men and retirees for Romney, all part of the metrics to measure turnout and make educated guesses about outcome. But on the ground in this battleground of battleground states, with early voting well under way, the reality can complicate the science and generalization.

In a race this close, how well Romney and the president target their voters, sway independent ones and get them to the Ohio polls might well determine the outcome of next Tuesday's election. But people often don't match the voter profiles.

Take John Petelin, a 43-year-old skilled tradesman, a white male who voted for a third-party candidate instead of Obama in 2008.

He might be expected to line up behind Romney. But he isn't.

"I'm an autoworker," Petelin said outside the Lorain County Board of Elections building where he had just voted for Obama. "It's been tough out there. And Romney wanted to kill us. I can't go for that."

Or Kris Donofrio, a mother with three children in college. Standing by her car after voting in Lorain, a north-central Ohio city west of Cleveland, she scoffs at Romney's suggestion that kids can borrow for school from their parents.

But her parents, staunch Democrats she said, are voting for Romney. "They're concerned about Medicare," she said. "They think Obamacare is not for them."

Ohio voters like these are steadily making their way into county polling places across the state, casting early ballots that will determine whether Ohio will serve as a Democratic firewall against Romney's advance or a fire pit where the president's candidacy will perish.

Across the country, about 15 million voters already have cast ballots in the presidential contest, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University. In Ohio, about a million have submitted absentee ballots or voted in person.

With just a week left before Election Day, Obama holds some clear edges in Ohio, not the least of which is an advantage in the early vote and a robust get-out-the-vote organization. He holds a narrow lead in some public polls in the state, though others show a neck-and-neck race as the campaign tightens in the homestretch.

Obama's political outreach, built on the broad base of support from 2008, is extensive and frequent. The auto industry, boosted by the government bailout, is resurgent.

In an interview with Cincinnati radio station WIZF that aired on Monday, Obama laid out the early vote strategy.

"We really want to bank as many votes as possible," he said. "So the fewer people who haven't voted yet, the better our Election Day operation is going to be."

But Romney, energized and locked in a dead heat nationally with the president, is mounting his own aggressive voter contact effort, partly counting on the inroads Republicans made in the state in 2010 and seeking to capitalize on discontent toward Obama among many independent voters. In county after county, campaign aides say, more Republicans are taking steps to vote early than did in 2008.

In Ohio so far, Democrats have a 31 percent to 24 percent lead among voters who have cast ballots in 50 of the state's 88 counties, according to data collected by The Associated Press. Forty-five percent of early voters in those counties were unaffiliated.

Those numbers have limitations. Party affiliation is based on the last primary in which someone voted, so new voters and those who don't vote in primaries are listed as unaffiliated.

A poll by Time magazine last week had Obama's advantage over Romney among early voters at 60-30 across the state.

And internal Republican polls also show Obama with leads even in Republican-leaning parts of the state, increasing the burden on Romney to do well on Election Day.

"We have seen a slight Democratic advantage in key districts in early and absentee votes," said Wes Anderson, a Republican pollster who has conducted surveys in congressional races in Ohio. "Those who have yet to vote are clearly trending Romney's way. The question is, is this movement toward Romney happening fast enough and big enough to overcome the slight deficit that he now has in early voting."

Romney advisers say they see signs that outside the big, populous counties, Romney could benefit from a wave of conservative voters as President George W. Bush did in 2004.

"Rural counties are really coming home," Romney political director Rich Beeson said. "You see it in early absentee and you see it in the intensity level. That's where we're going to make some ground."

Obama aides say the early turnout in Ohio is higher in counties that voted for him in 2008 than it is in precincts that voted for Republican John McCain that year.

Yet, a number of counties where Obama won four years ago, including Hamilton County in the Cincinnati suburbs, Stark County south of Cleveland and Portage County where Kent State University is located and where Marsilio is a commissioner, voted for Republican Gov. John Kasich and Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman in 2010.

Besides Ohio, the eight other battlegrounds where the candidates are spending time and money are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin.

So far, Democratic voters casting early ballots outnumber Republicans in Ohio, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada. Republican voters have the edge in Colorado. No votes will be counted until Nov. 6, but several battleground states report the party affiliation of people who have already cast ballots. Some, like Ohio, have large blocs of unaffiliated voters.

In North Carolina, more than 1.5 million people have cast ballots, 50 percent of them Democrats and 31 percent Republicans. In Iowa, about 471,000 people have already voted — 45 percent Democrats and 32 percent Republicans. About 433,000 voters in Nevada have cast ballots, 45 percent Democrats and 37 percent Republicans.

In Florida, about 1.8 million voters have cast ballots and Democrats have edged in front of Republicans, 42 percent to 41 percent, according to a tally by the AP. Republicans had the early lead among people who voted by mail, but the Obama campaign has made a big push since in-person early voting started Saturday.

About 804,000 voters have cast ballots in Colorado, and Republicans have a slight edge over Democrats, 39 percent to 36 percent.

 

Comments

The Big Dog's back

Non issue.

Randy_Marsh

Big dog
"Non issue" Is funny. You do not see anything as a issue as long as your god is involved, Maybe you can blame bush or clinton or the economy or congress or anyone who wanders by. Guess your opinion is a "Non issue" white hater.

shucks

@ contango

First you tell me who put the 'ape' in 'apricot'

Contango

@ 4shizzle:

Remember in Obama Land: Always trust, never question and "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

FORWARD SOVIET!

shucks

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Randy_Marsh

4shizzle
The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation.
Per Wiki, The question is rather who would reintroduce the apicot as a racial device in a political debate? That if you do not mind the pun is the "Bottom of the barrel" HA!

The Big Dog's back

Powerful video 4shizzle.

Darwin's choice

Actually, this is a "real" and honest video...http://redpillreport.net/2012/11..., and, "snip,snip" Big Dog!

shucks

This is real and honest too.

http://youtu.be/a0ccPh3YYH4

Super Judge

Guess who's back? A liberals worst nightmare!

eriemom

Mr. Romney has been throwing everything at the Ohio wall looking for something, anything, that will stick. The latest takes the cake.

Vote for me because the republican congress will not work with a Democratic President. The republicans are willing to take us off the fiscal cliff (again).

To me this says that we should replace the republicans that are unable to make compromises for the American people.

Randy_Marsh

Eriemom
The democrats would not work with Obama on a budget, How does that make you feel?

eriemom

Actually the "missing budget" is a hyped up talking point. There have been several House budgets submitted. Of course the republicans hold the house and refuse to work with the Democrats. How does it make me feel? I'm not sure that feelings play into this. Thinking about the problem critically and acting rationally would result in a budet that Americans can live with. One where all of us make sacrifices. How do you feel about this statement?

Randy_Marsh

eriemom
Look at the Obama budget submitted, The SENATE shot it down (97-0) and they arent even held by the republicans. Now lets think about this critically and see that 97 senators out of 100 did not think Obama's idea was worth a darn and have not wanted to look at a budget since. No budget= Debt ceiling being raised and we all know that is a failure of leadership.

The Big Dog's back

The Repubs from Congress submitted the budget to the Senate. Of course they shot it down.

Randy_Marsh

http://thehill.com/homenews/sena... Went straight to the senate and got shot down, So much for working with anyone. Bush could do it, Clinton cound do it Obama cannot.
BTW the house budget did better than obama's "The Senate also rejected the House-passed budget sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which failed on a 40-57 vote."

The Big Dog's back

All budgets come from the House. Learn how Gov works.

Randy_Marsh

Didnt read the link huh? Figueres.

Contango

@ eriemom:

So you have no household budget, but just take on more debt when the month is longer than the money?

The Big Dog's back

The country is not run as a household or business. If that was the case we would have lost WWll.

Contango

@ brutus:

So you have no budget either?

A non-sequitar. Had the carriers been at Pearl on 12/7/41 or destroyed at The Battle of Midway, we may well have lost it.

Besides, debt-to-GDP ratios are at post-war highs. What's the end game?

Contango

@ eriemom:

And what about the report of the Democrat Senate Leader on working with a Pres. Romney?

"Harry Reid Slams Mitt Romney Bipartisanship Pledge As 'Laughable'":

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

"Compromises for the American people" means borrowing trillions of dollars more to be placed on the U.S. debt and deficit balance sheets.

Personal Obamanomics: Get out your credit cards and charge your way to prosperity!!!

eriemom

Your statement says it all...

"Compromises for the American people" means borrowing trillions of dollars more to be placed on the U.S. debt and deficit balance sheets.

We are witnessing the end of the republican party in the White House. There aren't enough angry white guys to elect a president and that number is declining.

Contango

@ eriemom:

So you're OK with the country living grossly beyond it's means, borrowing approx. 50 cents of every dollar spent and placing severe debt burdens on present and future generations?

So are you gonna get those credit cards out and charge your way to prosperity?

If it'll work for the country, it should work for you. :)

Know this: We will either begin to practice austerity responsibly or we will eventually have it shoved down our throats and at the worst possible time.

Which would you prefer? I have serious doubts on the likelihood of the former.

The 2008 financial crisis was a foretaste - the next one will only be much worse. I hope for you and your's sake that you are prepared.

Declining? Dems are about 32% of the population, Repubs about 28%, the balance are Independents - the largest block.

The Big Dog's back

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Contango

@ brutus:

Countries can and do go bankrupt. Don't ever say that it can't happen here.

Darwin's choice

Only three more days to listen to Obama's "klingons", then back to the unemployment lines with you...........

eriemom

Who is this statement addressing? I am employed and wouldn't work for any politician for any salary. Unlike some whom post here and other sites.

Contango

@ eriemom:

No constructive receipt here. It's a labor of love. :)

Contango

Yep! The Benghazi terrorist attack cover up is getting deeper and deeper and it could end up being an impeachable offense for Mr. Obama.

"There's A Reason Why All Of The Reports About Benghazi Are So Confusing":

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/b...

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