The Fix: Ohio

Gov. John Kasich's remarkable rebound continues in Ohio

Gov. John Kasich's remarkable rebound continues in Ohio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's (R) ascent in the polls continued Thursday with a new Quinnipiac University survey showing his approval rating has hit an all-time high.

It's hard to overstate the depths from which Kasich has climbed since 2011.

"I just think that as governor, Kasich has looked at and asked Ohioans to look at the big picture," said Ohio Republican strategist Curt Steiner.

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The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus voiced support over the weekend for an effort to reform how some states award their electoral votes.

And the effect of the movement should not be underestimated.

Below, we take you through the particulars of the effort, what it would mean, and why it will or won't happen.

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Rep. Tim Ryan arrested in August for public intoxication

Rep. Tim Ryan arrested in August for public intoxication

Updated at 3:50 p.m.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) was arrested in August for public intoxication, according to Virginia court records and a Ryan spokesman.

The misdemeanor case was dismissed Tuesday by a court in Rockbridge County, Va.

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Can unions save the white working-class vote for Democrats?

Can unions save the white working-class vote for Democrats?

Voters in union households provided a big boost to President Obama in Ohio and Wisconsin, where key battles over public sector unions have been waged. Their strong support helped him staunch big losses elsewhere among white working-class voters.

Are the results in Ohio and Wisconsin a road map for Democrats to win back the white working-class vote across the country? The data suggest probably not. The union vote didn't make a difference among the white working-class nationally and union membership continues to erode.

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Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio

Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio

The electorate that showed up to vote today in Ohio appears similar to the one that delivered the state to President Obama in 2008 if not slightly better for the incumbent.

Early exit polls show Obama with a strong favorable rating (55 percent) among those who have voted, while Romney is underwater (45 percent favorable versus 50 percent unfavorable).

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The 7 most important counties in Election 2012

The 7 most important counties in Election 2012

Election junkies are about to get bombarded with data, starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, when the first polls close in Kentucky and Indiana.

But how to follow it all?

Below, The Fix highlights seven bellwether counties in critical swing states that will give us a good idea who is about to become the next president.

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Romney adds Election Day campaign stops in Ohio, Pennsylvania

Swing state polls show Obama up five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania

Swing state polls show Obama up five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania

President Obama continues to hold slight leads in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, while the equally critical races in Florida and Virginia are too close to call, according to a new crop of swing state polls.

CBS News/New York Times:

Florida: Obama 48, Romney 47

Ohio: Obama 50, Romney 45

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Polls show little change in swing states, despite Romney’s momentum

The first batch of swing state polls since Mitt Romney won last week’s debate show him in slightly better position in a few swing states, though the progress is not statistically significant or universal.

Here are the three new polls from NBC News and Marist College:

Virginia: Romney 48, Obama 47

Florida: Obama 48, Romney 47

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Poll shows Florida joining Obama’s swing state surge

While all the swing state have begun moving toward President Obama in the polls, the biggest swing state remained very close. Even that might be changing now.

A new poll from CBS News, the New York Times and Quinnipiac University shows Obama extending his leads in the key states of Ohio and Florida, while also being up big in Pennsylvania. The Florida poll, in particular, is notable because that state hasn’t trended toward Obama as much as others have.

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Obama grows leads in top three swing states

Obama grows leads in top three swing states

President Obama’s bump has made its way into three key swing states, according to new polling from Marist College, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

The new Marist polls show Obama leading Mitt Romney by five points each in Florida and Virginia and by seven points in Ohio.

Obama’s margin in all three states is larger than it has been in other recent polling and suggests the Democratic National Convention paid dividends for the president in the states where it matters most. National polling has suggested a small but significant Obama bounce, but there has been limited polling in swing states since the convention ended a week ago.

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New poll shows Obama with significant lead in swing states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania

President Obama has cracked 50 percent and is leading presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in a trio of key swing states, according to new polling.

The CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University polls show Obama ahead of Romney in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all by at least six points. Obama is up in Florida 51 percent to 45 percent; in Ohio 50 percent to 44 percent; and in Pennsylvania by double digits — 53 percent to 42 percent .

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Ohio at the epicenter of 2012 ad battle

More than $39 million has been spent on television ads in Ohio by the two presidential candidates and their affiliated outside groups as of early July, according to data provided to the Fix by a Republican media buying firm, a massive outlay of campaign cash that re-affirms the centrality of the Buckeye State in the electoral calculus of both parties.


U.S. President Barack Obama greets residents of Beaver, Ohio July 6, 2012. Obama is on a two-day campaign bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
President Obama’s campaign has spent an eye-popping $22 million on ads in Ohio already in the race while former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has dropped $6.4 million. Ohio is the state where both Obama and Romney have spent the most money on TV ads so far in the campaign.

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Obama’s immigration decision turns off voters in three swing states

President Obama’s decision to exempt young illegal immigrants from deportation may not be the electoral boon it’s cracked up to be.

And in fact, it appears to be turning off more voters than it mobilizes in three key states, according to new polling from Quinnipiac University.

The Quinnipiac polls in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania show that, while most voters still like the policy and Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney in all three states, the opposition to the move appears to be significantly more motivated by it — particularly in the two Midwestern states.

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Obama holds slight lead in three key swing states: Florida, Ohio, Virginia

More and more, the 2012 presidential election is looking like it will be very, very close.

While national polling has borne this out for weeks now, perhaps more telling are new polls in a trio of major swing states that could well decide the election — Florida, Ohio and Virginia.


(AP)

President Obama holds a narrow lead in all three, according to new polling from NBC News and Marist College. But the polls also indicate Mitt Romney is well within striking distance in each state.

The Marist polls show Obama at 48 percent in all three, while Romney trails by just a few points in each.

Here’s the rundown:

Florida: Obama 48, Romney 44

Ohio: Obama 48, Romney 42

Virginia: Obama 48 , Romney 44

While Obama leads in all three states, there are some good signs for Romney.

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Vice President Rob Portman?

If you didn’t know by now, The Fix is skeptical that political endorsements matter much. If they matter at all. But if there’s one that has mattered in the 2012 presidential race to date, it might be that of Rob Portman.

The freshman Ohio senator and former Office of Management and Budget director during the Bush years is getting plenty of kudos for his work to help former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney win narrowly in the Ohio primary on Tuesday.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (C) tours Gregory Industries with Executive Vice President Matt Gregory (R) and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) during a campaign stop in Canton, Ohio, over the weekend. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

And for a guy who got a fair amount of vice presidential buzz four years ago, it’s likely that Portman will be a major player in the veepstakes as the year goes on. (The Portman chatter is starting already.)

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Wealthy voters deliver for Mitt Romney

A funny thing happened on the way to Mitt Romney’s victories in Michigan last week and Ohio on Tuesday:

Rich people showed up to vote. A lot.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greet supporters at his Super Tuesday primary night rally in Boston, Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Exit polls in both Michigan and Ohio show voters making more than $100,000 per year turning out in much higher numbers this year than they did in 2008. And in both cases, they might well have provided the difference for Romney.

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Rep. Marcy Kaptur beats Rep. Dennis Kuicinich in Ohio Democratic primary

Rep. Marcy Kaptur beats Rep. Dennis Kuicinich in Ohio Democratic primary

In the first member-vs-member primary of the cycle, Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur beat Rep. Dennis Kucinich for Ohio’s new 9th district.

It was a decisive victory; Kaptur winning 56 percent to 40 percent.

Kucinich’s defeat means the House will lose one of its most colorful characters, as well as one of the most vocal opponents to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Ohio, Ohio, Ohio

Super Tuesday has played out exactly as we expected thus far. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has won in Massachusetts, Virginia and Vermont while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has claimed his home state of Georgia and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has claimed Tennessee.

What do those status quo results mean as we go forward tonight? That Ohio remains the entire ball of wax — or close to it.

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The other Ohio primary: Kaptur v. Kucinich

The other Ohio primary: Kaptur v. Kucinich

Tonight in Ohio, Republican voters could end — or come close to ending — the GOP presidential primary. But that’s not the only important primary going on in the Buckeye State.

Democratic Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich will face off in the first Member vs. Member primary of the campaign. Forced into the same seat by Republican redistricting, the friendly pair have become bitter rivals. (What a shock!)

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Rick Santorum’s Ohio problem — in one chart

The Ohio Republican presidential primary is less than 24 hours away. Widely considered the crown jewel of Super Tuesday, Ohio appears to be a toss-up between former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

But, one look at the chart below shows you why Santorum and his forces are starting to downplay the importance of the Buckeye State. (“It’s a tough state for us, only because of the fact of the money disadvantage,” Santorum said on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend.)

Can a candidate win with a trend line that has turned that sharply downward? Sure. (And there is a new Suffolk University poll out today that shows Santorum leading Romney by four points.) But, Santorum’s sharp drop in Ohio polling has to be unsettling to his allies.

Mitt Romney has momentum in new Ohio poll

Mitt Romney has momentum in new Ohio poll

A new poll from Quinnipiac University gives former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney the momentum in the critical Ohio primary going to Super Tuesday.

Romney takes 34 percent in the survey while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum takes 31 percent — within the margin of error. But that’s a 10-point shift in Romney’s favor since a week ago, when Santorum led 36 percent to 29 percent.

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Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney tied in new Ohio poll

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are in a statistical dead heat in the critical Ohio presidential primary, according to a new NBC/Marist poll.

Santorum takes 34 percent while Romney lags just two points behind at 32 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich receives 15 percent support while Texas Rep. Ron Paul clocks in at 13 percent.


Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at a Lincoln Day dinner, Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Lima, Ohio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Santorum wins 36 percent to 33 percent for Romney among self-identified Republicans while Santorum sits at 31 percent and Romney at 30 percent among independents.

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Huckabee’s Ohio forum: The live blog

There may not be any debates on the schedule for the GOP presidential candidates, but tonight three of them will take part tn Mike Huckabee’s forum in Wilmington, Ohio.

While you’re watching the forum on Fox News, make sure to stop over at our live blog, where we’ll be summarizing the greatest hits and providing analysis.

Ohio poll shows Romney’s challenges continue through Super Tuesday

Mitt Romney’s campaign is still justifiably worried about winning Michigan in today’s primary, as it should be.

But the bad news is that, even if his team can pull it out tonight, next week’s marquee contest in Michigan’s neighbor-to-the-south is looking like an uphill battle.

A University of Cincinnati poll out today shows Romney trailing Rick Santorum by double digits in Ohio, whose March 6 primary has quickly become the highest-profile matchup of Super Tuesday.

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Mitt Romney’s working class problem

Mitt Romney’s problems with conservatives and evangelical voters are well-established, but he’s also got a significant — if less readily apparent — issue with less-affluent voters.

And it’s a problem that could matter quite a bit in the next few weeks.

Rick Santorum is aiming for the upset of the 2012 presidential race in two weeks in Michigan, and if he can pull it off, everyone will be talking about how Romney can’t win over blue-collar voters.

A more precise statement may be that Romney has trouble with voters who are less well-off. But that’s really nothing new.

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Rick Santorum leads in Ohio poll


Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum smiles while speaking to the crowd at a campaign rally. (Anthony Bolante - Reuters)

Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney in the key battleground of Ohio, a new Quinnipiac poll finds.

The conservative former Pennsylvania senator takes 36 percent of the vote to the former Massachusetts governor’s 29 percent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich follows with 20 percent; Texas Rep. Ron Paul is a distant fourth with 9 percent.

Santorum’s lead here follows a pattern — he does well in Midwestern states with large blue-collar populations, while Romney does better in the West and Northeast.

Ohio will be the major battleground on March 6’s “Super Tuesday,” when 10 states hold their primaries.

Some of the state’s 66 delegates are allocated proportionally, so every candidate will have reason to compete. Early voting has already begun, so there’s an incentive to start campaigning. It will be competitive: 50 percent of the likely Republican voters who were surveyed were open to changing their minds.

Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney super PAC, is already putting $252,000 into ads in the Buckeye state.

Candidates will also want to start laying the groundwork for the general election, where Ohio will be a key swing state.

Right now, President Obama would take 46 percent to Romney’s 44 percent in the Quinnipiac poll, a statistical tie. Obama would beat Santorum 47 percent to 41 percent.

Picking Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (R) as his running-mate would not help Romney; the ticket would lose 47 percent to 43 percent.

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The 2011 election: What it meant (and what it didn’t)

The 2011 election: What it meant (and what it didn’t)

There is a tendency among the political press corps — and the political world more generally — to search for the common string that ties together a national election.

At times — the elections of 2006, 2008 and 2010 come to mind — this is not only easy but right. Each of those elections were decided by a set of national issues that drove voters to choose Democrats overwhelmingly in 2006 and 2008 and Republicans equally overwhelmingly in 2010.

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Sherrod Brown and the Wellstone factor

If every swing state Democrat voted as consistently liberally as Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown has during his first five years in the chamber, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Patty Murray’s job in 2012 would be much, much harder.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), left, participates in a news conference on Capitol Hill to discuss the political challenges facing health reform efforts. (J. Scott Applewhite, AP)

And yet, instead of being a political pariah, the DSCC sees Brown as something of a model for other candidates — in large part because his personal popularity and populist style they think could inoculate him from a voting record that at first glance looks to be the ideological left of the Buckeye State.

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Ohio GOP looks to cement 2010 gains with overhauled congressional map

A proposed congressional map in Ohio would draw six of the state’s House incumbents into districts with each other, but would leave Republicans with an advantage in 12 of the remaining 16 districts.

The new map, which is set to be released Tuesday, comes courtesy of the state Republican Party, which controls all levers of the redistricting process in the Buckeye State.

Despite that power, the GOP already holds virtually every competitive district in Ohio, and with the state losing two of its current 18 seats thanks to the new Census numbers, Republicans were essentially forced to eliminate one of their districts in order to keep the other districts winnable.

In the end, the state GOP created what it hopes will be a map in which it can lock down 75 percent of the districts over the course of the next decade — giving he GOP a major advantage in one of the biggest swing states in the country.

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