Earlier today, I talked to the person who knows more about Ohio politics than any other person on the planet — George Voinovich. Lest there be any doubt, remember that Voinovich has served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, lieutenant governor of Ohio, mayor of Cleveland, governor of Ohio, and a U.S. senator from the state. He also has the distinction of having received more votes in an Ohio election than any other person in history, having won all 88 of Ohio’s counties in 2004. But now he can hold forth with the gritty political details of any county party chairman, and he took some time to give me an Ohio update.
The bottom line is that he says he doesn’t know who’s going to win Ohio, and no matter how I came at him, I couldn’t get him to make a prediction. He did say that he thinks this is the best GOP state organization effort that he’s ever seen, and he specifically said Cuyahoga County currently has the best county organization they’ve ever had.
Without being prompted, he told me that Mitt Romney and President Obama would both be wise to end their campaigns in Ohio on an economic message. Romney needs to continue emphasizing the contrasts in his plan for America with Obama’s lack of a plan for the future. Evidently, it’s not lost on Ohioans that Obama has offered no rationale for a second term. Voinovich stated that the “character assassination” attempts on Romney didn’t work, and as Ohio voters have been able to see Romney unfiltered, from the first debate onward, his position strengthens by the day.
Voinovich acknowledged the value to Obama of the credit he gets for the auto bailout, but he also made plain that that credit is largely undeserved, as the process put in place to strengthen the American automobile industry was initiated under President George W. Bush.
If Voinovich can’t answer the question of who’s going to win in Ohio on Tuesday, nobody can.We might as well all stop guessing.