September 11, 2004


Conditions in Ohio Point to Kerry, but Bush Runs Strong (R. W. APPLE Jr., 9/11/04, NY Times)

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

Everything seemed to be in place for a powerful run by Senator John Kerry in Ohio in the stretch drive after Labor Day. Al Gore lost the state by 175,000 votes in 2000, despite having pulled all his advertising early in October. Ohio has shed 250,000 jobs since George W. Bush became president. Rocked by scandals and an unpopular tax increase, the statehouse Republicans, from Gov. Bob Taft down the line, have been in unaccustomed disarray for weeks.

At the end of last month, the Census Bureau reported that Cleveland, with a poverty rate of 31.3 percent, led the country in that most dubious category, and at the beginning of this month American deaths in Iraq topped 1,000. Both developments might have given a leg up in the campaign to Mr. Kerry, a critic of Mr. Bush's economic policy and his conduct of the war. Yet Mr. Kerry seems to be falling back.

Ahead by six percentage points in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll in mid-July, Mr. Kerry trailed by nine points in a similar survey taken Sept. 3 through Sept. 7, immediately after the Republican convention. Kerry aides said the second poll had been taken too soon after the convention to be meaningful, but its results mirrored the impression of many savvy Ohio political figures. [...]

"I smell the same New England genius that I smelled in the Dukakis campaign in 1988," Mr. Austin added. "Kerry wants to run as a man of the people, and where do they put him for photo opportunities? Snowboarding in Sun Valley, shooting skeet in the Ohio valley, and windsurfing off that great working-class vacation paradise, Nantucket. Democrats - at least Ohio Democrats - play softball and touch football."

It's a Republican state that George Bush carried--even if narrowly--against a popular incumbent vp in a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity but Democrats think John Kerry should be doing well there?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 11, 2004 4:24 PM

One in three people in Cleveland live in poverty ?

What, no wide-screen plasma HDTV ?

Seriously, if you have an income, food, a refrigerator, indoor plumbing, a bicycle, and a radio, you aren't poor.
In most places around the world, you're lower middle class.
Throw in running hot water, and you move up to solidly middle class.

I don't believe that 30% of the people living in Cleveland lack the above amenities.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 11, 2004 9:17 PM

This is a scary article. Apple thinks Bush will win in Ohio. Given his history of bad predictions in elections on three continents, Kerry may win Ohio in a walk.

Posted by: Bart at September 12, 2004 7:14 AM

Michael: Cleveland proper is the hollowed out shell of a city with a population of about 460,000. Almost 2.8 mill live in the Cleveland ADI, which covers about 4 or 5 counties in Northeastern Ohio.

If you re adjust the numbers on the real metro lines they will drop back towards the national averages.

The Columbus Dispatch, which is only available to paid subscribers and you don't really care unless you live here, runs its own poll, which is pretty good. Today it showed a dead heat at 46% with 6% undecided and 2% for Nader.

The Dems are trying to knock Nader and the Deffense of Marriage Amendment off the ballot. The Ohio Secretary of State is the most conservative Republican in the state (the rest are Rino's ) and the Supreme Court has a Republican majority, so the Dems should fail on that.

From the Times article:

"Since 1948, Ohio has slowly become less of a barometer," said Michael F. Curtin, president of The Columbus Dispatch, who has tracked Ohio politics for decades, "On average, it has voted 1.7 points more Republican than the country has. The last Democrat to run stronger here than he did nationally was Lyndon Johnson in 1964."

Curtin is a smart Guy. The OSU professor quoted in the article is a professor. AFCA: Another F**** Commie Academic as Prof DuToit would say.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at September 13, 2004 2:29 AM