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.



The Big Dog's back

Non issue.


The Salt Lake Tribune "in the heart of Morman country" has endorsed President Obama.
"Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day," it said. "The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2...

The people of Mass. will not vote for their former Governor, who left office with a 34% approval rating.

The people of Michigan will not vote for their "car guy".


Im just now seeing this.


@ eriemom:

Good to know.

Isn't it nice that the elite ruling class in Washington gives it's citizens the fiction of a choice between two "opposites"? LMAO!!

Nothing changes on Weds. morning 'regardless' of the outcome.



Navy SEAL mom:

“I believe that Obama murdered my son,”



You don't know war. That's way you aren't qualified to speak on it. Bin Laden is history oldster.


Kinda lookin' forward to Pres. Obama being re-elected and Congress at status quo.

Then, the House can begin hearings on the Benghazi cover-up and start asking the questions: What did the WH and others know and when did they know it?

They'll keep the Campaigner-in-Chief so busy covering his tush, that he'll start to wonder why he wanted a second term so bad.

Pres. Biden 2013 or 2014. Wonder who the Dems will pick for VP?

A redux of 1973. Grab some popcorn and a cold drink for the show.

The Big Dog's back

Sounds like a true right winger to me. Say the Repubs did keep control of the House, you think the 1st thing on their agenda should be Libya? How about helping to improve our country? Where does that land on the right wing list?


Sic em,Big Dog


@ brutus:

Didn't you write that it's a non-issue? What do you care?

Pay attention; hearings are already planned. House can deal with many issues simultaneously.

Trust in Pres. Obama; he's never lied to you has he?


@ contango

Nope,and neither has Mr. Romney.


@ 4shizzle:

So how about when U.S. Sen.-elected Obama lied to the people of IL about completing his full term and not running for Pres.?

Maybe he just "mis-spoke."


a non issue, winnie


@ 4shizzle:

So Pres. Obama's lying is a non-issue for the sheeple?

The Big Dog's back

Good to know winnie you won't be voting for mandel because he said he would serve his full term.


@ brutus:

Mr. Mandel was elected a U.S. Senator and is running for Prez. in 2016?


@ contango

Actually, I don't know what you are talking about, but whatever it is, it's highly probable to be a non-issue.


@ 4shizzle:

So Mr. Obama's lies are a non-issue for you - I got it. No need to repeat.


@ contango

So send me evidence, link, or whatever of what you are talking about,
Mr. Merry-go-round.

The Big Dog's back

So Repub lies don't count winnie?


What exactly makes you think that if Obama is re-elected that there will be republicans elected who stand for woman-bashing and the rest of the crap coming out of their mouths??? Come on - get a grip. And no matter how the house and senate ends up - do you think it would be wise to NOT get something accomplished if you want a republican elected in 2012??? The congress for the next 4 years will be the direct determination as to which party wins the WH in the next election. Take my word for it. I can tell you that if congress would have done something in the past 4 years other than everything to stop Obama from doing anything - and things turned out bad - Romney would have been in the front right now so far in the front that Obama wold have dropped out and just gave him the keys. But I, for one, know that the GOP has done nothing to help America in the past 2 years since they got elected to congress. In fact, they all ran on platforms to fix the problems - and they still did nothing. They were elected because they were hell-bent on overturning Obamacare - NOTHING, it's not only still here - it has been approved by the Supreme Court now. They didn't even stop that from happening.
Don't tell me that they will waste a bunch of time investigating something that will go no where - if they do - Obama wins again. There will be no impeachment - and if there IS - there will be no conviction - just like in Clinton's case. Obama is no more guilty of anything related to Libya than Bush was in his situations. You guys need to wake up and start worrying about the US. Republicans can still push to create jobs, just like Romney claims he would do - with the same people in congress. Nothing is stopping them and if they were actually doing that - I'm sure there would be no opposition from Obama either - he wants to do that as well. But he refuses to do it if it will negatively impact the middle class and THERE is the difference between a republican and a democrat.

As for Romney's lies - check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9...


@ sanduskysteve



@ sanduskysteve:

Pres. Obama took military action against Libya under the War Powers Act. He said that he did not need Congress' permission.

Libya is his baby, lock, stock and barrel.

There WILL be hearings.

The sheeple are welcome to close their eyes and ears.


10 gallons of fuel limit 1 person. Brought by the Feds to those in storm damaged east coast. We give to other countries always....GLAD to see this small help to US citizens. Thanks.


There are lots of reasons for this - and if you can't see this - then you are blind in one eye and can't see out of the other. Besides that, with no electricity - how are you going to pump the gas anyway??? I don't think they need gas there - they don't have many cars left after they were destroyed by fallen trees and power poles. Most are still sitting under water. I wouldn't be too worried about gas limitations. I also believe the emergency crews need the gas more than the sight seers getting in the way of cleanup.

Super Judge

If your in favor of the muslim brotherhood vote Obama. If you think womans need flex time to get hone and cook dinner and clean up vote President Romney. Do you like death panels? Vote obama. Do you like to become so wealthy you can hire a ----------- to do your nasty work vote President Romney!


LOL - now with the fake death panels again - when will you guys ever wake up from your dreams? And the only ones that Romney is going to make wealthy are those who are already wealthy - he isn't interested in the rest of us - I believe every word he said about that. Women might as well go home and cook dinner - he doesn't think they should be paid equal wages to work anyway. He also thinks they should all be pregnant and barefoot. Those days are long gone people. They MUST work to take care of their families.


Mitt Romney was part of the financial game that sunk our economy. He never managed a real business. He was a stock trader specializing in corporate
takeovers. This short video explains how a corporate takeover works and what business experience you need:

Darwin's choice




A true example of a troll is Super Judge's comment.