Friday, June 13, 2008

Targeted States: Ohio

One can't revisit the importance of focusing on key swing states enough. The Obama campaign will work in all states to help build the campaign and the party -- registering voters, raising money, recruiting volunteers -- but it will focus a lot of its persuasion and get out the vote efforts on battleground states.

There are times when no matter how many millions one spends on TV ads, and despite the thousands of dedicated volunteers one fields, that you will still come up short in the end. You can work on these people over the long haul, but for any particular election cycle it pays to target voters who are more open and persuadable.

They identify these 'soft targets' by professional polling and reports from ground workers.

Ohio is one of the swing states with the most available electoral votes. In this primary season, the state had a much larger turnout among Democrats as compared to Republicans.

Primary Turnout in Ohio (2008)
2,233,156 (D)
1,018,865 (R)
3,450,893 (Total)

In the 2006 election, the Democrats romped to victory winning the governorship and seats in the Senate and the House. The local economy has been spiraling down for years now and there is a general dissatisfaction with the Republican Party, which is blamed for the state's woes.

The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Obama slightly ahead in recent polls.

PollDateSampleObama (D)McCain (R)Spread
RCP Average05/13 - 05/20--44.042.7Obama +1.3
SurveyUSA05/16 - 05/18600 RV4839Obama +9.0
Quinnipiac05/13 - 05/201244 RV4044McCain +4.0
Rasmussen05/15 - 05/15500 LV4445McCain +1.0

We should note that these polls were taken before Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race.

An Akron Buckeye Poll taken in March 2008 showed that Ohioans largely believe that the Democratic nominee will win the general election.

The major issues: "Nearly one-half of all Ohioans said that economic issues (such as jobs and prices) would be most important to their vote for president (47.5%). Another one-quarter said foreign policy issues (like the Iraq war and terrorism) would be most important (24.8%). Roughly one-sixth (16.8%) chose other domestic issues (such as public services and taxes) and one-in-ten respondents said social issues (such as abortion and same-sex marriage) would be most important to their presidential vote (10.9%)."

Obviously, Republicans are very vulnerable when the campaign if focused on the economy, so don't be surprised to see that strategy taken in the Buckeye State.

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